It’s the hottest game of the year!

I’ve never been a big fan of yakiniku, the Japanese take on Korean style BBQ, because going to a restaurant only to cook my own food seems fundamentally wrong to me. But I can very much appreciate the Zen feeling of grilling tiny bits of meat and other foods and eating them one by one.

And it’s exactly that feeling that the game Yakiniku Simulator (formerly Yakiniku Simulation) has tapped into. Made by Thai-based Secret Character, this grilling sim was released to critical and player acclaim when it came out on 3 June. Here is some of the praise it received on its Steam page:

“Good game, better than Elden Ring, 10/10.”
“Very simple, short game. Not bad for the price. The only problem is the sounds of the grilling makes me hungry.”
“A simple little cooking minigame that’s as hard as you want to make it. The game can scale from being a relaxing experience you can zone out to to an extreme, fast-paced eating contest featuring achievements and competitive leaderboards.”
“The best BBQ grill training product I’ve used. After a few minutes, timing and sleight of hand accuracy refined immensely.”
“Legitimately a fantastic experience. Hope to get more seafood and drinks in the future! 10/10, would eat while playing again!”

Yakiniku Simulator is pretty much exactly as the name suggests. You operate a virtual grill and are given trays of various meats that you can cook and consume. As the one review mentioned, despite the confined space, it’s an open-world grilling experience allowing you to either just play with your food, or strive for barbecuing perfection.

▼ A look at the game in-action

Secret Character are very actively updating the game as well, adding new features every couple of weeks or so. As of this writing, Free Mode, Time Attack, Combo Rush, and Harami Master modes have been added, all for about 205 yen (US$1.50).

Now, however, Yakiniku Simulator is set to make the leap from PC gaming to consoles and smartphones. Later this year, the game will get its release on iOS and Android as well as the Nintendo Switch. The exact date of all the releases has not been announced yet, but the price will be adjusted to 499 yen ($3.70) on 15 July for all platforms, which includes the Steam version as well.

▼ Oh no!

That’s still plenty of bang for the buck, because with the increased price will come even more features such as a Yakiniku Bugyo Mode, which refers to the type of person who commandeers all aspects of grilling during a group meal, for better or worse. There’s also reportedly a highly anticipated Online Multiplayer Mode in the works.

Much like the restaurants they simulate, there’s no shortage of service in this game. And for the ability to cook an endless supply of meat for a flat fee and never consuming a single calorie, Yakiniku Simulator truly is the epitome of all-you-can-eat deals.

Source: Steam / Yakiniku Simulator, Famitsu
Top image: Steam / Yakiniku Simulator
Insert images: Steam / Yakiniku Simulator
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