Battle Chef Brigade is a game I recently discovered when at the store looking at Nintendo Switch games for myself. It originally came out in November of 2017 on PC, Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4. I personally have played it on the Nintendo Switch and PC.
It’s an original puzzle game with match-three elements along the lines of Bejeweled or Candy Crush, but so much more as well. For one, it’s also an action game!? I know, a puzzle game where you also get to hit stuff till it dies? I was super surprised too!
How the game works is you’re training to be a battle chef, so not only do you have to cook up recipes (the match-three element), you have to gather your ingredients (the action element).
There’s different kinds of puzzles in this game, helping out Belchior, working in the restaurant, and actual chef-ing tournament matches.
All of them have similar elements though, you’ll be working with orbs of fire, water, and earth and combining them to be higher levels. As you progress through the game, more types of orbs are added such as bone fragments! It’s up to you to decide if you want to cut the bone out or combine more of them to enhance your dish. You’re given a number next to a star nearby to help you keep track of your recipe’s quality. The higher the number, the higher quality your dish will be!
Helping out Belchior is my favorite because there’s no time limit, you can restart as much as you want, and it really makes you think (also he has a ton of cats, and they’re adorable). Each day it’s something different and it teaches you different techniques as you go through it to make your recipes even better for tournament matches! (You also get money, WOO). You get a certain star requirement you have to meet and you have to figure out how to arrange the ingredients you’re given to meet that star requirement.
Working in the restaurant is really cool too but a little high-pressure because the faster you are, the more money you’ll earn, so you gotta think fast! You’re given a pattern ingredient arrangement, and you have to arrange the ingredients you’re given to meet that pattern. I think I’d like this part a lot more if it weren’t so fast paced! Still super cool, and again, HOORAY MONEY. We like money.
Finally, there’s tournament matches (and practice battles)! These combine the action elements (which I’ll go over more next) and the puzzle elements. In here you’ll use all the information you’ve gained from helping the scientist and at the Hunter’s Guild and put it to use here! You’re given certain enemies where you have to include ingredients from and certain element types as well that dominate your recipe (fire, water, and earth). This is a little higher pressure but not too bad because you’re given plenty of time to collect food parts and to cook it before presenting for judging. You’ll be making as many dishes as there are judges, so use your time wisely!
Battle Chef Brigade is a platformer action game when you’re gathering ingredients. You have three inventory slots to enhance your character when fighting. So you can choose to increase your health, mana or inventory, or you can buy abilities to use instead!
You can attack, run, jump and explore freely. There’s no turn based system here! I usually like attacking and running away so I don’t die! Mana and health recharge over time which I really like so you can just run away to regroup and try again if needed.
During the day amidst helping people without puzzles, as mentioned earlier, there’s Thorn at the Hunter’s Guild. You meet with her daily to learn different skill abilities to better collect ingredients when you’re participating in tournament matches! I love helping her out because she’s super cranky but in an endearing way. She has some of the best lines in the game, so pay attention whenever she speaks.
PC Versus Console?
I preferred the controls on the Switch over playing it on a computer. It felt super awkward on a keyboard and not very comfortable. It was hard to remember what button to press to do which action. Using a controller was a lot easier and more natural!
The Switch also has the perk of being able to play on the TV with joycons (together), a pro controller or handheld! It’s super cool being able to play it on a big screen and then move to play in bed if you want, instead of being chained to a laptop or desktop. I find it relaxing to play before sleeping!
Graphics and Voice Acting
The graphics are beautiful and the voice acting is well done too! It really helps immersion. It has a somewhat Avatar: The Last Airbender feel to it in that it’s definitely anime inspired, but the characters still feel realistic as well. The backgrounds also look like they were painted in a watercolor style that I love, love, love. It’s soft but clear and just looks so beautifully rendered.
The voice acting is also completely on point. I can’t imagine the characters having voices different than what they already have.
Soon we’ll have Battle Chef Brigade available on the Switch for Open Video Game Play days (every other Friday and every Sunday in the Vortex for grades 6 through 12) and for checkout.