Out to Lunch (1993)
By: Mindscape Genre: Platform Players: 1 Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Featured Version: Nintendo SNES First Day Score: 5,740
Also Available For: Amiga, CD32
Food's involvement with video games can be traced back as far as Pac-Man and similar games with their collectible cherries and other fruit bonuses, but how many games are there whose central theme is food-related? The first one I can think of is Data East's Burger Time, released more than a decade before this game, but whichever was the first and however many there have been, Out To Lunch must surely rank as one of the 'foodiest' games yet (okay, not counting modern games like Cooking Mama)! The star of the show is Pierre le Chef who is touring the globe to show off his famous dishes. Unfortunately, his ingredients have staged a revolt and all escaped from the fridge! The resulting adventure sees Pierre chasing his various foodstuffs around the world over forty-eight themed stages, trying to recapture them all in time.
At first glance, Out To Lunch seems like a fairly bog-standard side-viewed platformer, and it is for the most part. The stages are spread over six countries - Switzerland, Greece, West Indies, Mexico, China, France - and each features the kind of foods you might associate with it. Switzerland, for example, includes cheeses, the West Indies has pineapples, Mexico has jalapeños, etc, while some other 'stock' foods like tomatoes and mushrooms appear in several countries. The stages are large, sprawling affairs, usually about two screens wide and several screens tall, and consist of lots of platforms of varying sizes. The foods are scattered all around each stage and must be captured and taken to a cage. There are springers strategically positioned here and there to enable Pierre's rapid exploration and there are a few other items too.
RKS Score: 8/10