Sometimes the food in video games doesn't give you health or special powers, nor do you need it to keep from going hungry. Sometimes those shiny-looking fruits or appetizing pastries are just there for Scoring Points, or otherwise as arbitrary objects to collect.
This is primarily associated with Arcade Games of the 1980s, where the food items typically took the form of fruit. "Fruits" was even used as a generic term for food that may not technically be fruit.
The game may not even make clear whether you're actually eating the food as you go. The question is not necessarily resolved when objects such as gemstones provide the same kind of bonus as food; some games preposterously imply that you can eat those things as well.
Often overlaps with Game Gourmet, when there are well over a few different food items you can get your hands on. Not to be confused with Edible Treasure, which is when buried treasure turns out to be food.
Examples from video games:
- Capcom's 1984 arcade title SonSon includes food as point bonuses. One of the few actual power-ups is the word "POW" which turns all on-screen enemies into more bonus food.
- In the iOS Game ElectroMaster, a giant fruit worth bonus points appears on the field every time the player scores an attack combo that's a multiple of 10.
- Shenmue has chocolate, caramel and potato chips you can buy that cost a little more than the drinks from vending machines, but each one lets you draw a raffle ticket for the chance to win a prize. Unlike the drinks, though, Ryo doesn't consume the snacks, so they just end up sitting in his inventory like every other collectible.
- Mr. Do! has cherries that can be eaten for points. They are laid out in batches of eight because 500 points are awarded for every eight cherries eaten. You can also eat diamonds, strangely enough, but not apples (which are used to squash enemies instead).
- In Up'n Down, ice cream cones and cherries are worth 600 points each, though balloons provide the same bonus.
- In the PC-88 game Coron, the objective of each stage is to eat all the fruit (apples in the first stage) that appears on the ground squares. In addition to this, a fish or octopus will occasionally appear on one of the bridges, and the Attract Mode points out: "You can eat it!"
- In Devil World, Tamagon gets bonus points from eating fried eggs or ice cream cones.
- Pac-Man is the Trope Maker with its bonus fruits, though after the eighth board the bonuses turn into non-food items, such as the Galaxian ship. Of course, Pac-Man's goal in each stage is to eat all the dots, and the energizers let him chomp on the ghosts for more bonus points.
- In Saturn Bomberman, points are scored from picking up apples, meat or ice cream.
- In Skweek, Skweek gets points from ice cream and hamburgers. (What flavors the four different colors of ice cream represent are not specified.)
- In Antarctic Adventure, the penguin can eat the fish that jump out of holes for 300 points each. Averted in the sequel Penguin Adventure, where fish are used as currency instead.
- Girl's Garden has grapes, apples and cherries as bonus point items. (There's also honey, but it's for the bears.)
- In Pang, the points items are all fruit, cakes or sushi.
- Sushi Cat features a cat dropped into a pachinko game filled with sushi — which the cat eats, getting fatter as he goes.
- Bubble Bobble has about three dozen types of food. All bonus items worth 4000 points or less are food, while higher-value items are generally jewelry and other inedible objects. There are also giant bonus items worth tens of thousands of points; once again, the lower-value ones are food and the higher-value ones are jewels.
- In the Commander Keen series, Keen had a range of 100- to 5000-point bonus items, which would usually be made of things like lollipops, soda, pizza, candy bars, gum, etc.
- In Cookie Run all of the collectables aside from the coins are jellies.
- Every game in the Donkey Kong Country series uses bananas as collectibles; similarly to the Super Mario Bros. series, collecting 100 of them grants the player an extra life (save for Donkey Kong 64, where they're mostly useless collectibles that are only really necessary for accessing the boss of each stage).
- Door Door awards points for collecting confectionery on the same scale for shutting up multiple enemies. The highest point item, however, is a Chun tile.
- In Ice Climber, four stolen vegetables are dropped in the Bonus Stage top part of each level, and can be recovered for points.
- In Kirby Super Star, the Gourmet Race is as much about eating lots of food as getting to the finish line quickly. This is in contrast to the rest of the game (and the series in general) where food grants health and occasionally power-ups.
- Math Rescue does this with items called "Goodies". Goodies are sprites of ice cream, watermelon, crayons and toy boats. On space levels, this changes to ice cream, watermelon, wrenches and smiley faces. Goodies are worth 5 points each and a 500 point bonus is awarded for collecting all of them in a level.
- In Monty Python's Flying Circus, the plot of the game involves pieces of Mr. Gumby's brain being rationed for 16 tins of Spam each. Besides Spam, Gumby can also collect sausages, eggs and beans.
- In Nuts & Milk, all the fruits (apples and bananas, plus cherries and strawberries in the original Maze Game) have to be collected on each level. Collecting them also entails Scoring Points, of course.
- In Pepsiman, Pepsiman collects Pepsi cans he runs into along the way.
- In Ponpoko, the object of each level is to eat the eight "fruits" (which may be vegetables or mushrooms).
- Purple features food (and also money bags) as collectibles for Scoring Points and 100% Completion. The role of healing items is taken by hearts.
- Qwak has six different types of fruit. Under some conditions, they rain down continuously from the top of the screen (with some Spikeballs Of Doom mixed in). Not only does collecting them score points, they can be redeemed for eggs as an end-of-round bonus.
- In Snow Bros, the bonus items are various kinds of sushi rolls.
- In Prehistorik Man, collecting food on the way is the secondary objective of your quest (the primary one being reaching the treasure of the dino graveyard)
- In Chip-chan Kick, enemies turn into either food or power-ups when defeated. What they can turn into depends on what stage you're on. For example, enemies in the city leave behind candy bars, chocolate cornets, donuts, and croissants among other things, while the zoo features things like pizzas, cheeseburgers, ice cream cones, and sticks of bubblegum. All food items give you points, good for extra lives, and while most people will find them useless, you can only proceed to the next round in each stage when there are no more pickups left to obtain, so you might as well eat whatever's available once you defeat everything onscreen.
- Stinkoman 20X6 has a level in which the goal is to collect ten pieces of bread and avoid apples, soap, ears and the letter P. As there are no hazards, the only thing the bread can do is add one of ten points needed to clear the level.
References in other media:
- Lampshaded in the video game movie Wreck-It Ralph; in the opening scenes, Ralph is shown smuggling a cherry out of Pac-Man. He later splits it with some homeless Q*bert characters.