Chow down on Brunch Club, the 2019 game published by The Yogscast
Publisher: The Yogscast
Release Date: 29th August 2019
Genre: Casual, Indie
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows PC (Steam)
Reviewed on: Windows PC
Game Supplied by: Publisher
The great thing about gaming nowadays is that it is accessible to everyone. Anyone can have a hand in designing, producing, and publishing a game, and that’s exactly what YouTubers “The Yogscast” have done. These guys have been playing games on YouTube since 2008 and 11 years later after publishing one game prior, they have blessed us with Brunch Club. I don’t know what to say guys, other than, why have you done this to me and my family? Do you guys remember “I Am Bread”? You know that frustrating game where you had to control a slice of bread and turn it into toast? The one that caused multiple people to have rage induced headaches and controllers to be smashed onto desks? Yeah, that one. Now imagine if that game had a more annoying, but slightly funnier younger brother, and now you have Brunch Club!
The premise of the game is simple; you take some form of food item and cook it. For example, the first level requests you to simply make 6 slices of buttered toast. Now I do this every morning, so it’s not that difficult for me to do this even whilst half asleep. However, if my hands controlled as if they had been super-glued to whisks that had just drank 18 cans of red bull, I may find it as difficult in real life as I do when playing this game! The genre of this game is the classic of wacky physics and frustrating controls. For something that seems so simple, it becomes 10 times harder thanks to the controls. It’s the perfect party game to get you and your friends laughing. With up to four players able to play together or compete in local play (or via Steam Remote Play) it can make for some funny or frustrating game-play perfect for a crowd of viewers.
There are four modes available on the Steam version, Main Course (standard mode), Face Off, 5 Second Rule and Arcade Mode. Main Course has a bunch of different levels that you and your friends try and work together to complete, with each level having varying difficulty and different challenges to overcome. Face Off does what it says on the tin, it’s your friends vs you in a food fight to the max. In this mode you are given multiple stages in which to perform better than your friends in preparing food. However, be warned, your friends can come into your play area and mess up all of your hard work! 5 Second Rule is another co-operative mode where you and your friends need to work together to get a piece of food from A to B without allowing it to touch the floor for over 5 seconds. The last mode is a fun side mode where you and your friends go head-to-head in a series of mini-games to see who the top hot-dog is. They’re all fun, but my personal favourite is Face Off, where you can mess up your friends play area. Let’s just say me and my friend need a couple of days away from each other after the chaos that was caused in the ice cream round.
Within Main Course and Face Off, the challenges are different in their style, but similar in their game-play. From trying to toast some bread whilst the world is literally quaking, to forming a complex banana split during a frosty blizzard, each level has its own challenges. The controls are the same for each level, WASD to move and left shift to jump. Although I will say that the jumping mechanic is non-existent in this game. Most of the time whilst trying to jump my piece of bread up the toaster it just looked like my dough was humping the appliance. Both my friend and I realised that the quickest way from a low point to a high point was building bridges out of cutlery, which is easier said than done! The irritating thing about this game mode is that it shoves you into the level with no form of practice. It took me and my friend a little while to realise that the level was restarting because we were knocking things off the table accidentally. Both my friend and I also had issues with a level where we were tasked with building sushi. You are given a ball of sticky rice and just like Katamari Damacy, you roll over the ingredients to build your sushi. However, if you accidentally pick up the wrong ingredient it stays stuck to your ball and you are forced to go and find a new one. Which is difficult because the rice balls only spawn in at random intervals, so if you’ve used up all your balls then you just wait around for more. Unless there is some other hidden game mechanic that we aren’t aware of!
Arcade Mode I can see becoming a firm favourite of mine alongside Face Off. It’s the ability to go head to head with your friends that makes this game so much fun to play. Luckily, Arcade Mode has different challenges for you to try and beat your friends with such as racing a piece of sushi along a moving conveyor belt, or sumo wrestling 2 balls of rice off a table. My friend and I ended up howling with laughter when we were both trying to butter the same slices of toast but failing to because the controls were not being kind.
I would say that this isn’t a game I’m going to play all the time with my mates. It’s along the same lines as Fall Guys. Fun to pick up and play with people, but all the content is played through quickly. It becomes rather repetitive and stale after about an hour of solid play. That’s no fault of the game, just the genre it fits into. The main goal of the game is to end up on the high-score board, but other than that there is no “end goal” as such.