Culinary Survivors is one of the shortest “games” I have ever played, with the average player taking less than 30 minutes to 100% complete the game and even the most casual player being unlikely to take more than an hour.
The reason why Vamprie Survivors and its many clones are popular is the ability to unlock various new characters, powers, weapons and enhancements that persist between games; unfortunately, Culinary Survivors lacks any form of progression, and upon completing the game for the first time (around 25-30 minutes), there is nothing left to do
Even a few more levels, unlockable characters or something as simplistic as new skins for the playable character would give players a reason to play Culinary Survivors beyond its current easily obtainable end.
Unfortunately, with the game failing to sell more than a handful of copies at best, any hopes for future development at this time feel misplaced; that being said, I will be the first to admit that with a little more content and some form of meaningful progression, I would happily play Culinary Survivors for a few hours, as while the game is very short and poorly made, there is still fun to be had, in small doses.
With no insult intended to the developer, Culinary Survivors feels like a game that a 12-year-old boy designed; from the gyrating chef (which I must admit was hilarious) to the design of the swarms of groceries, everything feels like the result of someone following a “make your own game” tutorial and not a product created by a professional developer.
At first glance, the models appear to be from an online repository and have been customized to include eyes; however, the developer may have created them from scratch, as they are fairly simplistic and could have been created by a solo developer in a reasonable time.
Character models aside, Culinary Survivors’ single map is a patch of dirt and grass with a few random asset store models scattered across it. While it’s not the worst map I have seen this year in an indie game (Greedland is the worst), it is far from well-designed and honestly feels like the type of map a very new designer would create after playing around with an in-game map editor for a few minutes.
While Culinary Survivors may only retail at $4.99, it is grossly overpriced, considering it contains only 30 minutes of content and zero progression or unlockable rewards, giving it one of the worst gameplay/cost ratios I have ever seen at $10/hour.
In addition, so many better games can be purchased for around the same price, with even iconic and award-winning titles such as Witcher 3 having previously been sold at less than $6 on various authorized third-party storefronts and for even less on the grey market.
Culinary Survivors’ gameplay feels like a poor imitation of Vampire Survivors. While it technically works and meets the basic requirements of being an action-rogue-like title, it fails to expand upon the genre meaningfully. Fans of titles like Vampire Survivors will quickly grow bored of Culinary Survivors and its limited gameplay offering and frustrated by its slow-paced gameplay and a terrible control scheme that makes negating late-game encounters difficult due to the way the player character floats across the map, and the imprecise hitboxes of both the player character and the homicidal groceries.
When standing still, the player character (a chef) starts to gyrate like a rhythm-challenged stripper.
Why the developer chose this idle animation for their generic while male chef, I will never know, but still, it is probably the most amusing thing in the game, for better or worse.
Culinary Survivors is a action rogue-like video game developed and published by RedZyrro, it was released on 26 September 2023 and retails for $4.99.
Culinary Survivors is available exclusively on PC.
The following peripherals are officially supported:
Culinary Survivors is unrated and contains the following:
Culinary Survivors is alright, and if it was priced at $1 or less, I might have been more inclined to give it a passing grade.
However, at almost $5, there is no way I can recommend a game this basic, especially when it can be 100% completed in 30 minutes or less by anyone who has even the least bit of expierance playing Vampire Survivors or one of its many clones.