Food Fight is a 1983 arcade game by Atari. The player guides an ambitious youth trying to eat an ice cream cone before it melts, while being pursued by four angry chefs.
In this Golden Age game, the player controls Charley Chuck, a young boy trying to gulp down an ice cream cone positioned on the opposite side of the screen before it melts. To accomplish this, he must avoid Oscar, Angelo, Jacques, and Zorba, four angry chefs who are apparently disappointed that he does not care for their fare.
The game was later ported to the Atari 7800 and Atari XEGS.
Food Fight is unusual in that gameplay begins after the player chooses a difficulty level (up to level 9)—a feature many games did not adopt until later in the decade. Each level is introduced with the first two phrases of the traditional U.S. military Mess Call tune. In Food Fight, the player races his way across a screen full of hostile chefs. He may use food to repel them or simply outrun them to reach the ice cream cone.
Food Fight starts with the player on the right side of the screen and a gradually melting ice cream cone—the goal—on the left. Blocking his way are several chefs and the pits from which they appear. The middle of the playfield contains several piles of food (e.g., pies, watermelons, peas, bananas, tomatoes) that Charley or the chefs may pick up and throw. To reach the ice cream cone, the player must outrun the chefs or pick up pieces of food from the piles to dispatch the chefs with some well-aimed throws. Upon reaching the ice cream cone, Charley eats it with an enormous gulp and the level ends.
The player will lose a life if the ice cream melts before Charley can eat it. A life will also be lost if Charley is hit with food, caught by a chef, or falls into a hole. Being stopped by a chef or food also gets Charley gratuitously pelted by food.
Most levels are essentially identical, except that the game becomes progressively harder and the flavor of the ice-cream changes. Periodically, a 'watermelon level' occurs, where all the food piles in the level are watermelon. Unlike the other foods, watermelon piles never run out no matter how many slices are thrown, so the player can linger and try to rack up points by repeatedly pounding chefs until the cone has almost melted away.
The game has an unusual "instant replay" feature. If the player completes a level after barely escaping the chefs or their food, the game may replay the entire level, complete with a bouncy musical soundtrack.
The game features a total of 125 levels. After that, the game repeats.
The bonus points for eating an ice cream cone is 500 points times the level number (i.e. Level 12 = 6,000), however the maximum bonus points awarded is 25,000, which is on levels 50 and up.
The original control was a trackball and a single button for throwing food. Some editions had an analog joystick instead of the track ball when the arcade ROM was put in an all-in-one cabinet.
This game came as a standard upright, with fewer than 100 cocktail versions being produced.
A cartridge version of the game was produced for the Atari 7800 video game system in 1987, and for the Atari XEGS in 1988. This game is also included with the Atari Flashback.