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Wizard Needs Food Badly

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"It's like you have a gigantic bag of potato chips on your back, and are constantly munching on them, and when the bag is empty you instantly die!"

This is the practice of using a food resource as a time limit. It is sometimes implemented as a hard time limit, with running out of "time" meaning death, or other times it simply conveys various disadvantages, such as weakening stats or an increased chance of death. If you're lucky, actual consumption of food will be abstracted away. At other times, you'll need to explicitly eat the food. Being able to die from overeating isn't unheard of.


Depending on who you ask (and on how the game uses it), this is either an enjoyable source of tension — a gentle prompt to keep a player moving through the game — or something that’s frustrating and distracting, in which case it may be considered Misaimed "Realism". May involve Surprisingly Realistic Outcome In-Universe.

Trope named after the way the game Gauntlet tells the player that they're about to starve to death if they're playing a wizard (or elf, or valkyrie, or warrior).

On a societal scale, violating this rule causes The Famine.

Often related to Timed Mission, but takes place over the entire game. The inversion of Easy Logistics. Sometimes used in Roguelikes to prevent grinding by making you keep going forward. For instances when food heals the character rather than purely stave off hunger, see Hyperactive Metabolism. See also Squishy Wizard and Cast From Hitpoints. Compare Fantastic Diet Requirement.



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    Fan Works 
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack frequently notes how Alex has to eat constantly, and even more after significant use of her powers. She gets a utility belt that's mostly to store energy bars, repeatedly has to replace her mother's special ice cream after eating her way through the freezer, and becomes delirious in Russia after riding a nuclear missile across the world and disassembling it in midair while starving.

  • In the Lone Wolf series, every so often you'll be prompted to "eat a meal or lose 3 ENDURANCE points," which can't be healed until after you've eaten. You can avoid this by having the Hunting skill of your tier.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Knightmare, a Game Show version of a fantasy RPG videogame, used this trope — the adventurer had to put food items into their knapsack periodically or their life-force would run out.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Rarely a problem in the game. Even if you aren't in a friendly town, you probably have a spellcaster who can create food or someone who can hunt or recognize edible plants. If that fails, there are also magic items or even class abilities that either create food or mean you don't have to eat (or drink, or sometimes even sleep or breathe). If you somehow don't have any of those things, starvation (in 3.5 at least) only causes nonlethal damage anyway so it has to deal damage equal to twice your health to kill you.
    • 4th edition has an item anyone with 4 levels, 840 gold, and the Ritual Caster feat can create, producing enough food for five people every day. That is way more expensive than actual food, in a game that has lenient encumbrance limits, so there's little point in ever using it. Also, the rules specify that everybody can go without food for thirty days before they start to feel any adverse effects.
    • Hey, Bards can create not just food but a portable hotel for free!
    • All of this assumes, however, that your DM is the type who keeps track of this sort of thing.
    • In the Dark Sun setting, this happens a lot. Enemies will frequently steal your water and leave you stranded in the desert. They'll come back and eat you after you die of dehydration. This is the reason PCs sometimes fall for the fake oasis monster. In the 2nd Edition of Dark Sun, water-creating spells were specifically banned or nerfed.
    • In Spelljammer, you spend a lot of time traveling in outer space. Well, something resembling the medieval conception thereof, anyway. Spelljammer DMs tend to remember to keep track of this because it's a lot easier to mark off a day's rations from the ship's stores than it is to have all the players mark off a day's rations from their own supplies (frequently, it's more like "it takes you eight days to get there, mark off 8 days' provisions" anyway).
  • GURPS:
    • The "Create Food" spell would allow the caster to convert any non-metallic matter into edible food. Discussions and speculations that continue to this day point out that any character with access to this spell would be able to eat their way out of any dungeon that wasn't built completely of metal or otherwise given specific protection from this spell.
    • 4th Edition dropped the "non-metallic" rule. Which makes Food College Mages into nearly unstoppable tunneling machines.
  • Ars Magica subverts the above: Rather than being able to eat anything this game's variant on the Create Food spell does exactly that. However, most such spells have a limited duration, after which the food vanishes, taking its nourishment with it. While you could make a spell that created food that didn't vanish in this way, it would be too expensive to be worthwhile. Worse, living off magically-created food would cause Warping if done for any extended period of time.
  • The main tension in the Battlestar Galactica (2003) board game, aside from the constant Paranoia Fuel, is that you have rapidly expending resources drained by crises, and if you run out you lose. Also leads to such decisions as "Lose one population or three fuel". Very effectively captures the atmosphere of the show.
  • In Space 1889 your characters had to eat every day. The days passed ridiculously quickly.
  • The indie RPG Holodomor is all about trying to survive the eponymous Ukrainian famine. Almost all game mechanics are tied to how well-fed your character is.
  • The Unofficial Hollow Knight RPG: Food is a fairly major gameplay mechanic, with beneficial traits in the game's Point Build System making your character require more food when you rest and several traits and class features allowing characters to expend Belly for some other benefit.

    Video Games 
  • Appears on most MUDs, and can be particularly annoying. If you're hungry/thirsty, you'll start taking damage and get an annoying little reminder every time you do.
    • On more fantasy-based muds there's usually a plethora of ways of dealing with this thankfully. On the SWR codebase (a SMAUG derivative devoted almost entirely to Star Wars), consider yourself lucky if the mud in question has any option other than dragging around a mountain of food.
    • Food is a necessity in DikuMUD and CircleMUD codebases; the first consequence is usually that the player stops regenerating crucial health and stamina. In LPMUDs, food was used simply for healing, so players would clock-watch their digestion for the opportunity to eat more food. If possible it's best to go into the toughest fights on an empty stomach so you can restore the most HP by binging mid-battle.
  • Master Higgins from the Adventure Island games (well, most of them) had a time limit to get to the end of the stage that could (and most of the time had to be) extended by grabbing the numerous fruits that hung in the air. Milk was a full restore. The necessity to eat every five seconds or else die is fondly dubbed Master Higgins Syndrome (MHS). This was also used in its spiritual predecessor, the first Wonder Boy game.
  • Achaea forces the player to keep an eye on his food and sleep status. If he forgets to eat or sleep for too long, he'll start randomly passing out (and in the case of food, eventually starve to death). This limit is lifted when the character reaches level 80, as they are considered to have transcended mortal needs. Fortunately, sleep is possible anywhere (although time-consuming, and leaving the character open to attack) and food can be kept for at least a Real Life day before it disappears. Mounts and some pets also starve, unless magically enhanced (read: paid for).
  • In the Advance Wars series, units consume fuel (or rations, in the infantry's case) with every step they take. If they run out, they cannot move until a friendly APC or transport unit picks them up. Unless it's a ship or a plane, in which case it falls down or sinks.
  • Aetolia works similarly, but also has the Consanguine who need to consume blood, and the Atabahi and Bahkatu who can eat the dead, including the things they kill.
  • Food is a similar resource in Alpha Man, though it's a little more simplified.
  • Angband players must eat, though the mechanics are simpler than in Nethack, especially with Satisfy Hunger scrolls or spells. It is possible, though unlikely, for the message warning about hunger to appear after "You die."
  • Armageddon (MUD) is set in a desert wasteland where any resource, including food, is scarce. If your character doesn't have a way to make money or gather their own grub, expect them to starve before too long.
  • The ancient ZX Spectrum classic Atic Atac depicted its Life Meter as a cooked chicken, slowly stripping down to bones over time or as you took damage and replenished by eating food. Tim Child, creator of Knightmare, cited the game as a major influence.
  • In the first Avatar game, Sokka will declare that he needs food when he runs low on energy.
  • In the remake, Avernum, the significance of food diminished, then vanished until Avernum 6, where the scarcity of food became a plot point again. To be precise, the Avernum trilogy removed starvation but required food for resting (restoring health and energy). Avernum 4 dispensed with this too, instead turning all food into low-level healing potions (as in Geneforge, which Avernum 4's mechanics were based on in part).
  • Parodied in one of the messages shown during loading screens in Baldur's Gate II, which reminded you that even though your character doesn't need to eat, you still do.
  • Baroque uses an variation. The PC has both a hitpoint gauge and a "vitality" gauge. Hit points can be restored by eating meat, Vitality goes down over time and can be restored by eating fruit. As long as your vitality is above zero, you regenerate hitpoints slowly, but once it reaches zero, you start losing hitpoints.
  • Used as part of the game mechanics of Windham Classics' Below the Root and Swiss Family Robinson in slightly different ways. In BtR, your character needs to rest and eat occasionally. Failing to do so will cause them to collapse and be teleported to their home, losing a day's worth of game time (you had 50 days). The five characters you could play each balanced physical endurance with Psychic Powers; the character with the greatest ESP is a sickly child who needs to eat and rest often; a couple of more robust teens have little or no ESP. In the other one, you had to eat once and drink twice per "season" or perish.
  • Betrayal at Krondor requires you to keep rations on hand for your characters, with one unit consumed every game day (with a working day/night cycle). There's even an area later on where you go to sleep with each step, causing you to need to eat a day's rations. And there's a quest that requires you to starve yourself.
  • The entire premise of the Famicom game Bird Week is that Mommy Bird needs to feed her babies.
  • In The Black Cauldron, your character had to eat regularly to avoid dying, which was bad enough since you were always fighting the clock. What made matters worse was that there was a limited total amount of food in the game, so you effectively had a hard time limit to finish in. Add to this the standard Sierra sadism and the result could be frustrating. Fortunately, there is a "food wallet" under a bridge that had unlimited uses, and your water jug can be refilled indefinitely at any stream.
  • The Bally Midway arcade game Blasted has a variation of this trope. Your character starts without a Life Meter, but the first time you're shot by the killer cyborgs you're sniping, your power supply is damaged, and you acquire a Life Meter that gradually ticks away. Certain actions can refill it, and you don't automatically die when it runs out—but if you're shot again when you don't have enough life to take the hit, it's game over.
  • Two instances in Breath of Fire III. In the faerie village Side Quest, you have to keep the food supply up (by assigning the "hunter" job to faeries) or no new faeries would be born and those you had could die of starvation. The second instance is in the Desert of Death, where you have to drink when prompted to avoid getting a penalty to you max HP.
  • Cataclysm has both hunger and thirst. In the early game, it's easy to stay full by finding canned food, but drinks are harder to find. In the mid-game, the abundant but non-renewable food from buildings will start to run out, forcing you to either invest in hunting, setting up a farm, or migrating to another town to seek more supplies, but it becomes easy to set up a funnel and get unlimited water from rain (make sure to boil it first, or you might get sick). You also need to take taste (eating gross food lowers morale, which makes you lose focus and gain skills slower while eating good food does the opposite) and healthiness (eating healthy food makes you recover faster while sleeping, and lack of vitamins can cause diseases) into account, instead of just eating anything once you get hungry.
  • Cenozoic Survival: You need to manage your hunger bar and thirst bar. If you run out of either, you die.
  • Chocobo's Dungeon (or at least the Wii installment) has a food meter that you mainly refill by eating Gysahl Greens. Different jobs get hungrier at different rates; run out and you lose HP with every action. At least one dungeon has a special rule in which you're always at 0% food, so you must constantly recover your waning HP to survive. And like all special rule dungeons, you can't bring in any outside equipment, so be sure to say a prayer to the Random Number God first. Or level up your White Mage job.
  • The NES game Chubby Cherub, a localized version of a game based on the anime series Little Ghost Q-Taro. The only objective in the game is to eat everything in sight. And yes, eating keeps the cherub alive.
  • Food availability limits city growth in Civilization. The AI will often pillage your farms, trying to cause depopulation and civil unrest through starvation. In earlier games, lack of food could even result in military units spontaneously disbanding! (Now they are supplied entirely with money.)
  • In the Cossacks series, units drain food at a steady rate and if you run out, they die of starvation.
  • Even older is Epyx's Crush, Crumble, and Chomp!, a turn-based strategy game that has the player play a Kaiju out to destroy a city. The player must regularly eat people to sustain his monstrous self. Failure to do so would result in the monster going mad with hunger; this was simulated by having the game make a bee-line to the nearest tasty human, crushing any buildings in the way, and entering commands much faster than you could normally. Which was fine, except when there was a nuclear power plant in the way, which would result in your monster trying to stomp it and getting destroyed. Or simply going for the one on-screen where it would be more tactically wise to switch screens, as the longer you stay on one screen, the more heavy artillery shows up.
  • Dark Cloud does this as well, with the player having a thirst meter in the form of water drops near your health gauge. As you wander dungeons, the drops will slowly vanish, and should it reach naught, your health will start to drop, and your stats will all decrease. You can rehydrate your characters by finding small springs in the dungeons or by drinking bottled water from your inventory.
  • Dark Chronicle: "Thirst" is simply a status effect that prevents the player from eating (presumably from dry-mouth) until a bottle of water is consumed.
  • In Darkest Dungeon, food is a vital asset to have and secure during expeditions, because hunger will reduce health and increase stress. Randomly the game will decide that your party has gotten hungry (popularly known as a "food prompt" or "hunger tile"), and when camping, you have a choice of how much to eat, ranging from nothing (significant damage and stress) to double servings for everyone (which heals by a lot and also reduces stress), with half (no loss, no gain) and normal (same healing as a hunger tile) in-between. You can also use portions on a hero to recover a minor amount of health per serving, but the hero can only eat four servings until after the next fight.
  • Dead Frontier has it. You gain twice much XP when being completely nourished, but you lose life when you're starving. And the higher your level is, the rarer (or pricey) the food is. Newbies can live on beer, potato chips, and candies, but top-level players eat only caviar, red wine, and fresh meat, and once your level goes above the food's level, said food will provide very little nutrition to your hunger bar.
  • Dead In Vinland, like Lost in Blue above, is about surviving shipwrecked on an island, so making sure your party doesn't starve is a central part of the game. Complicating this, some foods can cause damage to (or more rarely heal) other states like Fatigue, Sickness, or Depression, or have a chance of causing one of the game's impressively huge and varied array of Status Effects - either buffs like "Healthy Meal" or "Tasty Meal," or debuffs like "Nausea," "Diarrhea," or "Tapeworm" (yes, really). It doesn't help that the Big Bad demands a hefty tribute every week, which is often food and becomes larger and more difficult to fulfill the longer you stay on the island.
  • Infinity mode in Dead Rising. Every 100 seconds of gameplay reduces Frank's health by one square (in addition to damage taken from enemies), the grocery store and its unlimited food is shuttered, and food scattered throughout the store doesn't respawn. It's necessary in that game because Infinity Mode is timed with an online leaderboard. Without a timer, there would still be fools with their XBoxes humming away and Frank West just sitting on an awning that the Zombies can't reach.
  • In survival mode in Dino System, the player has to eat and drink regularly to not only to continue living but to keep up strength and put on fat reserves for times when foods scarce.
  • Disaster Report has a thirst meter to worry about which drains faster as you perform strenuous actions. Finding clean water sources was very important, and you had to stock up on bottles to carry more with you.
  • One of the main objectives of Don't Starve is to, well, not starve. This is represented in-game with a hunger meter. Unlike other examples, however, you don't die immediately when your hunger meter reaches 0. Instead, your character constantly takes damage until they die or find a source of food. Ironically, starving is probably one of the least likely ways to die considering there are plenty of food sources all around.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • Dragon Quest Monsters: Caravan Hearts is practically based around this. It was only released in Japan, but there is a good fan translation going around, somewhere. Every step you take in the game's overworld consumes some food, you start to lose precious Hit Points if you run out of food, and the first major "quest" you embark on even involves feeding a ghost-woman-thing some of the food ingredients you find. It's actually easier to just drag your caravan/camp, walk a few steps, and starve to death, and drag your base camp again though, since if you die they refill your food. Oh, and the more people and monsters you have with you, the more food you consume. This becomes a tedious process.
    • Dragon Quest Builders has a hunger meter similar to the one found in Minecraft, and the Builder will slowly lose health if it is empty. However, the meter doesn't actually show up or begin to drain until Pippa points out that they should be hungry. Given the fact that the Builder is dead, their hunger might actually be psychosomatic. They are also capable of constructing buildings that prevent the meter from depleting while in their town. The sequel also has a hunger meter, but it no longer drains health if empty. Instead, the Builder will have to stop and catch their breath every time they perform any action more complex than walking.
  • Linley's Dungeon Crawl and its more recent Stone Soup version twists the hunger clock a bit. Most species aren't able to eat all types of food, some are vegetarian and some prefer tainted meat over fresh. Especially interesting is the race of Vampires - their "hunger" (actually thirst of blood) determines their status between life and unlife - being devoid of blood will grant the vampire sweet undead abilities and resistances, but won't be able to regenerate. Conversely, vampires that drink enough blood regenerate normally but are subject to poisons of the mortals and unable to use their undead powers.
  • Dungeon Master had both food and water meters for each party member. Fortunately there are plentiful fountains and food can be restocked by killing certain respawning monsters.
  • Dwarf Fortress:
    • Making sure that your dwarves keep well-fed is vital to keeping them alive. Making sure that they have sufficient alcohol is vital to keeping them productive and non-homicidal. Yup, a dwarf forced to drink water will work more and more slowly and his happiness will decrease, making him more likely to snap and start murdering his neighbors or commit suicide. The later versions have made it harder to starve during your first winter, but it's still something that must be planned against.
    • Sometimes more insidious, all of the dwarves have food preferences and keep track of what they've eaten lately, and get unhappier if served the same food and drink constantly.
    • Wandering adventurers will need food, drink, and sleep too. Interestingly averted with necromancers, the actual wizards in unmodded games, who are The Needless.
  • In Dynasty Warriors Vol.2 for PSP your army's food supply in measured in seconds. By capturing enemy's supply depot you're gaining another 5 minutes to play, losing supplies decrease your time. Out of timesupply is one of the lose conditions.
  • Used to special effect in Interactive Fiction game Edifice. One level requires the PC (an early human just learning how to use tools) to use a weapon, kill an animal, and cook its meat before dying from starvation.
  • Ehrgeiz has a dungeon-crawling quest mode that has a similar mechanic. Below your health bar is a "hunger" bar that depletes constantly and is refilled by eating food that you find in the dungeon. When that bar goes down all the way, you'll start hemorrhaging health as your character starves to death.
  • Though The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim doesn't include the need to eat food, several popular Game Mods add the need to eat and/or drink to the game, including the official Creation Club mod Survival Mode. Many of these mods add bonuses if you keep your character sated and apply debuffs if you fail to feed yourself, including potentially starving to death.
  • Elona is just plain mean with this, as cursed food will cause your character to vomit, causing them to most likely contract anorexia and die even faster if they test their luck with unidentified foods.
  • Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City uses food to dictate the maximum number of turns that your party can spend on a sea voyage since one turn represents several hours of in-game time. Once your turn counter hits 0 (presumably the halfway point of your provision consumption), you will automatically head back to port.
  • EverQuest uses food mechanics, allowing players to make or buy stat foods for boosts, but using a consumption mechanic that causes them to eat foods regularly (consuming their stat-boosting food unless they force-feed other foods to prevent eating the stat boosters). If players don't have any food for long enough, they get hungry and lose the ability to regenerate health and mana.
  • Spiderweb Software's Exile went like this: Start game, create characters, enter world, completely ignore the first NPC (who would've said where to get free food), wander around town, find directions to next town, head out the gate, walk fifteen steps, keel over. Reload game and repeat. A lot.
  • Eye of the Beholder series of RPG games had this issue. Luckily, being a Dungeons & Dragons game, it also gives you a handy solution in the form of "Create Food and Water" spell if you have a cleric in your party.
  • Fallout:
    • A variation: while the remaining time limit is a water supply, and passing 150 days (or 250 days if you buy water for them) gives you a game over, it is for the player's home, rather than the player himself.
    • As well, the player character will randomly take (minor) damage from thirst if he doesn't have a decent outdoorsmanship skill. This can be avoided by the too-obvious solution of carrying a canteen. (Fallout 2 even gives you one to start but under a different pretext...)
    • Fallout: New Vegas has an optional mode, dubbed hardcore mode, that plays this trope straight, as the player character has to eat, drink and sleep, or suffer progressively worse penalties, eventually leading to death. Amusingly, this allows you to kill your character by eating a chili pepper whilst sufficiently thirsty.
    • Fallout 4 brings back hunger, thirst, and fatigue in the Version 1.5 Survival Mode. In addition, medicines such as Stimpaks have the side effect of increasing one or more of these, and contracting Parasites causes you to require twice as much food to stave off hunger.
  • Implied in Galactic Civilizations II where the game won't let any of your ships pass the maximum range of their life support system. If one does go beyond the redline, the crew goes into cryo and the ship is set on autopilot to your nearest planet.
  • Garfield's Fun Fest: In play on every level except the rhythm stages. Garfield will steadily lose energy and you must get food to replenish it. If he runs out of food, he falls asleep, and you then take control of Odie, and must find an alarm clock in order to wake him up.
  • The aforementioned Gauntlet abstracts its food away into a clock that gradually counts down. Said food counter doubled as a health meter, meaning it doubled as a Hyperactive Metabolism. The health timer was removed in the console ports of Gauntlet Legends and Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, but the quote remained, presumably for nostalgia value. Here it just announces at "X needs food" when said character is low on HP, and "X needs food badly" when critically low.
  • While Giants: Citizen Kabuto didn't use food as a time limit, it is a resource for your builders, and they will refuse to use work without being fed.
  • Present in two ways in Golden Krone Hotel. As a human, you will eventually starve to death unless you use food potions, as is common in the roguelike genre. As a vampire, your health slowly decreases and can only be restored by drinking blood, found either by attacking certain enemies or picking up a bottle of it.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas ties CJ's life meter to his food intake, and so eating restores health as well as satisfy his hunger. If you go without eating for a long time, CJ's fat and muscle stats begin to deplete in this order, and if both are at 0, his Hit Points drain. Luckily, you have to go a very long time without food before the game starts to remind you that you need to eat and you have to starve CJ on purpose for him to die from lack of food. Eating too much (except salads) makes CJ gain weight while eating too much in one sitting results in his meal coming back to haunt him. Saving the game restores all health and hunger, implying that CJ eats in the safehouse.
  • The mental health meter in Growing Up functions similarly to the hunger meter. It goes down every time you work or practice a skill, and if it drops below 20, you'll be overworked. You won't be able to learn new skills and two of your schedule slots will be removed. Your mental health can be replenished by eating in restaurants, passing exams, going on vacation for the rest of your turn, or entertaining yourself but at the cost of lowering your parents' satisfaction. Keeping your mental health above 70 will make you relaxed, opening an additional schedule slot unless you have the maximum of eight.
  • Hamurabi: If your subjects don't get enough food, they will starve and die.
  • Hans Kloss: Kloss may be the only secret agent who is in danger of dying if he doesn't eat and drink every 160 seconds. Thankfully, there happen to be mutton legs and coffee cups scattered around the enemy base. The hunger and thirst counters also double as health meters, as they are depleted if Kloss comes in contact with the tracked mines driving around.
  • Harvest Moon:
    • The Gamecube version, and probably the other games as well — required that you eat or else your character will stop moving at regular intervals to pant and recover. This is extremely troublesome to newbies starting out, for whom it's not clear where to get food from easily. Luckily, any Harvest Moon game is full of lots of tasty free herbs growing in the forest behind your farm, and they all respawn daily or every other day (and can be kept in your 'fridge, or even your rucksack, for fifty years without spoiling). The other versions (besides the Wonderful Life version mentioned above) only have you eating food to refill your stamina meter, which is depleted by using tools (so that a day of just running around talking to people won't leave you hungry, but a day of mining will).
    • In Harvest Moon: Island of Happiness, the fatigue bar has been replaced with a "fullness" bar that depletes with time and seems to do so faster during particularly hot or rainy days. You will HAVE to eat (or use the kappa earrings) to keep it filled; if the hunger bar goes to zero, you WILL pass out even though you may have full stamina. Even if you don't let it run down, when the fullness bar starts slipping below half, you'll start waking up later and later in the morning, until about 20%, when you wake up at noon! Also, the "freshness" meter on food and flower items makes sure you can't keep them forever (unless you have a gold/mythic fridge); spoiled food fills you up less.
  • In Haven (2020), protagonists Kay and Yu have a shared hunger meter. Going for too long without letting them eat causes them to start complaining about being hungry and has adverse effects on combat: commands will take longer to charge up, and the timing window for Duo attacks becomes smaller.
  • Averted by 8-bit adventure game The Hobbit; Elrond gives lunch to you (Bilbo), but you don't need to eat it (or anything else). You can choose to do so, in which case Elrond will in time give you another. Eat too many of them, however, and you get the message "Your foul gluttony has killed you"...
  • In I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, you need to keep the colony's food supply well-stocked or else you'll end up starving, which decreases all physical skill increases by 1, and as of the October 6, 2022 update, cake will also no longer be in stock at the Supply Depot.
  • The browser-based game Improbable Island encourages you to eat by giving you Stamina rewards for meals and a great Stamina penalty if you allow yourself to starve. Starvation can't kill you, though, and the penalty for being too fat seems to outweigh the penalty for being underfed.
  • Several Infocom text adventures (notably Enchanter and Planetfall) require you to eat regularly, or else die of starvation. Players found this so annoying, that very early in the sequel to Enchanter you obtain a magical potion that enables you to go without food and water indefinitely. (Spellbreaker dispenses with the starvation mechanics entirely.) This was especially annoying in Planetfall, which had both a "you need to eat" timer and a "you need to sleep" timer. And part of the plot involved a disease with the symptoms being increased need for food and sleep, making the timers run even swifter. At least in Planetfall the food will keep you going throughout the game. In the sequel, Stationfall, only a few pieces of food are available and careful rationing is required.
  • Into the Radius player needs to regulary eat, or their stamina meter gets shortened and their stomach will begin to grumble, alerting nearby enemies of players location.
  • In Jagged Alliance Back in Action, mercenaries should carry some food and drink with them to avoid having to rest and waste precious time. Cereal Bars are a good source of energy-boosting goodness among all things.
  • The first Joe & Mac game had an Adventure Island-style health system where your health will tick down regardless of taking damage or not, forcing you to eat meat and fruits dropped by enemies. The later games trade that in for a more traditional Hyperactive Metabolism system.
  • Kingdom of Loathing:
    • Parodied with "the wettest water you've ever encountered" which makes you "Ultrahydrated" to adventure in The Arid, Extra-Dry Desert.
    • Also averted therein with a general consumable system which doesn't penalize the player for long periods without food or booze; in fact, the game rather generously rewards Self Imposed Challenges of the sort.
    • Also also, a Shout-Out to the trope title occurs when braving the Gauntlet Gauntlet.
    • If you're doing an Oxygenarian run, you may have an encounter in the pirate tavern where the tavern keeper raises the question of how you are even able to survive without eating or drinking. The player character responds that it's a matter of abusing loopholes by consuming stuff that can't be classified as food or booze.
  • Knights and Merchants requires you to provide every citizen with food. Interestingly, civilians care about what they eat and warriors do not - a barrel of wine is as nutritious for them as a bunch of pork sausages.
  • Kabam games like Dragons of Atlantis and Kingdoms of Camelot require you to keep enough food to feed your troops or they'll desert.
  • Running out of food meant instant death in Legacy of the Ancients. There was no excuse for it, as food was ridiculously cheap, many monsters could be added to your food supply (at the risk of illness), and the player could carry 1000 units at a time.
  • Legend of Kay features a variant in the racing minigames. The animal you are riding needs to pick up a treat every three seconds or so, or it will throw you off.
  • The Long Dark keeps track of your hunger, calories, and even thirst. Once any of it reaches 0, your condition (i.e. health bar) starts to go down. You consume more calories if you move around than if you are standing still. Even more if you are running or carrying heavy load.
  • Lost in Blue is a game about being stranded on a desert island. Unsurprisingly, food is spare. More annoyingly, the food meter drains ridiculously swift and fills ridiculously slowly—a massive plate of fish and potatoes will give you maybe 10% fullness—unless you cook or taw them together into a clever recipe, which takes some out-game learning to grasp. Oh, and if your stomach is bare you can't rest. If your thirst meter is bare you can't eat. If your fatigue meter is bare you walk at a crawl. If they're all bare you start to die.
  • Food is an important factor in The Magic Candle. Each party member consumes one "unit" of food per day from his inventory (characters have separate inventories in this game). A character whose supply drops below 5 is "hungry" and must be told to eat, or else he can't sleep. A character with no food at all is "starving" and incapable of taking any action until he eats. (It's safe to keep starving indefinitely, though, as you can't die outside of combat.) You can refill food by buying it or hunting for it, but it's easy to forget.
  • Magician, an NES game by Eurocom(Taxan), integrated both hunger and thirst into protagonist Paul's status; keeping both up was necessary in order to recharge Hit Points and Mana, and the game only contained two sources of free (safe) limitless water; all food had to be found or purchased. Not only that but if your food and water percentage drop to naught you begin losing health. A GameFAQs writer notes that it takes 4 minutes, 15 seconds to go from a full stomach to dying of starvation.
  • In Magicite, the player has a food meter and must eating, to keep it high. If the meter is zero, the player will slowly lose HP.
  • Metal Gear Solid:
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is the only game in the series that had the consumption of food as a major gameplay factor. If the player did not eat, his stamina meter would slowly deplete which would cause all sorts of negative effects such as reduced health regeneration.
    • The fourth game introduced the Psyche meter, which performed largely the same function, albeit by much more arbitrary parameters. Eating food did recover it, among other options.
  • Might and Magic features food as a supply consumed by your characters over time. It's easy to replenish by buying from an inn, harvesting trees, casting a spell, etc. Lack of food will gradually damage the health of characters and in some cases kill them. The later games modified it so that lack of food did not directly damage you... but you couldn't sleep without food (except in inns, where the presumption was that part of the price for sleeping is food like you can buy directly from them), and going without sleep for too long meant your characters became first tired and then insane. You also can't cross any of the map transitions expressed in days of travels without food, which while not strictly dangerous makes it darn hard to complete the games.
  • Minecraft has a food meter that gradually drains over time. If your food meter is at least 90% full, you regenerate health. If it drops to 30%, you can no longer run. If it reaches 0%, your health meter starts draining instead, to a different extent depending on how high you've set the difficulty. On easy, your maximum health is effectively cut in half. On normal, you become a One-Hit-Point Wonder. On hard, you'll eventually starve to death. Fortunately, several kinds of animals are reliable sources of food, and it's easy to passively stockpile a large supply once you learn how to grow edible mushrooms, wheat, or watermelons. You can also go fishing, which is considerably faster if you give it your full attention. In an emergency, you can even eat zombie flesh to fill a fifth of your food meter, although it has an 80% chance of causing food poisoning, which drains a fifth of your food meter over thirty seconds. Switching to Peaceful stops the hunger meter from draining but you still need food to refill it if it wasn't full before.

    Unlike a lot of games where you get hungrier at a constant rate, Minecraft actually uses a more complicated system based on your activity level. You become a little hungrier every time you receive damage, break a block, or move around. A running jump is equivalent to two regular jumps, or running four meters, or walking forty meters, or sneaking forty-five meters, or breaking sixteen blocks. Combat demands the most energy; if you swing your sword around like an idiot, you may end up succumbing to hunger instead of monsters. Eating food also restores hunger by varying amounts. Small food like cookies and apples only sates your hunger by a meager amount while larger foods like cooked steak gets you fuller a lot quicker. Each piece of food also has different saturation amounts, meaning some foods can keep you full longer before you start to go hungry again while foods with low saturation will only keep the hunger pangs back for a minute before you start starving again. As of version 1.6.1, your hunger meter goes down rapidly when you regenerate health.
  • Origin continued Ultima's tradition of needing food, in the game Moebius. Your character takes damage when he runs out of food. Unfortunately, in the world setting of the game, starvation has become rampant due to the machinations of the villainous Warlord. There is no money, so your only sources of food are finding it in chests, given aid by helpful villagers, defeating enemies for their loot and if you are really desperate and don't mind the hit to your karma, you can loot the corpses of those executed by the Warlord's minions.
  • In the Monster Hunter series, your stamina bar grows smaller over time unless you feed. You can also make it grow beyond the regular size by eating. Some armour skills affect the rate at which it changes, to the point you can get rid of the need to eat altogether.
  • In Mount & Blade, no food = periodic morale penalty = troops desertion. Having a variety of food, on the other hand, gives a morale bonus.
  • One of the persistent mechanics of the Mystery Dungeon series, referred to as the Belly/Fullness/Hunger stat. Belly can be staved off temporarily by eating provisions you've gathered, but otherwise, the clock will keep ticking down as your character's hunger develops (and they make sure to let you know that). Especially annoying in dungeons that you're not allowed to bring outside items into, as you're essentially at the mercy of the random item appearances. All characters (except Shiny Pokémon in the games that have them, which start with double the base Belly) also have the same base Belly level whenever starting in a dungeon, so a fist-sized Apple will fill the tiniest Weedle as much subsistence as it will feed a frikkin' Wailord.
  • Mystic Towers had food and drink meters which decreased over time, eventually causing you to lose health if they weren't replenished. Most levels had water fountains that never ran out, but you had to find or buy food.
  • Nebs 'n Debs: In the bottom right corner of the screen is a crystal counter that constantly ticks down. If it reaches zero, Nebs 'n Debs lose a life. Collect crystals to bring the number back up.
  • The somewhat obscure RTS Nemesis of the Roman Empire has a food mechanic for your armies. Every soldier can carry 20 food (except for War Elephants, who can carry 100) and it decays over time. If the food ran out, your army would begin to starve, which would drain their health. As you can imagine, it was important to keep supply chains up to keep your armies fed, as a starving army would fall victim to even basic soldiers. An interesting part of this mechanic is that one could capture the villages that produced the food in order to disrupt the supply chain and starve out a stronghold, performing a literal siege.
  • NetHack has an explicit Shout-Out; a character playing a wizard (or elf or valkyrie) receives the Gauntlet message when in need of food. NetHack lets the player #pray for food when fainting from hunger. It might work, if the player's god isn't angry with him, and the player hasn't prayed recently.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 has an interesting take on this: it's not food you need to eat, but souls.
  • In the old platform game Olly & Lisa III: The Candlelight Adventure, you had a constantly-burning-down candle that you had to find (limited) replacements for. Either win the game (by finding all the parts of your car and then assembling them in the garage) or run out of candle and it's game over.
  • Omega Labyrinth Life features a hunger meter when using the students to explore the dungeons. You need to keep it above 0% to avoid starvation and constantly draining HP, and unless you pack a lot of bread and prepared lunches, you'll need to keep moving through the floors or hope you run into some food while you're there.
  • The Oregon Trail uses the abstracted away sort, and allows you to restock food either by trading for it from others or via a hunting minigame. Oregon Trail II requires not only food but a balanced diet. You would be warned if you were running out of fruit, vegetables, or meat. Having no fruit or veggies generally resulted in scurvy for all. Going too long without meat results in beriberi. Going through a "No Water" area without canteens or water kegs generally resulted in Total Party Kill by dehydration.
  • Likewise in Pathologic you must eat and sleep regularly. Exacerbated by the fact that the game takes place in a plague-stricken town, and the food is ungodly expensive.
  • In Pawapoke Dash's Hell Dungeon scenario, the protagonist has a fullness stat. The starting default value is 170 and letting it past a range of 30 results in small penalties. Getting it over the cap of 235 severely drops stats, limits attacks to once per turn, and disables the appearance of skills from eating Cartoon Meat items. If it reaches zero it activates the same stat penalties, slows the music down and lowers HP with every turn.
  • A variant in Phoning Home exists. ION is a robot, and as such, it needs to make sure it has enough fuel to continue functioning. Fuel can be made from Mytox and seeds.
  • In Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time, you must continually give Plant Food to the Puff-Shroom on a minutely basis in order to keep them from timing out and dissipating.
  • Project Zomboid: Food increases strength and decreases healing time. Go without, and well, the aforementioned reasons are reversed. Starve yourself, and you start losing health.
  • The mechanic was used again, both in the Quest for Glory series, and in King's Quest V. The mechanic appears in King's Quest III, too. Manannan, to whom you are enslaved, periodically demands food. If you don't feed him within 3 game-minutes, you are killed. There are only four things in the game you can feed to him; if you feed him the fourth without special preparation, the game becomes Unwinnable by Design as you will be killed the next time he demands food.
  • In Ravensword: Shadowlands, your character needs to regularly eat. Eating occurs automatically at regular intervals if there's any food in their inventory. Running out of food negatively impacts the speed at which your character's health regenerates.
  • While food was not strictly necessary in Realmz, having "Iron Rations" in any party member's inventory gave a bonus to health regained while resting, consuming them in the process.
  • Commodore 64 game Rags to Riches has hunger and sleep meters. Run out of food or energy and it's game over. (A particularly annoying mechanic if you get thrown in jail for vagrancy while starting out as a bum.)
  • Red Dead Redemption II has its own take on hunger meters in the form of cores, of which you have three: health, stamina, and Dead Eye. As long as a core is not empty, your health, stamina, and Dead Eye meters will replenish over time by drawing on their respective core. The health core constantly drains at a slow rate regardless of whether you are taking damage but can be replenished by eating food.
  • The eponymous worker units in Rock Raiders have quartered sandwiches above their head that indicate how hungry they are. The more the sandwich depletes, the more often they will have to put down whatever they're carrying to pant for a few seconds. Earlier on in levels, Raiders have to be fed manually via the select menu, but once a Support Station is constructed, they will return there automatically if they aren't carrying or driving anything and feed themselves once they get down to a quarter of a sandwich.

    Unfortunately, getting food overrides any other commands they have been given, meaning that getting a Rock Raider any further than his hunger meter will allow requires you to follow his progress manually, stop him and feed him when he becomes hungry, and reassign his goal until he reaches it. One solution is to put the unit in a vehicle, where hunger won't bother him. In addition, depletion of a Rock Raider's health lowers his maximum food capacity. Thus, any units with below 25% health become essentially useless, constantly stopping to catch their breath and returning to the base for food, and usually must either be placed in a vehicle or euthanized teleported out.
  • While Rogue had the explicit requirement of collecting and eating food to prevent starving to death, NetHack took it to the next level by allowing you to die from overeating, including some corpses which give food poisoning, food that rots away, and a weight restriction for an inventory which can only carry fifty-two items total. Surprisingly, it's rare for a non-new player to die from starvation, as the game difficulty is high enough that most characters for new players will die quite quickly from something else.
  • RuneScape:
    • Used in the Kharidian Desert. Traveling on foot requires you to carry a (filled) waterskin and occasionally top it off with water from cacti. Running out of water causes you to start dying of thirst.
    • Similarly done in the Mort Myre swamp area, though not as severely: If you don't have the proper protection from the swamp's decaying effect, you'll occasionally lose a handful of Hitpoints. Ghasts (ghosts of humans dying of starvation in the swamp) of the swamp will also swipe at you and try to steal more Hitpoints out of you unless you have another protective item or food that would become rotten and useless. Thankfully, the damage done by these is a good deal less than that of dying of thirst in the desert, so you can ignore it if you're not staying in the area long.
  • Played with in Savoir-Faire. The PC gets hungry, though he can't die from it (going hungry for a long while causes him to start hallucinating, though), but he is required to prepare a meal (a rather ludicrously elaborate one, at that) in order to progress in the game.
  • 7 Days to Die lives on this as one of its core mechanics. Food recovers your hunger bar and slightly heals you. Water recovers your hydration bar, as well as recovering a huge chunk of your stamina gauge. In alphas before 14 or so, an empty hunger or thirst bar meant taking Damage Over Time; with the implementation of the wellness system, going hungry or thirsty for too long will make your max health and stamina drop like a sprayed bug.
  • Shadowgate in its many itinerations used light rather than food as a limited resource. You start the game with a burning torch and have to replace it regularly by gathering unlit torches from wall sconces and light a new one every time the one in your hand is about to burn out. And because your idiot character didn't have the foresight to bring a tinderbox or something, the only way to light a torch is using the active one, and if that one burns out, it's back to the last save point. So about every five minutes you have to open your inventory, find a torch (and they all look different too), select it, use it with the one in your hand, and put it in your hand after discarding the old one. And you thought having to click the Eat button was annoying? The NES version, at least, puts all torches in a single inventory slot.
  • Sheep in Space requires you to graze periodically in order to avoid starving to death. You can die from overeating, and grazing is the only way to recover shields. Land on anything other than grass, however, and it's instant death. Makes for a surprisingly interesting resource management puzzle for a Shmup.
  • In Shepherd's Crossing 2, you have stocks of two kinds of food ("Main Dishes" of grains and "Side Dishes" of everything else) and firewood you need to maintain. If any of your stockpiles drop to 0 and the day advances, it's Game Over.
  • Shinobi (2002) has a similar mechanic. Your character's sword is cursed, and constantly craves souls: this is represented by what's basically a constantly draining hunger meter. Kill enemies, and the sword will eat their souls, filling the meter; let the meter drop to zero, and the sword will start eating your soul, draining your health.
  • In SimAnt, the ants had to eat on a regular basis. Get an ant hungry enough, and it would even eat one of the eggs in its own hive.
  • The Sims, although in the second and third installments, at least they will make themselves food if you have a fridge and their hunger is critical, rather than starving because you won't tell them to make lunch. Unless you have turned off "Free Will" in the game options.
    • Hunger is one of the only two needs from the original series that was kept in The Sims Medieval; if a medieval sim is too hungry, they'll stop what they're doing and autonomously go home and make gruel. And yes, because one of the classes available is wizard, you can have a wizard needing food badly.
  • Parodied in Space Quest with the can of Dehydrated Water. "Just add air!" It had the two-fold use of allowing you to survive the desert heat, and later on doubled as an alternate way to get rid of a hungry monster by tossing the can in his mouth, resulting in a cartoonish death by overdrinking.
  • Spellforce has a variety of resources to collect, including food, but food is not directly necessary for your individual units. Instead, it's spent to increase your unit cap, so you can recruit more units. Still played straight because not building a Food Store means your units can regain HP or mana and an elven priestess that can't regain mana won't be useful very long.
  • Spelunker had no real notion of "food," but it featured a blue energy meter that dwindled continually and was replenished by picking up potions.
  • In Spore's Creature and Tribal stages, at least, your creature can starve to death relatively easily if you don't remember to get it some food. Can cause some unfortunate snags in making friends if you're playing a carnivore creature. If the hunger bar gets low enough, a thought bubble will appear above the creature's head with their favored food (and in the Tribal stage, they'll automatically try to go for the food supply, though you'd have to actively keep them away from it for a while to get to this point). Let it hit zero and you start taking (albeit slow) Damage Over Time.
  • While food and drink items can be used to restore some health in S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and Call of Pripyat, you also need to eat something occasionally (signified by an icon of crossed silverwares), otherwise you eventually start losing health and, in Call of Pripyat, the Sprint Meter takes longer and longer to recharge. There's no thirst, on the other hand, and popping a can of energy drink will only help with the Sprint Meter's recovery. In Call of Pripyat, vodka increases your hunger.
  • Star Fox Adventures
    • In a brief part of the game, you have to steer a Snowhorn through an area beset by a blizzard. While you're in that area with him, he has a bar gauge that empties steadily over time. To refill the gauge, you have to guide him over alpine roots. If the gauge empties, you'll probably have to start the section over, considering that Fox cannot go through by himself.
    • And your sidekick Tricky has a meter for using his special abilities, such as digging and breathing fire, that's refilled by feeding him mushrooms.
  • In Sunless Sea and its sequel Sunless Skies, food supplies take up inventory slots and are automatically emptied over time. Running out of food doesn't end the game immediately, but rather begins to trigger starvation-related events that rapidly escalate in intensity, sapping you of your sanity and crew members. Running out of sanity or crew is what ultimately kills you.
  • Every few in-game hours in Super Hydlide your character starts to lose health because of hunger, so you gotta always have three or so food items in your bag. The character also has to sleep well or else he will start to die too.
  • The Yoshis in Super Mario Sunshine have to eat fruit regularly or else they vanish into thin air.
  • Superfrog had to keep drinking bottles of his power source Lucozade to keep him from turning back into an ordinary frog.
  • Super Mario World has a bonus level based around this mechanic. You have 200 seconds to finish the level, half the usual amount, but Yoshi can in this and only this level extend the time limit by 20 seconds by eating a green berry; eating anything also gives you a coin. Yoshi needs food badly.
  • Survival: The Ultimate Challenge requires you to periodically order your survivors to eat and drink. If their thirst or hunger bars become empty, their health begins to go down. They die if their health ever reaches zero. This makes for more of a challenge in one particular level of the game which has scarce food.
  • Storm, a 1986 Gauntlet-like by Mastertronic, uses food as the health meter. If it starts running low, the message "Storm needs food badly..." or "Wizard is about to die..." (depending on the character) will scroll on the top of the screen.
  • In TaskMaker, one of the player's stats is Food. If this hits 0 due to lack of eating, the player's stats drain very fast until he finds food or dies from his Health falling to 0. The Tomb of the TaskMaker countered this by making the Food bar fill back up whenever the player dies.
  • Time Stalkers gave the player a stomach gauge that slowly drained while in dungeons; when it was empty, the player's HP would drain instead. Nearly all the recovery items were "fruits" of some kind, so it was relatively easy to keep it above zero (and there were some dedicated food items that filled the stomach a lot), but in the longer dungeons, it was rather easy for it to reach zero. One of the only reasons this could be difficult was that most characters (outside of Nigel) do not have effective backpack space, so not having room for food you find lying around could be difficult. Still, it was one of the more minor threats, all things considered, and running out of HP just kicked you back into the overworld anyway.
  • Animals in Tokyo Jungle have to eat to replenish their Hunger bar, otherwise their Life bar starts going down. Predators have to hunt and kill other animals, while grazers have to find and eat plants.
  • A central gaming mechanic in U-Oh (otherwise known as Finny the Fish & The Seven Waters) for PS2, being a fish, you need to eat other fish to stave off your hunger, you also need to deal with various types of predators (which are edible) and fishermen, if you get caught by the baits, you'll need to escape via a reverse-Fishing Minigame to either break the string (which nets you the bait) or get off the hook.
  • Total Distortion uses this as part of your Multiple Life Bars. Physical energy determines whether or not the player can open doors or move things, and creating enough sandwiches to replenish it while you're outside your Personal Media Tower is necessary. This can turn into Unwinnable by Design if your Tower runs out of fuel rods and you don't have enough energy to pry the door open manually.
  • In Uncharted Waters, your ships' crew needs their daily rations of both food and water while at sea. If you run out of food, the crew will first get sick (which drops their efficiency), then start to die off (which drops the efficiency even further), then probably mutiny (you get where this is heading). However, before the latter happens, one of your navigators will probably mutiny first and run away with his ship, leaving you with even less supplies.
  • Ultima
    • Ultima I-V use the abstracted away variety, with a unit of food being consumed every several steps, by increasing orders of magnitude depending on the size of your party. Ultima VI and Ultima VII did away with the point system in favor of discrete units of food that have to be explicitly eaten, and also made it impossible to starve to death - in Ultima VI, without food, the characters can't recover HP or MP by resting, and in Ultima VII, Hungry characters get gradually increasing stat penalties instead.
    • Likewise Ultima Underworld utilized a discrete food system. Fortunately there's usually plenty around that's edible.
  • In UnReal World, food consumption is tracked through a three-tiered system of Hunger, Nutrition, and Starvation, representing stomach contents, calorie balance, and long-term malnutrition, respectively. Even a starving character cannot binge on more than their stomach can physically hold, and low-calorie vegetable soups will only barely get you through each day.
  • In Unturned you need to eat and drink to stay alive; starvation or dehydration will cause you to rapidly lose health. Fortunately, there is plenty of food and water sources around, either scavenged, traded, or grown by yourself. However, if the food and drink are scavenged off the map, the player has to watch for the condition of the item (too low a percentage, and the immunity meter will suffer for consuming the item), and you can't overeat just to restore fluids.
  • Valheim:
    • You don't technically need to eat (as your character has shed their mortal life but can still die), but with no food you have only 25 HP and 50 stamina. Food increases max HP and stamina (meat favors HP, vegetables favor stamina, others increase both to a lesser degree) along with their regeneration speed, but you can only eat 3 kinds of food at once and the maximum begins dropping off at an increasing rate as soon as you've eaten.
    • Mead and wine can be brewed to gain various effects like resistance to elemental damage or as Health Potions.
  • Wayward has hunger and thirst meters that must be kept full. To make things trickier, a lot of foods tend to also make you thirstier. Once they reach less than 0, you lose health equal to that meter's value (so if your hunger is at 0 and drops to -1, you lose 1 HP, when it drops to -2, you'll lose 2 HP, and so on).
  • Withstand: Howard needs to scavenge for any sources of food and drinkable water he can while on the island he's investigating.
  • Wolf requires you to manage your wolf's hunger and thirst to survive. If you expect your cubs to survive, then they need food, too.
  • World of Warcraft
    • The game does not require players to eat or drink, but doing so refills your health or mana bar quickly and may give additional buffs depending on the type consumed. Plus, in a possibly intentional inversion of the trope, the Mage class is capable of conjuring food and water for themselves and an entire party or raid group.
    • In the classic game, Hunters were victims of this trope played much straighter, as their pets required food periodically in order to remain happy. Unhappy pets lost loyalty, which conveyed severe damage penalties and reduced their available skill points. To add insult to injury, each pet type had a distinct set of food preferences, and while meat-eaters were usually easy to keep fed, a pet with a cheese, fungus, or fruit preference could be more problematic. This was widely considered a Scrappy Mechanic for the class, and the more severe penalties were eventually dropped in the Wrath of the Lich King expansion.
    • Also, special talents and glyphs allow the pet to gain happiness just by fighting or getting healed with the Mend Pet skill, bypassing the pet feeding mechanic completely.
    • Finally averted in patch 4.1.0 partway through the Cataclysm expansion, which eliminated the happiness mechanic altogether. The ability of hunters to feed their pets is still available, but it's now a powerful heal only usable when out of combat.
  • Yoshi's Story has a sort of inversion. In all of the non-boss levels, the point is to consume a certain amount of fruit. When you hit the mark, it's on to the next level.
  • Zettai Hero Project, being a rougelike, has hunger (called EN) as a stat you need to track.

Alternative Title(s): Hunger Meter