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10 Cookbooks Inspired by Popular Video Games

Believe it or not, there was a time in video game history when watching your character devour a cake was simply hilarious. But, times have changed. Feeding an avatar is now an art, mainly because video game food looks incredibly real. But, if you're like most gamers, you've most likely drooled over these virtual bites—which is how video game cookbooks became a thing. Inspired by our favourite on-screen realms, these books are filled with recipes of everything our characters gobbled down for health, chugged back for power, or whipped up for money. So, if you are ready to delve deeper into the gaming cuisine, these 10 video game cookbooks will lead the way.

"Destiny"

"Destiny"

1. Destiny

Inspired by Bungie's hit video game series, Destiny: The Official Cookbook is a must-have for every Hunter, Titan, or Warlock that has ever travelled through the game's futuristic universe. The video game cookbook follows Eva Levante, friend, confidant, and official outfitter for all Guardians, as she documents their adventures (and recipes) from across the solar system. From main dishes to desserts, the recipes she compiles are absolutely delicious – although some of them are more on the complex side. So, prepare to be challenged! Author Victoria Rosenthal's upbeat style will also invite you to turn page after page for more cooking inspo and tidbits of Destiny's lore.

Get this book if you want to:

  • see what food might taste 700 years from now, or
  • feel like a regular at the Tower's ramen shop.

Must-Try Bites/Sips:

  • Spicy Ramen
  • Gjallardoodle Cookies
  • Wavesplitter (cocktail)
"The Elder Scrolls"

"The Elder Scrolls"

2. The Elder Scrolls

Inspired by Bethesda's role-playing video game series, The Elder Scrolls: The Official Cookbook is a must-own for every gamer that has ever set (virtual) foot in the continent of Tamriel. The video game cookbook contains 60+ recipes influenced by the diverse cultures of the medieval-like universe, from the Nords to the Khajiits. Each recipe comes with a short description, step-by-step instructions, and some backstory, explaining the dish's connection to the world of Nirn. Author Chelsea Monroe-Cassel also “serves” each recipe with a beautiful, rustic photo, showcasing how the dish should look like when finished. PS: If your version doesn't look like Cassel's, don't worry—the flavours will still hit home with your inner Dragonborn!

Get this book if you want to:

  • get a taste of the Tamriel cuisine,
  • cook like a Bosmer, or
  • turn your place into an inn and invite your Dragonborn friends for a bite.

Must-Try Bites/Sips:

  • Braised Rib Stew with Farro
  • Sheogorath's Strawberry Tarts
  • Honningbrew Mead
"World of Warcraft"

"World of Warcraft"

3. World of Warcraft

Inspired by Blizzard's popular MMORPG, World of Warcraft: The Official Cookbook is perfect for any gamer who considers Azeroth his/her second home. The video game cookbook features 100+ recipes influenced by every corner of the realm, from the frozen Northrend to the enchanted Silverpine Forest. Each recipe comes with an amazing, full-colour photo of the dish and a set of simple instructions, which are super-easy to follow (even for a novice cook). Author Chelsea Monroe-Cassel also shares her tips on how to turn each dish vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, depending on the reader's special dietary needs.

Get this book if you want to:

  • dine like a warchief, or
  • revitalize your “guildmates” with a typical Azerothian meal.

Must-Try Bites/Sips:

  • Dragonbreath Chili
  • Conjured Mana Strudel
  • Roasted Barley Tea
"Overwatch"

"Overwatch"

4. Overwatch

Inspired by Blizzard's “hero shooter” game, Overwatch: The Official Cookbook is a must-read for every gamer who has ever fought against the “Omnics.” The video game cookbook includes almost 100 recipes, which are divided by geographical region (i.e., the Americas, Australia, Africa, etc.) and character (i.e., Soldier 76, McCree, Sombra, etc.). Each recipe comes with a short flavour text that explains the link between the dish and the game's mythology. And yes, some may argue that this is a stretch of a cookbook as food doesn't appear often in-game. But, author Chelsea Monroe-Cassel ties the recipes to the game's lore almost seamlessly, making it a worthwhile collectible for every Overwatch gamer.

Get this book if you want to:

  • replenish your power before or after an “Omnic” hunt, or
  • explore new flavours from around the world.

Must-Try Bites/Sips:

  • Sopa Azteca
  • Til Ko Laddu Sesame Sweets
  • “Radioactive” Lemon-Lime Soda Float
"Fallout"

"Fallout"

5. Fallout

Inspired by Bethesda's post-apocalyptic RPG, Fallout: The Vault Dweller's Official Cookbook is a keepsake for every gamer who has ever roamed the wastelands of the Fallout universe. The video game cookbook contains 70+ recipes and is supposedly published by an official Vault-Tec Corporation. However, you can find scribbles of a wasteland traveller written all over it, which add a dystopian touch to the mix. Each recipe comes with a difficulty indicator and a pairing suggestion for maximum flavour. Most ingredients are accessible and easily replaceable, so even if you find yourself lacking some, you can readily switch to the next best thing. Author Victoria Rosenthal also “pairs” each recipe with a retro-futuristic photo, bringing some of the game's OG flair to the book.

Get this book if you:

  • are intrigued by the idea of eating post-apocalyptic food, or
  • want to throw a Fallout-themed party.

Must-Try Bites/Sips:

  • Dusty's Brahmin Burgers
  • Old Lady Palmer's Sweetroll
  • Nuka-Cola
"Dungeons & Dragons"

"Dungeons & Dragons"

6. Dungeons & Dragons

Inspired by the popular fantasy RPG, Heroes' Feast: The Official D&D Cookbook is a dream come true for every “adventurer” who has ever prowled the inns and dungeons of D&D's world. The video game cookbook features 80 recipes, which explore the cultural differences between the game's races, from humans to orcs. Each recipe calls for basic ingredients and most of them are quite easy to make despite their intricate looks. The photos in the book are also exceptional and each dish's backdrop is heavily influenced by the cuisine it's plucked from (i.e., human, elven, orcish, etc.).

Get this book if you want to:

  • “fuel” your buddies before an all-day (or all-night) session, or
  • learn more about the elven, drawrfen, and orcish cuisines.

Must-Try Bites/Sips:

  • Hommlet Golden Brown Roasted Turkey
  • Yawning Portal Biscuit
  • The Mindflayer (cocktail)
"Minecraft"

"Minecraft"

7. Minecraft

Inspired by Mojang's sandbox video game, The Minecrafter's Cookbook is the perfect gift for any gamer kid (or adult) who loves spending time in the Overworld. The video game cookbook contains 40 kid-friendly recipes with clear instructions—which means anyone (even your mini-me) can get in on the action. Most dishes are accompanied by colourful photos, which could entice your picky eater to “mine” for the healthiest ingredients and eat more veggies. Inside the book, you'll also find beautiful illustrations of your favourite characters and scenes from the game that'll whet your appetite even more.

Get this book if you want to:

  • craft real-life (and not pixelated) Minecraft treats, or
  • get your little one interested in cooking.

Must-Try Bites/Sips:

  • Gold Nuggets
  • Diamond Candy
  • Potion of Healing (melon cooler)
"Pokémon"

"Pokémon"

8. Pokémon

Inspired by Nintendo's popular series of video games, The Pokémon Cookbook is a must-buy for anyone who has ever hunted down, caught, or trained any of these adorable pocket monsters. The video game cookbook includes 35+ recipes, which are easy enough for anyone to follow (including kids). However, its main focus lies on presentation rather than cooking, so your little one may need help at times. Each recipe comes with a full-colour photo and illustrations, so you see exactly how to prepare and plate the dish. The only caveat: The book was developed for a Japanese audience. So, some ingredients may be hard to find. But, a trip to the nearest Asian market could be the answer to your problem.

Get this book if you want to:

  • prettify your food, or
  • nerd up your kiddo's lunchbox (or yours; I don't judge!).

Must-Try Bites/Sips:

  • Meowth Mashed Potatoes
  • Diglett Potato Field
  • Pikachu Happy-Face Cake
"Hearthstone"

"Hearthstone"

9. Hearthstone

Inspired by Blizzard's online collectible card game, Hearthstone: Innkeeper's Tavern Cookbook is a godsend for every deck-builder that has ever ventured out on a quest in the Hearthstone realm. The video game cookbook features 50+ recipes and is supposedly a copy of Harth Stonebrew's personal recipe book—hence the notes scattered across the pages. Author Chelsea Monroe-Cassel has developed this book to match the game's tavern theme—which is why most recipes include appetisers, snacks, and drinks. The instructions are straightforward and each recipe comes with a full-colour photo that's aligned with the game's medieval flair.

Get this book if you want to:

  • prep some goods for your fireside gathering, or
  • treat yourself to a typical tavern meal.

Must-Try Bites/Sips:

  • Durotar Warrior's Pie
  • Golden Monkey Bread
  • Blood of the Ancient One
"Legend of Zelda"

"Legend of Zelda"

10. Legend of Zelda

Inspired by Nintendo's epic fantasy video game series, The Unofficial Legend of Zelda Cookbook is a must-have for any gamer who has ever scavenged his/her way across the land of Hyrule. The video game cookbook contains almost 200 recipes, which are surprisingly healthy as they are mostly made with veggies. Many of them also follow some the game's unique cooking techniques such as salt grilling, skewering, and leaf steaming. Author Aimee Wood also paired the recipes with an eye-catching old-world font, which makes the whole endeavour even more realistic.

Get this book if you:

  • fancy the Hyrulian cuisine, or
  • want to restore your energy Zelda-style.

Must-Try Bites/Sips:

  • Hearty Salmon Meunière
  • Wildberry Monster Sorbet
  • Spicy Elixir

© 2020 Kyriaki Chatzi

Comments

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 20, 2020:

These cookbooks would be particularly attractive gifts for those who are used to playing those video games. As FlourishAnyway wrote, it is "an interesting concept."

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 20, 2020:

What an interesting concept and each one has taken it and adapted it well. I’d love to take a look although I’m no gamer.

Liza from USA on October 19, 2020:

Oh my god, I didn't even know a thing like this exists! I'm not an avid gamer (my husband is) but, anything with food and books always getting me very excited. By the way, I'm familiar with a few games you've mentioned on the list. I'm going to look for them! Thanks for sharing it, Kyriaki.

Charlene Gallant from Cape Town, South Africa on October 19, 2020:

Yes the food always looks sooooo good!!!Gosh my kiddies and I love game worlds so ya this is so up my alley...great read kyriaki,☺️