You ever get a video game itch that just seems impossible to scratch? You know exactly what you want, but no matter what you play it just isn’t doing it for you. I’m going through that right now, and it’s all because of the incredibly good anime and manga that is Delicious in Dungeon. The anime is currently airing on Netflix, and if you couldn’t tell from the fact that this is my third piece of writing on the series in the space of a month, I’m hyper fixating on it just a touch.
I’m just having such a ridiculously fun time with it, the character designs being incredibly satisfying to the eye, and Studio Trigger’s iconic stylings coming through exactly when you need them to. But… while I really love the anime, and the manga too, what I’d really love is a side order of a Delicious in Dungeon video game. So please, game developers, I’m begging you: make a Delicious in Dungeon game, official or not, I’m on my hands and knees here.
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It’s not like I haven’t been looking elsewhere to potentially get my kicks. As a start, you’d think that a dungeon crawler could be a good choice, given how Delicious in Dungeon literally depicts its main characters exploring a dungeon, picking up treasure along the way. But a lot of the best looking dungeon crawlers don’t let you cook up the monsters you face off against. There are games like Monster Menu: The Scavenger’s Cookbook, but then the aesthetic isn’t quite right, or maybe Dungeon Munchies, which even has a similar name, but the gameplay isn’t really what I’m looking for either. It’s like trying to remake a sandwich you got from that fancy place in town, but the ingredients just aren’t as good, and there’s a sauce you didn’t have.
You can’t make the argument that Delicious in Dungeon wouldn’t be a perfect source of inspiration for a game either. Ryoko Kui, creator of the manga, is a massive fan of the Baldur’s Gate series, having even drawn a whole bunch of portraits of characters from the first couple of games a few years back. Oh, right, there is Baldur’s Gate 3 too, I could always check that out for my fantasy kicks, and its D&D origins would certainly fit well with Delicious in Dungeon – heck, I could even roleplay as one of the characters if I wanted, but again, where’s the monster eating focus? I want some wacky cooking mini-games too!
Hanging with your buds in the hit MMO Dungeon Meshi.
Games like Dark and Darker almost match up with the kind of gameplay I’m looking for, that extraction dungeon crawler kind of genre, but it’s just all a bit too grimdark. That’s another problem I think I have – I love some dark fantasy as much as the next time, but a big part of the appeal of Delicious in Dungeon is its lightness and comedy, even if it does have its moments of seriousness. That in and of itself is one of my bigger problems with a lot of fantasy games these days, they just take themselves too seriously.
Personally, I like my fantasy with a bit of silliness. Lord of the Rings, at least the films, wouldn’t be nearly as beloved if it weren’t for funny moments like second breakfast, or the range of things you can do with potatoes (I promise I didn’t choose moments about food on purpose, I might just be hungry).
It’s the intersection of silly, funny, lighthearted, occasionally emotional, and dramatic that makes Delicious in Dungeon work so well, and it really is supported by the fun ways Kui comes up with new meals for the adventuring group to try. I’d love to have a game where I get to do all that myself, but right now, I just can’t find the right thing. So once again, if you have the power to give me what I crave: I will forever be in your debt if you give it to me. Just make sure you season it well.