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Don't you think you get more food value out of 14 bucks worth of burgers than 8 bucks worth of french fries? You'll feel better and more energetic if you eat better foods. You know—you'll recover more health if you eat more expensive food.
An NPC in Onett's burger joint, Earthbound

It is no secret that video gameplay is not meant to be taken literally. The way food works is no exception. You know how it goes: You either walk over a food in question or select it on the item screen. Whoever consumes it (presumably in one gulp) either gains points or recovers damage, or something or other. Such also applies to other similar-purposed things, like first-aid kits.

For this trope to count:

  1. There needs to be at least a dozen different food items. Fewer is acceptable if it's still well beyond the bare minimum for the genre, as opposed to just enough to cover for a practical gameplay purpose. (For a possible litmus test, how frequently does food appear in general? Are there few enough items that one could name them all in rapid succession at the end of their first playthrough without thinking about it beforehand or having seen a pre-existing list?)
  2. They need to occupy at least three or four different food groups. Whether they're actually categorized or not does not matter. However, if most of them occupy only one type of food (such as fruits, drinks, berries, or candy), with only a few other items covering for other types either individually or w/ only recolors, it cannot qualify.
  3. They are to be consumed by someone via player decisions (not presented as enemies, objects, scenery, or even eaten during cutscenes that the player has not even indirect control over). Usually, this would be the player character(s), but it can also be mons or other characters present throughout the game. For example, customers in a cooking simulator count because it's already obvious that they're going to eat what you cook.

This should not be confused with Level Ate, which is about food-themed worlds, nor is it enough for the game itself to be food-themed. This is about all kinds of food appearing throughout the game as some kind of goods, at least on the sidelines, be it consumed upon pickup, stored for later consumption, or eaten upon order.

Related to Hyperactive Metabolism, since the purpose of food itself is often to restore health, improves stats, and so on; as well as Edible Collectible, which is when the food mostly just nets the player some points. Related to Food Porn, as a variant in which the sheer variety of food available is beyond what would be expected for the genre, though games that are specifically about food will also more likely fall under this than not.

Not to be confused with Gourmet Gaming.

(Note: Please include at least either a handful of examples of food found in a given game, their different classifications, or links to actual lists or charts, so that we don't have to consult a walkthrough, YouTube, etc. for verification.)


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Action RPG 
  • Many Castlevania games starting from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night include dozens of different food items to find on top of the standard Pot Roast, ranging from fresh fruit all the way up to modern dishes that shouldn't even exist in the depicted time period, each one with a well-drawn sprite and a brief description. SotN alone offers things like cheesecake, pudding, strawberries, spaghetti, hamburgers, apples, miso soup, and pineapples.
  • Vanillaware sure is fond of this trope:
    • In Muramasa: The Demon Blade, you can get your hands on various kinds of fruits, alcoholic drinks, vegetables, and raw meat, as well as bags of rice. Those first two recover Life Flame and Spirit, while the rest serve as ingredients for more complex things like hot-pots, houtou, etc.
    • Odin Sphere also has the same concept, and an even greater variety of recipes. Have fun cooking up all kinds of salads, soups, omelets, snacks, desserts and so on!
    • And the proud tradition continues in Dragon's Crown, with various meats, seafood, vegetables, etc. that you can obtain from three different dungeons!
  • By Carpe Fulgur:
    • Recettear features a large collection of items, many of which are various kinds of food. Said foods include oranges, cutlet bowls, candy, walnut bread, shortcake, kid's lunches, and melons. These, as with other items in general, can be consumed or brought to the eponymous shop to be sold.
    • Fortune Summoners features mostly different kinds of sweets for its catalog, but also has things like steamed buns, chicken, salmon, milk, and bread to offer.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • Examples found in the series include bread, butter, cheese, ale, carrots, stew, and various kinds of meat.
    • In Morrowind and Oblivion, food (of all kinds) is a type of alchemical ingredient, which can be eaten raw or used to make potions; they have various effects, mostly restoring stamina.
    • In Skyrim, food is different from alchemical ingredients and can have a plethora of effects, from Health Food to "poor man's" potions with various other effects, depending on the item in question. There is also several mods available that adds in additional recipes for the player to cook, and to make any attempt of cooking adding a bit to Alchemy experience.
  • Tokyo Xanadu has a wide variety of dishes to cook, to say nothing of all the different ingredients required for each recipe. Each type of dish can be cooked into a regular dish, a special dish, some sort of non-food item, or something terrible that can either restore an inferior amount of HP than normal or kill you, depending on the skill level of whoever cooks it.
  • Contact has all kinds of meats, fruits, vegetables, and other foods that you can obtain and often cook up to recover HP and gain temporary stat boosts. Some of them include canned stew, BBQ meat, juice, Swanky Soup, milk, raisin bread, strawberries, and grapes.
  • Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night plays with this, by giving the player character a permanent stat boost every time they eat a new food item, which can be made via Item Crafting. In the trailer alone that explains this mechanic, recipes include sunny-side up eggs and bangers-and-mash, among other things.
  • What few recovery foods Dark Cloud features would not qualify alone, but it's clear that the developers had food on mind when all six playable characters each have a Trademark Favorite Food to increase their defensive power with, supplemented by gourds and Fruits of Eden that anyone can eat to increase other stats.
    • Along with Dark Cloud's four HP-recovery itemsnote  and Tasty Water, Dark Chronicle adds roasted chestnuts, crunchy bread, plum onigiri, and flan pudding to its main menu, and you can also cook fish that you catch. Many food items can be "invented" with pictures Max takes of the right things, with different ingredients with which to assemble them, themselves being as a subset of many different raw materials you come across. Heart-throb cherries, while primarily serving to stop enemies since Dark Cloud, can also be consumed to cure your own stoppage. Witch Parfaits, Ruby's favorite food from before, also return as Monica's, with Potato Pie as Max's equivalent item and Fruits of Eden also reprising their role.
  • System Shock 2 features a plethora of food items you can find on the Von Braun to eat. Whether they be a pack of chips, a can of soda, a bottle of orange juice or a bottle of liquor, however, consuming them restores only 1 negligible hitpoint. Alcoholic drinks also inflict a nasty Mana Meter penalty.

    Beat Em Up 
  • Various food items (as well as weapons and loot) in the main Final Fight trilogy can be revealed by busting things like crates, oil drums, barrels, etc. Sushi, chocolate, chicken, beer, spinach, burgers, curry, and more, just waiting for someone to break a water cooler!
    • Distant sequel Captain Commando continues this tradition with cherries, lemons, ice cream, coffee, chocolate, sandwiches, tempura, and barbecued ribs.
  • In Cadillacs and Dinosaurs, stuff you'll find by breaking various objects include gum, barbecued ribs, lobsters, hot dogs, cake, and parfaits. Sometimes, fat guys also drop food when you hit them, and there are also a few sirloins that the bad guys are seen feasting on around a campfire at the beginning of level 5.
  • Violent Storm features lobsters, green tea, cherries, apples, ice cream, pizzas, and plenty more inside crates, barrels, etc. There are also certain things that would fit into the scenery naturally, such as oranges that fall from palm trees or a pizza that someone happens to be carrying.
  • River City Ransom: To quote The Angry Video Game Nerd in his second annual charity review:
    You come across these malls where you buy food to level up. So you'll eat, and eat, and eat. Pancakes, donuts, sushi, Chinese food, French fries, chili, pound cake, cookies, candy, cole slaw, and Cornish hen? A Cornish fucking hen, what the hell?
  • The Simpsons, weaponized foods (drinks) aside, presents apples, oranges, corn, burgers, donuts, roast chickens, hot dogs, and pies. Some items are obtainable from fruit trees or NPCs, while others are simply strewn about.
  • The Punisher (Capcom): Flan pudding, cheese, pizza (both slices and whole pies), hot dogs, roast chickens, and barbecued ribs.
  • Night Slashers: Cake, curry, gyoza, hot dogs, lychees, roast beef, and soup.

    Board Game 
  • Aside from finishing first, the main objective of Bible Buffet is to eat as much food as possible. The board is comprised of different sections each with their own food theme, such as Veggie Land, Salad Land, Frozen Land, Snack Land, and Liquid (Beverage) Land. Each of their actual stages feature different food pickups and enemies corresponding to their theme, and most enemies also become edible when you stun them.
  • In Kiratto Kaiketsu: 64 Tanteidan, there are five regular food items that restore HP and KP, along with one that levels up a random stat. That's not the example here, though. The real example is a subset of what you can find to give to others, including burgers, steaks, fish, riceballs, bagels, soda, candy, fruit, and taiyaki. (Fat guys like food the most out of anyone.)

    Fighting 
  • The Super Smash Bros. series (from Melee onward) has "food" as one of the items. This is a variety of different food and drinks you can eat to regain a small bit of health. A few of them are burgers, ice cream, apples, pizza, tea, chocolate, orange juice, and cake.
  • In line with its series' roots, Final Fight Revenge features burgers, fries, meat, sushi, hot dogs, curry, and expresso, that can each be picked up for a small recovery.

    MMORPG 

    Mons RPG 
  • Yo-Kai Watch: You can feed the Yo-Kai all sorts of foods to befriend them or to recover health and raise their Soul Meter, and they've all got their own preferences and dislikes; Pizza, Hamburgers, Oden, Curry, Candy, Hot Dogs, Ramen...
  • Digimon World emphasizes raising Digimon like pets, not least of all by keeping them well fed. Throughout the game, you'll find a whole host of different meats, mushrooms, fruits, vegetables, and fish, with which to feed your Digimon in order to satiate their hunger and fatigue, increase lifespans and various stats, and restore HP and MP. Some of these can make them sick, though.
  • Berries aside, this trope more or less evolved overtime onto Pokémon with its various drinks and delicacies introduced in each generation, all good for restoring HP and status, although most of these can only be obtained at a specific part of each game. The first games only featured Rare Candies and a vending machine somewhere where you could buy water, soda, or lemonade, but the next pair added berry juice, milk, and Rage Candy Barsnote  to the mix, and from there came things like Lava Cookies, Old Gateaus, Sweet Hearts, Casteliacones, Shalour Sables, Lumoise Galettes, and Malasadas as time went on.
    • In Pokémon Black and White, a maid on Route 5, known as the Gourmet Maniac, will buy any manner of food or ingredients from you for higher than they'd normally sell for, including stuff your Pokemon don't normally eat such as Sticks (scallions for Farfetch'd), mushrooms, honey, Leftovers, Lucky Eggs, and Shoal Salt.
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon also feature a restaurant called the Battle Buffet, complete with nine different dishes to choose from. Full description here.
  • Most Monster Rancher games are about raising the eponymous Monsters on a farm for various purposes such as battling. This in turn includes negotiating what kinds of food to raise them on, depending on what you'd like to bolster and are willing to retard. The first game alone features things like potatoes, apple cake, mangoes, meat, peaches, plant eggs, and taffy.

    Platformer 
  • 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.
  • Many Kirby games, starting with Kirby Super Star, feature things like snowcones, oranges, pancakes, baby bottles, pea pods, pudding, corn, and lots more in all its main games, to say nothing of M-tomatoes (which completely max out your life meter) and lollipops (which make you temporarily invincible). One of the six main games in KSS is even called Gourmet Race, which is all about that.
  • The Pang/Buster Bros. trilogy offers things like corn, apples, coffee, donuts, and pineapples. Collecting these just nets you some points, except for in the SNES version of Super Buster Bros., where you can earn a continue for every ten you collect without losing any continues.
  • Prehistorik Man had a lot of various foodstuffs as collectibles, since the object of the quest is to gather food for the tribe. Said food comes in four groups: Dairy, junk, fruits, and big foods.
  • Bubble Bobble has several dozen food items to offer, depending on how long it takes you to clear a given level and whether you're playing one or two players. Taking longer will get you mostly fruits and vegetables, while making shorter work will net you things like ice cream, popsicles, French fries, donuts, sushi, and bowls of rice.
  • In Sonic Unleashed, you can buy foodstuffs at various shops, from which Sonic will gain exp while Chip simply comments on what he eats. These include melloyam, egg puffs, peaches, oranges, egg candy, tomatoes, and of course, chili dogs.
  • Metal Slug has a wide range of food items that can be collected for points, including roast turkeys, live fish, lettuce, eggs, dim sum, carrots, mushrooms, and apples. Collecting too many will make you fat, which means that you move slightly more slowly but your weapons become more powerful.
  • Purple features various foods that actually do not give you benefits but count towards 100% Completion. The first two worlds only feature fruits and carrots, but then you come across things like sodas, French fries, and chocolate starting in world 3.
  • Son Son gives you points for collecting things like cherries, tomatoes, takoyaki, cake, grapes, and strawberries.

    Roguelike 
  • Elona, with its farming sims elements, includes a vast amount of food. There are over thirty different kinds of food available, from fruits to vegetables to fish to nuts, and that's before using the Cooking skill to turn them into finished meals. With the Cooking skill, there are at least seven different kinds of meals you can make for each food type. Eating well-prepared meals will eventually lead to attribute gains. The kind of attribute gain you can expect depends on what you've been eating; for example, fruit can raise Magic and Charisma, while fish improves Dexterity and Learning.

    Role-Playing Game 
  • The original Paper Mario trilogy starts each game with basic items like berries, apples, lemons, cake mix, coconuts, and of course, mushrooms. Each game has a cook who can combine items together to make more complex things like spaghetti, soup, and cakes (or even non-food items such as Dizzy Dials and Sleepy Sheep).
  • The entire Tales Series gives you the pleasure of combining all kinds of food, such as chicken, cabbage, beef, and eggs, into full-out dishes such as hamburgers and rice balls.
  • MOTHER
    • While Earthbound Beginnings doesn't have a whole lot to offer as far as food goes, the sky's the limit with Earthbound! From burgers, fries, cookies, and Skip Sandwiches in your hometown, to more elegant foods such as iced tea in Summers! Of course, the amounts of HP a lot of them recover are less than enemies deal where and when they're available, and thus go unbought by most players. There's even an NPC in Onett's burger joint that advises you not to bother with cheaper foods available.
    • MOTHER 3 continues this tradition. Initially, given the setting, your diet consists of things like nuts, mushrooms, beef jerky, and cheese. Not long into the game, though, come bags of pork chips, lootable from defeated Pigmask soldiers, marking the beginning of the end of the simple life that defines Tazmily Village up until then with the first processed foods since the end of the old world.
  • Sailor Moon: Another Story features things like crepes, berries, pork chops, cake, onigiri, juices, and bentou as recovery items.
  • In Miitopia, you can feast on all kinds of meats, toast, beverages, sweets, and so on, in order to gain stat boosts. The game also has HP Bananas and MP Candies, which restore HP and MP, respectively.
  • All kinds of foods in The World Ends with You have different effects on each character in terms of stat boosts and sync rate effects. They also come in different sizes, measured in Bytes, and their effects on each character will depend on how well they enjoy them. Full list here.
  • Superhero League of Hoboken divides stat-boosting food items into beef, fish, and vegetables. But like the rest of the game's inventory, every food item is unique, meaning you'll pick up fish tempura, fish knish, fish scallopini, vegetable fondue, a vegetable burger, and so on.
  • Adventure Bar Story is all about delving into dungeons to acquire "mats" (ingredients) to prepare food with. Eating said food gives temporary stat boosts and experience points (in fact, this is the only way to earn experience), but the main character also has a restaurant, so you need to choose between selling your food for money or eating it for experience points.
  • Final Fantasy XV joins Tales with beautifully rendered foods you can cook and enjoy, and there's even a sidequest which is a massive Product Placement for Nissin Cup Noodles.
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona: While Persona 2 has enough food items to encompass this trope, Persona 3 is where the series as a whole truly begins to embrace it (except for Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth). As one would expect, food is used to restore HP, SP, and status, but a lot of food items can only be eaten outside of battle. Here are the main lists for:
  • The Grandia series makes some use of food in general, but usually not enough to qualify for this trope. To clarify...  Grandia Xtreme actually runs with this trope, giving you mushrooms, caterpillar soup, bananas, honey syrup, iced strawberries, and more!
    • In second by half is the original Grandia, with a more modest variety of different fruitslist: , meatslist: , and sweetslist: .
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: The 7th Stand User, being an RPG Maker fangame adaptation of Stardust Crusaders, has you travelling with Jotaro and his friends to several countries all over Asia in a journey towards Egypt, and you can sample various items from the local cuisine along the way to heal while Level Grinding. Destinations include Hong Kong, Singapore, and India, each with several food stalls offering a wide variety of choices such as mapo tofu, twice-cooked pork, laksa, satay, pepper crab, mutton curry, and samosa.
  • As a Spiritual Adaptation to Earthbound, Undertale has a plethora of different foods you can eat, all of which have Punny Names and descriptions. Without spoiling anything, see for yourself!
  • Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom allows the player to recruit Floyd to Evermore and run the restaurant there, with you letting him cook food by giving him ingredients found all over the world. There are over 50 different recipes to cook up, ranging from breads to pastas and desserts, some of which can be found by gaining cookbooks through quests. The foods themselves serve a practical purpose as much like in Breath of the Wild or the Tales Series, they can provide temporary stat boosts to whoever eats it.
  • Each game in the Disgaea franchise gives you access to more and more different foodstuffs as you progress through them. These range from normal things like gum, soda, and sardines, to "witch-like" things such as bat soup, rooster blood, frog sweat, caterpillar eggs, fried newts, and snake kidneys. (The latter should be expected of the different races of demons.)

    Simulation 
  • As the spiritual predecessor to Miitopia, Tomodachi Life features a wide, WIDE variety of different foods in four different categories:
    • Entrees, such as pork cutlets, pasta pesto, and roast beef.
    • Side dishes, such as tacos, meat-and-potato stew, eggplants, baked potatoes, and avocados.
    • Snacks and sweets, such as cookies, oranges, cinnamon rolls, lollipops, candy corns, candy apples, brownies, cotton candy, and pastries.
    • Beverages, such as eggnog, root beer floats, lemonade, cappuccinos, apple cider, and orange juice.
  • Neopets is just ZANY with this trope, even though a lot of its offerings are rather gross. Here's a "taste" of what it has to offer!
  • Cooking is a fundamental aspect in many Harvest Moon games, in which you can whip up various meals, soups, salads, desserts, and what-have-you.
  • Stardew Valley has a wide variety of foods, as basically all your crops are edible. Food available ranges from types of fruit, vegetables, mushrooms, flowers, fish and animal products. There are also a variety of processed goods, like beverages, mayonese, cheese, as well as a range of cooked goods.
  • Dwarf Fortress features fruits, roots, meat, milk and cheese, among others, which can be consumed either raw or cooked. Like all crafted goods, they have a quality ranking, which in this cases affected the happiness gained (or lost) by whoever eats them.
  • Food is an integral element of The Sims, affecting various game mechanics such as hunger and fitness. There are enough different foods to be classified as cooked meals, instant meals, snacks, raw ingredients, and so on, as well as by the actual meal they can be prepared for.
  • Order Up! is a cooking simulator, so a wide variety of food to serve your customers is a given. The game has you work at several different restaurants, and among other things, the gameplay involves unlocking different recipes as you go along.
  • Cooking Mama is also Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Its wiki has each game's recipe list all on one page.

    Third Person Shooter 
  • In Kid Icarus: Uprising, Pitt regenerates most of his health from all manner of food, including apples, grapes, melons, hamburgers, ice-cream, donuts, cakes, bars of chocolate, meat, sushi, and the Drink of the Gods.

    Top-Down Action 
  • Bomberman 64: The Second Attack! features different meats, fruits, vegetables, and sweets to feed Pommy, who will evolve in such a way as to correspond to what he's had.
  • In 2007, Namco-Bandai released a championship edition of Pac-Man, with different mazes to purchase and prizes to win. The bonus roster was also greatly expanded to include not only fruits, but golden fruits, pastries, vegetables, meats, candies, drinks, ice creams, and even plenty of different non-food items. All on display here.

    Wide Open Sandbox 
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as its title implies, emphasizes learning how to live in the wilderness, which includes making use of whatever you can hunt or forage for to eat or cook with. All kinds of fruits, nuts, fish, and meats can be frozen, roasted, or combined into full-fledged dishes.
  • Minecraft, along with having a hunger bar to determine when you should eat and when you can't, features a wide plethora of food with which to keep it full, such as apples, carrots, steaks, cakes, pies, etc.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas has restaurants and street vendors in which CJ can buy food to replenish his health bar. These range from fast food joints to diners to fine dining, and each restaurant has its own menu to choose from.
  • The Yakuza games have a selection of restaurants and bars serving a variety of food and drinks including ramen, sushi, pasta, takoyaki, burgers, coffee and alcoholic drinks, plus convenience stores stocked with inventory items like onigiri and sandwiches. As you sit down to eat, your character will comment on the food, and there's even an in-game checklist keeping track of what you've eaten and completion points gotten from eating everything at a restaurant.
  • In Final Fight Streetwise, there are sevenlist:  different food items (and a few medical items) that can restore health, and the story mode has five morelist  that boost Kyle's Instinct (for counterattacks and higher attack power).

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