Lunch A Palooza – Review
Follow Genre: Party game, Fighting
Developer: Seashell Studio
Publisher: AlternativeSoftware
Platform: PC, Switch, Xbox One, PS4
Tested on: Switch

Lunch A Palooza – Review

Site Score
2.0
Good: Decent sountrack
Bad: Bad controls and graphics, only local co-op
User Score
1.0
(1 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Some games are bad on purpose, going for a certain B series appeal. These games are charming even if somewhat niche in nature. Lunch A Palooza is not one of such games. Instead, it is actually bad, from start to end, graphics to gameplay. Would it still be considered a food fight if we throw this one in the bin?

Story

Lunch A Palooza has no story, not even a premise. The dishes battling each other in-game exist for the sake of existing and fighting each other for the sake of doing so.

Graphics

The game’s graphics are not that much bad as they’re aged, at least when referring to the environments. Lunch A Palooza contains 6 different stages, all with varied and unique designs, from an arcade to a riverboat. The 8 different dishes are also different from each other, although their designs are rather lackluster and their “skins” little more than re-colors. As a whole, the game’s presentation looks like a PS2 era game, with muddied colors and weird shading and lighting.

Sound

In contrast with everything else, Lunch A Palooza’s sound department is actually quite decent. The soundtrack is well made and varied, with a track per stage, with the SFX following suit. That said, even the game’s sound isn’t without problems, as the soundtrack obnoxiously stops during loading screens to return in full force after they’re done. The SFX are also quite loud, which can be easily solved in the menu, but with the sheer amount of them going off, the game can become quite a cacophony.

Gameplay

Lunch A Palooza’s gameplay can be best described as a fighting game. Players square off against bots or up to 4 players over local co-op attempting to push them off the table. Each player can select one of the available types of food with different attacks, although there doesn’t seem to be a semblance of balance, making a select few better than any others.

Such is the case for the jelly, whose spray attack at close range all but annihilates the competition. Other unluckier dishes have gimmicky attacks which are rather useless, such as the meatball being a glorified wrecking ball, with what that entails in a game about trying to remain inside an area.

During matches several pick-ups will also appear, giving advantages to whoever obtains them first. However, the effects of these items are unclear in most cases, having rather difficult to see effects in the quagmire the battlefields turn into. An example of one of such effects would be the pepper pickup, which stuns enemies (and possibly the user) at random.

The game’s controls are as simple as they get, although are somehow poorly explained. By pressing the A button, players can use their main attack, if they hold it they can release a powered-up version. With the B button, players can jump a tiny amount, this being useless in most cases except upon falling onto a lower platform, in which case it will be a gamble if jumping will serve to go back up. Finally, with the Y button, players can use “actions” which seemingly do nothing and, when close to objects, grab and spin around, dealing some damage.

Funnily enough, all these controls seem to work when a higher entity intercedes, not registering or activating in most other cases. Most types of food seem to inflict a knockback on enemies, while others act as a sledgehammer against fine china. The grab mechanic gets the shortest end of the stick though, as it doesn’t work in most cases, despite standing at a centimeter from any grabbable item.

The game features 4 modes, with 2 of them being glorified versions of the first. These modes consist of a free-for-all deathmatch, team deathmatch, deatmatch with random food and king of the hill. The first and second are as straightforward as it gets, although the third and fourth touch up the formula a smidge. Deathmatches with random food change the dish controlled after falling off, giving points to the killer and making whoever has more points the winner. On the other hand, king of the hill gives the victory to whoever stays in the designated area the required amount of time.

Conclusion

Overall, Lunch A Palooza is a mess of a game, with unbalanced “characters” and mechanics, where the same few things can be played over and over against bots. With the Switch version lacking all online co-op functions (which on the original version only exist thanks to Steam Play Together), there is little to get from spending the ridiculous $15.99/€15,99/£12.99 the game asks for the lackluster-at-best experience. It is also very worth mentioning the publishers have delved into some questionable practices by gouging the prices for the Switch version by roughly 3 ‘quid’ on every currency.

Personal Opinion

“Playing the absolute mess that is Lunch A Palooza only served to give me a headache while wondering what the hell was going on. The battles are, pardon my French, a complete clusterfuck of environmental items flying around and players throwing attacks with almost no particles. There is little separating moving around to being thrown away as if hit with a tactical nuke, characters being unbalanced as it gets. I cannot fathom going through the trouble of gathering 3 other players, only to have them play this, which leaves the game with nothing to offer besides bots.”

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 1.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
Lunch A Palooza - Review, 1.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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