Apple Arcade has so far been a great repository for polished, offbeat indie games that are best explored when you have some quiet time and perhaps no internet connection.
The latest entry into the iOS subscription game service is different. It’s a flashy multiplayer battle royale shooter, kind of like Fortnite — except it’s more kid-friendly, with a food fight theme instead of guns and bullets and a top-down design that gives it the look and feel of classic dungeon crawlers. It’s called Butter Royale, and it’s available today for all Apple Arcade subscribers.
But isn’t Fortnite already kid-friendly? you might ask. Well, sort of. You still shoot people with guns that are modeled after real-life firearms. Butter Royale is taking a more direct, no-gun approach to its game design that’s similar in many ways to Nintendo’s Splatoon, and its creators are even building that into the loose game lore of the shooter.
“Set in the near future, after a global ban on weapons, contestants engage in food fights on Butter Island to satisfy their hunger for competitive action. Contestants use ‘Nutritionally Operated Machines’ (NOMs) to launch food at one another during five minute matches, while trying to escape floods of butter to get to safe zones,” reads the game description. Some of the weapons have amazing and absurd names like the Mayonator3000, Breadzooka, and Sniparmesan.
The developer, a Singapore studio called Mighty Bear Games that grew out of Candy Crush maker King’s local Singaporean office, wants to be clear that it’s making an inclusive, nonviolent game that kids of all ages can enjoy.
“We designed Butter Royale to push the envelope on fun and inclusivity. We want everyone in the family to love it and see themselves represented in the game, from young children to grandparents,” CEO Simon Davis said in a statement. “It is also important to us that Butter Royale is a nonviolent shooter, so younger players can safely join in. The food-fight theme was perfect for that.”
Butter Royale features an offline mode where you play against AI. But in its online version, 32 players compete either as a solo participant or in squads of four in five-minute matches where they try to take down opponents, stockpile resources, and outrun the encroaching butter storm. Players can choose from up to 52 characters to play as that span “diverse backgrounds, age, and genders.” Like all Apple Arcade titles, there are zero microtransactions.