Forget the old adage of “don’t play with your food”—there’s now a whole category of games that distinctly proves just how entertaining it can be. From card games inspired by sushi to video games staring anthropomorphized characters made out of fast food to board games that put your restaurant management skills to the test, there’s plenty of fun to be had with food-based games. Here are our top recommendations.
2 / 10
Overcooked! and Overcooked! 2 provide the stress of working on a kitchen line, but it’s a little more fanciful. Instead of simply being human you can play as a raccoon or alligator chef, working with up to three friends to fulfill as many perfect orders as you can before time runs out. The levels in this couch co-op video game get increasingly difficult as more ingredients are added to dishes and other tasks like washing dirty dishes are tacked on. Chaotic, yes, but you’re doing it all for your beloved onion king (and Kevin the dog, of course).
3 / 10
Things may look whimsical in the video game Bugsnax, but there’s a dark underbelly. The half-food, half-bug creatures are cute to look at, but the goal of this game is to catch and eat those creatures—and once you do, the food item featured on said creature’s body becomes part of your character’s makeup. Eat your way across the Island collecting strawberry feet and french fry arms as you go, with plenty of narrative twists and turns along the way.
4 / 10
Ultra Foodmess is a fast and dirty video game for when you want some quick competition. Up to four players can choose their favorite food as a character and then battle each other in mini games, doing things like shooting each other with hot dogs, avoiding getting swallowed up in a disastrous ketchup spill, and covering as much of a kitchen counter with your food’s “juice” as possible. The brightly colored game set to a jaunty tune is fun and easy for all ages.
5 / 10
You don’t have to be a chef but can certainly pretend to be one while building a meal and scoring points in the card game Sushi Go! In this card drafting game each player builds a delicious sushi meal (complete with dessert), attempting to get the most points along the way. It’s about luck and strategy—certain ingredient combinations can triple your points, and if you’re paying attention to your opponents’ cards, you can work to sabotage them. It’s a quick and easy game and the adorable illustrations are the cherry (or wasabi) on top.
6 / 10
This game is for those among us who aren’t the best in the kitchen. In Pot-YUCK! the goal is to become head chef of “The Don’t Eatery” by creating the most disgusting dish on the menu. A recipe card is laid out and each player lays down their ingredients, with one person acting as the “manager” and choosing their favorite (or, ya know, least favorite) combination as the winner. That person then gets promoted, and the manager position rotates. But throughout the game, certain ingredients may be banned and time restrictions may be added, causing players to be demoted. In the end only one person can hold the title of head chef at the worst restaurant in town.
7 / 10
Put your food knowledge to the test with the trivia card game Taste Test. Perfect for in-person or virtual hangs, questions are split up into four categories—cooking tools + techniques, regional dishes, ingredients, and people + pop culture—to cover all manner of food facts. Even if you don’t come out on top, you’re sure to learn a thing or two.
8 / 10
Ever wondered if you have what it takes to run your own restaurant? With the board game Foodies you can test out your skills as a manager of a food court, hiring star chefs and adding mouthwatering dishes to your menu to lure customers away from your competitors. Each chef and dish comes in the form of a card with varying bonuses in the form of either positive ratings or high cash value. If you want to test it out before investing in the full board game, the publisher’s site offers a print and play version to try at home.
9 / 10
For adorable and addictive fun on the go, you can download the chore-based mobile game Cooking Mama. In Cooking Mama’s world you can decorate and organize your kitchen, grow and harvest your own ingredients, cook delicious recipes, and serve them in your restaurant. On top of that you can play plenty of non-food-related mini games or watch cooking videos for recipes featured in the game.
10 / 10