The Wholesome Games Direct, an annual summer livestream that promotes a wide variety of cozy games, had over 90 games to showcase today. The stream had a ton to offer, and some of our favorites include standouts like SCHiM, Soulitaire, Lumbearjack, Freshly Frosted, and so much more. But my focus was squarely on a little game called Little Bear Chef that, in my opinion, totally stole the show.
Announced during the stream, Banana Box’s Little Bear Chef is a cooking simulator, where you play as a bear — no, wait, they’re a small plastic jar of honey shaped like a bear — who cooks in a kitchen that is way too big for them. You handle oversized kitchenware as you cook meals in pan over a stovetop, or operate a meat grinder with your tiny limbs.
I’ve gotten increasingly more into cooking games and cooking simulators over the last couple years, and I have a particular fondness for ones that lean into the fun, messy, and goofy parts of making food. It’s a big reason why I’m so excited for Soup Pot, because it has a strong focus on creativity. It’s also been a surprisingly effective way to help improve my own relationship with food, which hasn’t always been great as someone with an autoimmune disease that regularly restricts my diet and eating patterns. Little Bear Chef just feels like the perfect game for me.
Also, did you notice the image at the top of this article? Our little animal chef has a mischievous side, I think, with those eyebrows arching downward as he clutches a knife. I actually really hope there’s some dark humor in this. The whole thing seems very silly, in the best possible way, so why not?
The teaser during Wholesome Games Direct was very short, not giving us much to go off of, so my assumptions about the honey-jar-bear having a dark side are purely speculation. Still, I’m excited to learn more. Little Bear Chef arrives on both consoles and Steam at some point in 2023.
The Wholesome Direct is part of Fanbyte’s Hot Game Summer coverage, where we’re bringing you recaps and commentary on this summer’s game presentations like Xbox’s showcase, the PC Gaming Show, and the all-encompassing Summer Game Fest hosted by Geoff Keighley. If you’re interested in seeing all Fanbyte’s coverage, check out our Hot Game Summer 2022 hub.