With aspirations to be the next popular couch co-op party game, Cannibal Cuisine is a humorous arcade cooking sim that mixes light hack’n slash gameplay with ingredients collecting. The theme of killing average tourists and cooking their meat in a cartoony way provides a light hearted tone but the gameplay is everything except fun.
There is no tutorial or instruction of any kind. While not the end of the world, it will take at least one failed round to understand the full extent of gameplay. From a single screen, the goal is to button mash the attack command to fell mindless pedestrians in a few hits. Once their life bar drains, a stereotypical Fred Flintstone steak pops out. The player then must carry this meat to the cooking fire and mix with whatever other ingredients are required to make a dish to please the gods. The challenge comes from cooking with the required quantity and quality – over or under cook the dish and there will be penalties. The limited amount of time creates constant pressure.
If collecting the ingredients and monitoring cook time wasn’t stressful enough, the player needs to navigate through the hazards found in each stage. Each stage is basically a level of Frogger, where rivers must be carefully crossed and other obstacles are trying to stun progression. Unfortunately, control is much too loose to navigate with any sort of accuracy, making the play control a greater threat than the humans you are supposed to kill. The stage design also calls for control accuracy, requiring the player to carefully avoid holes and rivers by walking on thin, moving platforms. Even if the kinks in the control were ironed out, it still wouldn’t matter much thanks to the unbalanced gameplay. Solo players have no chance to complete a stage. Two players can earn just enough points to be rewarded one out of three stars but only after numerous practice attempts. From the very first level, the game was designed with four players in mind, not staggering the difficulty to a lower player count, which essentially becomes unplayable.
Cannibal Cuisine has a solid foundation on paper but the final result is an unbalanced nightmare. The light hearted comic tone of murdering and serving the meat of citizens isn’t enough to compensate for the inaccurate controls and severe pacing issues.