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Butter Royale (Apple Arcade) Review: Food fights don't get any butter than this

By Aaron Yip - 31 Jan 2020

Food fights don't get any butter than this

Food fights are great fun. Whether it's having a tomato splatter onto your back, or getting custard-pied in the face like in a Tom and Jerry short, there's something inherently innocent yet comedic about the "violence" of it all. 

Now, that might sound a little morbid, but hey, which would you rather let little kids watch on TV: a food fight or Black Hawk Down? It's a no-brainer. Speaking of food, if you happen to have a few minutes to kill on the throne or the daily commute, yet tire of Fortnite and PUBG Mobile, perhaps you'd like to give Butter Royale a go.

Developed by Singapore-based studio Mighty Bear Games, Butter Royale is a simple yet deceptively engaging battle royale-style food fight game exclusively for the Apple Arcade. Just like its more realistic counterparts, 32 players duke it in an ever-shrinking arena, using weapons called "Nutritionally Operated Machines", or NOMs (see what they did there?) to eliminate the competition and be the last one standing. Up to six players can enjoy the game with a single Apple Arcade subscription, and there's a "Squads" mode too - perfect for some family fun!


So, what can you use to batter your opponents?

The NOMs, obviously. As expected, they're food-based weaponry, and the range includes a vanilla ice-cream shotgun, a baguette bat (it's a mouthful, we know) and many more wacky pieces of equipment. There are also miscellaneous pickups such as health capsules and armor to help keep you alive. 

It's all done in a very quirky, childlike way, and it's hard to resist cracking a smile after you literally "cream" opponents. Gameplay can get tactical too - hiding in bushes obscures you from opponents. It's perfect for getting the jump on unsuspecting enemies!

The game is played in a top-down format as well, providing a refreshing change from the third-person perspective of other titles like PUBG. Not having to continuously squint at that suspicious dot in the distance is much easier on the eyes, and you wouldn't want your kids going too close to the screen anyway.

On top of that, what I really appreciated about the game was how fast I could squeeze in a game. The matches in Butter Royale are much shorter than what we usually see, and even the longer ones rarely extend beyond five minutes. It's handy for when you just want something to keep your fingers busy until the bus or train comes, but don't want to risk appearing like a smartphone zombie, having to glue your eyes to the screen as you board. 

Additionally, there's also an offline mode where you can play against the A.I. on your own, and I absolutely adore this inclusion. Offline practice modes are something noticeably absent from most battle royale games on the market, and there are times I just want to practice with the various weapons without getting killed within the first ten seconds of the game. How can you practice aiming and shooting when you only get around eight seconds each round? The bottom line is you can't - unless there's an A.I. mode you can try your hand against. It's also worth noting that these offline matches award you EXP and Tickets (the in-game currency) as well, so you still get something out of creaming the bots. 

Like its counterparts, Butter Royale doesn't skimp on player customisation, but with one main difference: there aren't any in-app purchases, ads or microtransactions! Instead of forking out real money for cosmetic items or special characters, all players have to do is level up their account and they'll unlock skins for both their characters and their equipment as they go. There's no shortage of comedic accessories too - here's my character with his lovable chicken hat. 

The benefit is twofold, actually - it definitely makes sure you don't have to fork out anything beyond the monthly Apple Arcade subscription, but more importantly, it doesn't encourage the cultivation of a spending habit in your kids. Games that masquerade as free-to-play titles can be deceptively costly, and it's such a prominent marketing gimmick that we've done up a feature piece on it too. Check that out here!


Foods have a shelf life

Anyway, for all it's quirky graphics and simple gameplay, some gamers, especially the older crowd might argue that the game quickly loses its shine due to a lack of variety, in terms of both gameplay and concept. It's not the first title to have this problem; many battle royales tend to put all their eggs in one basket, which is why they have to jazz it up occasionally with unique seasonal cosmetics and promotions. 

That approach isn't out of the question for Butter Royale, although it might have different results considering the game doesn't feature microtransactions like the others do. Even so, I still concede that the game will get dull quickly without a constant stream of new or seasonal material to keep it fresh.

Now, we aren't sure how Mighty Bear will address this, but it's also important that we older gamers don't miss the forest for the trees. After all, Butter Royale is meant to be family-friendly and fun at its core, rather than a straight-up competitive rat race like Fortnite. So, to give an analogy, we probably shouldn't walk into a convenience store expecting to buy diamonds. 

On the whole, it's easy to shrug off Butter Royale as an overly simple, kiddie version of PUBG. But here's the interesting bit: it still checks most, if not all the boxes that PUBG has! Does it cater well to its intended audience? Yes. Does it still embody the fast-paced nature of the battle royale format? Yes. Can you have fun with it on your own or in a group? Definitely.

The main difference would of course be the lack of microtransactions and potential marketing gimmicks present to enhance appeal (which will go against Apple Arcade's rules), but then again, I doubt any gamer would want to fork out additional cash for cosmetics on top of their monthly subscription too. Putting all that aside, there's not much we can really fault Butter Royale for - the game is pretty decent as is, and I'm actually keen to see how Mighty Bear will continue to steer this buttery-smooth food fight.

Butter Royale is available exclusively via the Apple Arcade. 

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  • Playability 7
  • Graphics 8
  • Sound 7.5
  • Addictiveness 7
  • Value 7.5
The Good
Matches are simple yet fast-paced
Offline mode is great for practice
Adorable graphics and concept
No in-app purchases or ads
The Bad
Lack of different game modes
Apple Arcade subscription required to play
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