The horny anime food mobile game Food Fantasy lets its players review its levels. These user reviews are surprisingly cathartic, and they help me feel closer to other players.
Food Fantasy is a gacha game (which, heads up, is kind of horny) where you summon characters named after food to help you fight demons and also run a restaurant. The thing about gacha games is that they start out with everything being pretty easy and with the player earning new characters and currency hand over fist, but they eventually throttle your progress. Now that I’ve reached level 35, I have to spend a lot more time levelling up my characters to get through stages. What’s helped in this process are the user reviews of the levels, which are half advice for other players and half general venting. I really hate milk, the food, so a review reading “FUCK MILK” speaks to me on a personal level.
Reading the experiences of players from all over the game does makes it feel a little less solitary than other gacha games I’ve played. Games like Love Nikki have a guild feature that has you team up with other players to reach a collective goal, but for the most part, players don’t interact with each other. In Food Fantasy, I feel more connected to other players because I can see their reviews and know they’re having the same problems I am.
This extends to other parts of the game as well. In Food Fantasy, beating levels also earns you ingredients to make food with, which you can serve in your restaurant or sell as delivery orders. The more frequently you make a certain food, the higher the stats the food has. If you’ve levelled the food up enough, you can submit it in the Review levels of the game. You don’t fight in these levels, but rather serve your dishes to a food critic, who rates them on their flavour, texture and aroma. Users can review these levels too, and mostly they use the feature to just help other players know which dishes to submit and what criteria they’ll be judged on.
While the highest-rated review in the above picture says that these reviews are basically cheating, I don’t see it that way. If I was playing this game alongside real life friends, we’d all be sharing hints with each other. These other, distant players aren’t my friends, but reading their reviews makes me feel like we’re all in this together. It actually makes me want to participate more in the game so I can offer help to other players in the same way.
Video games can sometimes feel lonely, so I’m glad I have a chance to touch base with other players, even if its asynchronous and they’ll never know it. When I’ve gotten good enough at the game, I hope I can leave a review that helps out someone else in the way that they’ve all helped me.