With a name like Food Fantasy, you would expect this game to be full of recipes and culinary quests, but what you get is a dive into flavors you would never have expected. With a wide variety of characters, a unique combat style and fun story, Food Fantasy presents an experience that a lot of mobile players can enjoy. However, as with many free mobile games, this feast has its faults.

You begin the game as Master Attendant, the owner of a restaurant in Gloriville. You are met by Olivia and her Food Soul, Tiramisu, who fills you in on the Food Souls of the area as well as issues with Fallen Angels. Food Souls serve as assistants and fighters of the world, helping players take down the Fallen Angels, which are monsters trying to destroy your world.

You are almost immediately swept into battle where your new Food Souls, Milk and Black Tea, help you to fight against enemies in the Secret Forest, the first area in Gloriville. From here, the game walks you through how to fight, how to summon Food Souls and how to craft recipes. Recipes are crafted using ingredients you obtain in battles and are important for growing your restaurant and reputation.

As you level up throughout the game the world begins to open up more. There are six towns and villages so far, each containing different areas to conquer, including Parisel, Spring Valley and others. Each area within a town contains numerous stages that require you to collect ingredients, fight bosses, and progress your characters.

Where this game truly shines is in the art, music and character design. The art style of this game is beautiful and appropriately displays the different elements of each town or village. Even the art of the loading screens is amazing and different than the rest of the game. The music on the menus and in battle is equally amazing and is something I could find myself listening to for hours. I often left the game open on my phone just to listen to the music, it was so wonderfully composed.

One of my favorite aspects of this game, however, were the different characters. Utilizing in-game currency and rewards, players can summon different Food Souls who are used to complete deliveries, work in your restaurant and fight in teams to progress through the story. Food Souls are exactly what you would expect them to be: different dishes of food and beverages in the form of humans. There is Spicy Gluten, a fiery red-headed Soul who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is, or Escargot, a defensive Soul who is always sleepy and even carries a pillow into battle. My personal favorite was Macaron, one of the more playful Souls, who often accuses you of not eating enough macaroons at tea time.

These characters were voiced wonderfully, although I will admit their dialogue is extremely limited and they end up using the same one or two sayings for the same scenarios. You can still tell that a lot of thought went into composing these characters and making each one unique.

Players compose teams of five out of the different Food Souls, some of which have specialty attacks that can be unlocked by including their favorite battle partner in the team. For example, Milk and Black Tea go together for specialty attacks. The battle mechanics themselves are acceptable, albeit a little confusing. Players watch as their team does a majority of small attacks. During battle the Food Souls will charge up specialty attacks, which are unleashed when the player activates them. There are a few other on-screen selections players must complete depending on the enemy and stage as well, which at times can make the screen very crowded and confusing. The crowding of prompts on the screen often had me losing battles that should have been easy, simply because I couldn’t see or use enough fingers to do everything at once.

Battles themselves also tend to become extremely repetitive, especially considering how many times you have to complete the same or similar battles to obtain all the ingredients you need. While, yes, some stages have different elements that change things very slightly, overall every single battle is essentially the same, and I found this to make grinding even worse than it already is.

But Food Fantasy is more than just a food fighting game. There is an entirely different side to this game that you could spend plenty of time going through: your restaurant. While running around the towns and stages fighting Fallen Angels, players are able to kick back, relax and manage a full restaurant. From hiring staff to serving up your newly perfect recipes, to decorating your restaurant with a variety of different themes, this side of the game really has a lot to offer. Aside from a few mission-based tasks, there isn’t a ton of pressure to work on the restaurant either, which makes it a more stress-free experience.

In addition to all of the content mentioned above, there are endless tasks given to you by NPCs throughout the game. A board of tasks sits on the main screen that can keep you busy for hours without even touching the proper game.

Despite all of the positive in this game, there is one glaring issue: the unfair amount of micro-transactions. Elements of this game are so reliant on in-game currency that without dropping real world cash, you might find yourself incredibly frustrated. Leveling up was slowed down for me by the time I hit level five due to a lack of resources. Of course, if I had wanted to spend money on these resources, I could have quickly leveled my characters up, but, alas, I had to get through the old-fashioned way. Because micro-transactions are a common occurrence today, I cannot criticize this free, mobile game too harshly. Additionally, there are a number of uniquely styled log-in bonuses that help you get through the game without having to cough over any cash. There are even meal-time rewards, which are log-in bonuses depending on if it is breakfast, lunch or dinner time. It really does appear that the community is being supported despite how heavy the micro transactions are.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed most aspects of this game. I found myself playing it at home, in my downtime between homework, and on breaks at the office, all of which I would expect from a good mobile game. The concept is just unique enough to really hold my interest and keep me coming back. Will I continue to play this game upon release? Most likely, at least for a short time. If leveling up continues to be difficult due to micro-transactions then I will not continue. However, given the amount of community support that this game has so far, I would say the future is promising for Food Fantasy. I would recommend giving this game a download. You might just find your next favorite meal.

Michelle played Food Fantasy on an iPhone via an invitation to TestFlight from the publisher. The game can be purchased from Apple’s app store or on Android.