We all stumble upon YouTube videos different ways. Sometimes it’s a coworker at the office who passes around a clip, or maybe a friend says, “You’ve GOT to see this.” I don’t remember how I found out about the Epic Meal Time crew, but I did, and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Now they have an app for the iPad and iPhone — the appropriately named Epic Meal Time — and it’s a doozy. Will their success on YouTube parlay into more Internet money made in the App Store? Put on your sunglasses and your Expos hat, because we’re going to find out.
Meet the Sauce Boss
If you haven’t checked out Epic Meal Time (or EMT to their fans) before, then sit down because it’s quite the journey. This band of YouTube misfits is led by Harley Morenstein, AKA the Sauce Boss. He’s flanked by four of his cronies (including the mute Muscles Glasses), and each week they attempt to make the craziest, highest fat meal they can, usually involving lots of bacon and even more alcohol.
The show itself is funny on multiple levels. Not only is Harley an entertaining guy, but it seems like at least one member of his crew actually knows what they’re doing in the kitchen based on what they produce. Now the show isn’t exactly safe for kids — lots of drinking and the like — and sure, they do bleep out the curse words. But at this point, over 100 episodes in, Epic Meal Time has certainly made a mark for themselves in the YouTube universe.
When I first heard about the concept behind the game, I shrugged my shoulders a bit in disappointment. “Really? That’s it?” And really, you might feel the same way. You’re presented with Harley’s bearded mug sitting square in the middle of the screen. Meat and veggies fly his way, and you have to stop the veggies from entering his mouth, and aim the meat into his gullet. Sounds pretty boring, right?
I still plunked down the $1.99 to find out, and I’m glad I did. This game falls into my favorite category of games: the kind you can quickly pick up, play anytime and are a lot of fun. And you don’t need to be a fan of EMT to like the game either — but it sure doesn’t hurt.
The game is very reminiscent of games like Fruit Ninja, in that you’re doing a lot of slashing back and forth on the screen. On the iPhone, this is a one-handed game and you’ll be alright. On the iPad though, put it down and get both hands ready, because there’s a lot more room to work with.
There’s more than just feeding a bearded guy from Montréal in this game, though. There are a few power-ups that help you along your way, like a bottle of “Jack Dawel’s” that shields you from vegetables temporarily, or a can of “FiveLoko” that slows down time making it easier for you to pluck out those veggies. As the game progresses, things get faster and faster until eventually you’ve got dozens of pieces of food flying your direction, and you’re swiping like crazy. It’s frenzied fun, for sure.
Add-Ons and IAP
As you play each level, you’re awarded points and Internet Money, the currency of choice for EMT. The more Internet Money you get, the more things you can buy. In the Swag section, there are hats that give you added abilities. The Food section brings additional meat selections, all of which have higher caloric and fat counts, making it easier to stack those points. In the last section — the one with the censored four-letter word in it — you’ve got different backgrounds to play with. There’s also a Crew section that’s labelled “Coming Soon,” which hopefully will bring us some of the other characters in the videos.
If you’re feeling like you just can’t wait to buy all that swag, you can buy Internet money using in-app purchases. Although I’m not a fan of this kind of system, for $0.99 you get 15,000, which gets you an awful lot in the game. It’s not a lot of cash to outlay for a pretty decent reward, and it’s certainly not required, either.
This game isn’t for your kid to play. There’s definitely an adult vibe to it, and even though there’s no cursing, there’s definitely implied bad language and for some people that’s enough. For me, it’s no big deal, but I wouldn’t hand it to my son to waste some time, that’s for sure.
But this was a game created by gamers (Harley has been seen at product release parties and midnight sales of all sorts of FPS games), so you know that it’s going to be fun — and it is. If you’re a mature adult, and you’re a fan of the Epic Meal Time crew and their antics, this one is a no-brainer. If not, that’s fine too. Just step out of the way, because the rest of us are about to go get drunk off pancakes.