Fans of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds looking for a breather from the massively influential battle royale game now have an interesting option: the absurd, but very playable, parody game Cuisine Royale. Developed by Darkflow Software and Gaijin Entertainment, Cuisine Royale is a kind of April Fool’s counterpart to MMO shooter Enlisted, resulting in a high-strung riff on PUBG’s game mechanics, now available to Steam players as a free permanent install — albeit for a limited time only.
PUBG helped kick off the battle royale craze, inspiring games like Fortnite and the Blackout mode in the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It’s hard not to find this game-type popping up everywhere, so the fact that Cuisine Royale enters the ring as yet another free-to-play option on PC is not, in and of itself, unique.
However, the earnestly zany and accessible approach Darkflow takes with the game is a breath of fresh air. Cuisine Royale does currently restrict its lobbies to 30 players at a time, but has numerous ease-of-use aspects that make it, at the very least, worth a download, for both PUBG fans as well as players who were turned off by the complexities and learning curve of Bluehole's game, or the building skills required in Fortnite.
The jokes come early, with players spawning into battle in their brightly patterned boxer shorts. If you’re expecting the comfort of additional clothes, you’re out of luck, but you can find kitchen items like pots and pans (itself a kind of parody of PUBG’s tactically defensive frying pan) to adorn your character with, as well as absurd power-up-styled weapons like “knee pads of speed” and “bouncing bunny slippers.”
As a work-in-progress, Cuisine Royale is fraught with errors and bugs, but bear this in mind: the lobby and game-launcher are treated separate instances, and you can frequently rejoin a game in your previous location with any accumulated loot following a crash. Unlike PUBG or newcomer Realm Royale, there’s no active lobby or parachuting prior to the start of a match, and players can just search for a quick game to join before spawning randomly in the map, usually in under a minute.
The draw-distance is decent, the maps have interesting locations like defensive bunkers, barns, and partially-wrecked villages, and it all comes together in a low-stakes free-for-all deathmatch. For what essentially amounts to a brazen copycat version of PUBG, it’s surprisingly entertaining and might be worth checking out.
Note, however, that Cuisine Royale is only offered for free until June 25th. Darkflow does not confirm whether they will be charging for the game after this date, stating that they "... will probably make it a paid game to cover server expenses and fund further development." That means: PC Steam users should go ahead and install the game if they're interested, so head on over to the Cuisine Royale store page ASAP.