After sinking a few hours into it, I’m still not exactly sure how to classify Battle Chef Brigade.

It’s a match-3 puzzle game; it’s a cooking simulator; it’s a side-scrolling action/role-playing game. In truth, it almost defines its own genre. Whatever else it may be, Battle Chef Brigade is a pure delight, combining inventive gameplay, a distinctive art style, and a relentlessly positive tone – which we could all probably use a bit more of in the gaming space.

(Image credit: Trinket Studios)

Battle Chef Brigade ($20; Nintendo Switch, PC) follows the adventures of Mina Han: an ambitious young chef who feels she’s gone as far as she can go in her parents’ low-key restaurant. She travels to the capital city, where she takes throws her fluffy white hat into the ring at Kitchen Colosseum. If she can defeat seven other chefs in a high-stakes culinary battle, she’ll prove worth to the whole kingdom of Victusia; if she fails three times, she’ll be sent home in disgrace. Along the way, she’ll meet (and compete against) orcs, elves, and two-headed ogres.

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