5 Cooking-Themed Visual Novels

These are five visual novels that revolve around delicious cooking! You may even learn how to make alien cereal.

These are five visual novels that center around delicious home-cooked food. Some of them inspired me to try out some of these recipes myself. How does one make alien cereal?

1. Flavor Savior

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android (itch.io)

Flavor Savior is a game about finding connection with others through helping them recover lost recipes and memories of their past. Meet and help four unique patrons in this hybrid visual novel cooking game, set in your own fantasy tavern!

omelette

The artist for Flavor Savior has very real talent and skill. I’m always especially amazed by artists who can create mythical and non-human creatures, which takes a strong imagination. The art design is what I was initially drawn to, but what’s really special about this story is the concept of rekindling forgotten memories by creating recipes that evoke a sense of nostalgia.

This visual novel has a fun cooking minigame where you can select mythical ingredients to create fantasy meals. It’s really creative and the item art is well done; overall, I’d say this is one of the best visual novel cooking minigames I’ve seen.

2. Cooking Companions: Appetizer Edition

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux (itch.io, Steam)

Play hide and seek with Cabbage and the Chompettes! Can you find all five?

Deer Dream Studios

The goal of Cooking Companions: Appetizer Edition is to find five of the hidden food ingredients located throughout the house. At first glance this game looks like a cheery slice-of-life cooking simulator, but it’s actually very spooky. I would compare the experience to playing Doki Doki Literature Club!: the juxtaposition of bright and cheerful characters meshed with a sinister underlying plot.

Psychological horrors are always fun for me, so I really enjoyed this free edition of Cooking Companions. Tread carefully if you scare easily or are sensitive to darker themes, but if you can stomach the horror, then I suggest giving this game a try. You can also find the full Cooking Companions game here.

VN Game Den interviewed Deer Dream Studio about Cooking Companions! You can read about their Kickstarter, studio, and development here.

3. Cooking With Cthulhu

Platforms: Browser (itch.io)

Cthulhu gets some bad relationship advice and humanity pays a terrible price. Gof’nn, goka ygotha hai ngli’hee nilgh’ri ilyaa yshogg! Throd wgah’n syha’h!

Snozbot

Cthulhu is an alien with a dark past who’s looking to find meaning in his life through cooking. He decides to go all out and start his own TV show, Cooking with Cthulhu.

This game is brilliant. There is so much effort put into creating a gourmet meal that puts all other galactic meals to shame. The chosen meal, worthy of being cooked on live television, is cereal known as plutonium-frosted sugar bombs (with milk). The cooking simulation is incredibly fun yet very difficult to navigate, which makes it all the more fun and challenging. I think the gameplay mechanics could use tweaking, but overall, it’s a very fun and simple game.

4. Someone Stole MY LUNCH!

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android (itch.io)

A short comedy visual novel about your lunch and a thief… both of which are hot.

Studio Clump

Someone Stole MY LUNCH! is a comedy visual novel about a fed-up office worker and a sneaky lunch thief. This game was submitted for NaNoRenO 2022 and contains minigames and seven possible endings.

Studio Clump, who also made Stillwater, did a great job at taking a mundane situation and creating a funny and comedic story. I was pleasantly surprised by the clever minigame that involves writing a note to the lunch-thieving criminal. The food art and tasty descriptions a made me hungry, so I can sympathize with the thief a little bit. If you’re looking for a quick fifteen minutes of fun, Someone Stole MY LUNCH! will surely make you chuckle.

Someone Stole MY LUNCH! was included in the VN Game Den’s Favorite NaNoRenO 2022 Games which you can read about here.

5. A Taste of the Past

Platforms: Windows, Mac, Browser (Steam, itch.io)

What do you do when you lose someone you love? A Taste of the Past is an emotional sidescroller about reconnecting with your Chinese culture while navigating a train to the afterlife. Featuring a wholesome story, cooking minigames, and hope.

Sondering Studio

A Taste of the Past is a sidescroller/visual novel hybrid with cooking minigames. The story centers around the protagonist, Mei, who has just recently lost her mother. Mei boards a train full of her ancestors as she works to regain her mother’s recipe.

As someone currently experiencing loss of a loved one, this game really hit home for me in a positive way. A Taste of the Past is heavily emotional, but it’s a game that will teach you about life and coming to terms with loss through recipes and home cooking.

Spooktober 2022 Visual Novel Jam

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