The Year That Was: Food Video Games

Continuing The Year That Was, with food-based pixelated distractions.


Super Mario Bros. Cupcakes. Photograph from hello naomi on Flickr

OMG. How many food video games came out this year? Major League Eating was announced in early March, teased us in April, still hadn't come out in May (when we sent Ben Brown to a press event in San Francisco and Gordon Mark to one in New York), and finally came out via WiiWare on July 14. MLE was perhaps the most inspired of this bunch of games, which also included Iron Chef America, Cake Mania, and Hell's Kitchen (which Gordon Mark, who sort of became our de facto in-house food-gamer, reviewed here—and a whole host of others we've probably overlooked.

All this nonsense inspired a parody. And it was dead-on: Dishwashing Champion.

Of course, you can't heap Cooking Mama in the bunch above, as it remains the gold standard in food-related video games. In 2008, it added 3-D characters and released Cooking Mama World Kitchen.


Oh, so this game is not really food-related, but we identified some of the real-life restaurants in Grand Theft Auto IV's Liberty City.

We also discovered some food-related micro games that came about when the Sims Carnival let anyone develop quick Flash-based games.

In August, a video game inspired a real-life product, when the "E" energy tanks from Mega Man (used to refill your character's energy) debut in drinkable form. And in October, Gamer Grub debuted, largely to jeers.

Probably the coolest things to come out of this madness were the Mii-shaped chocolates and the slideshow of food in video games.

More of The Year That Was

TYTW in Burgers
Stop-Motion Food Videos
Food as Other Stuff
TYTW on Serious Eats New York
Food in Space
Food Media
Food Shortages, Scares, and Rising Costs