Food in Games

The holidays are a time for family bonding, reflection and eating too much food. This has me thinking about the different implementations of food in games.

The Good

In Pillars of Eternity, food is a buff. It provides stat bonuses or resistances to party members. It’s also a completely optional mechanic for most difficulty settings. I dig food in games when it used like this and explore other examples.

The Ugly

When Snake popped a ration, he’d regain health. When Simon ate a plate of chicken he’d regenerate HP, as well. A number of games use food as a health-restoring mechanic; this always struck me as odd. There’s something unrealistic about it, though it doesn’t detract from a game’s enjoyment.

The Bad

Realism can go too far. Ultima: Exodus for the NES required your characters to eat unless they die. This became an unnecessarily painful maintenance mechanic, like repairing your weapons.

Comments & Conversation


  • UpperMGMT says:

    Phil you gotta play FFXV. Promise me you will play FFXV.

    • Phil/Poly says:

      I got a PS4 for Christmas, so I’m at least closer than I was. I’m a little disillusioned with the franchise, man … I don’t think I’ve really enjoyed a Final Fantasy since IX. I made it through 10 and had an OK time with 12 because I’m a sucker for Ivalice, but they don’t resonate with me as much as they once did.

      I’ll keep my eye out for price drops on the thing. In the meantime, what’s your favorite thing about it?

    • UpperMGMT says:

      Hi Phil,

      The whole mechanics behind the game are completely different. I had a VERY brief run in with FF XII and this new one is like night and day. Fair warning i am only about 20% through FFXV and if i could compare it to any game it would be Kingdom Hearts.

      Back to your question, my favorite thing about it is the fluidity and how smooth the transitions are. It does a great job of making each gaming sequence flow whether it be resting at night, to after battles, and even dialog between characters.

      Some differences to note from its predecessors.
      -no turn based combat
      -completely open world (after a specific point in late game the main story-line does not allow open world and becomes very linear).

      Anyways I put it down for Elder Scrolls Online for now. I cant stay away from the Fallout/Elder Scrolls universe.