Sawbuck Gamer

Champion Of Breakfast

Major Bueno’s newest game, Pan Man, is a cautionary tale for our insta-celebrity age.

By Drew Toal • August 7, 2013

Sawbuck Gamer is our daily review of a free or cheap game ($10 or less).

There is something to be said for being the best in the world at something, even if that something is as dumb as extreme ironing or wife carrying. Takeru Kobayashi, the legendary Japanese hot dog eating champion, was the unrivaled king of competitive eating for many years. After dominating the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island from 2001 to 2006, he became something close to a household name. But the champ eventually succumbed, as all the greats do, to a younger, hungrier competitor, and now “The Tsunami” is reduced to inhaling pizzas at random Super Bowl parties.

Pan Man charts the career of another food performer whose spectacular rise and fall spans decades and uncountable non-stick frying pans. Conrad has a gift—the ability to flip pancakes. You launch your flapjack missiles into the air (without letting them burn) and put on a show for your audience. It’s not challenging. There is plenty of time to park yourself under the lazily floating cakes, but miss three times and the dream is over. The Pan Man begins his career in a ramshackle mountain hut, performing for his family. He then moves on to bigger and bigger venues throughout the ensuing decades and ends up at the pinnacle of the pancake-flipping profession. It is here, at the moment of his greatest triumph, that we see Pan Man’s biggest failure. There can be no redemption for the man who sold his soul to become the greatest pancake flipper the world has yet known. Conrad flies too close to the syrupy, delicious sun.

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5 Responses to “Champion Of Breakfast”

  1. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    Frying Pan Man, Frying Pan Man
    Person Man hates Frying Pan Man
    They have a fight, Frying Pan Man wins
    Frying Pan Man

    Person Man, Person Man
    Hit on the head with a frying pan
    Lives his life in a garbage can
    Person Man

    • Triangle Man beats them all, though. 

      Now, if you were to come back with a triangular frying pan…the odds will be a little tougher to figure.  They might be brain, they might be washed, they might be Dr. Spock’s back-up band.

  2. Dan Reynolds says:

    this is pretty amazing.  had to play through several times to see all the endings.  heartbreaking.

  3. MintBerry_Crunch says:

    Oh Kobayashi, how you’ve fallen from your days of eating competitively against grizzly bears.

    • Chris Hansen says:

      I remember one year he got hurt, and then from that year on there was some sort of contract dispute where he wasn’t allowed to compete at the Nathan’s Hot Dog thing?

      Damn shame if so.  He seemed to be a freak of nature and he sorta needs to eat like that to survive.  Imagine if you were a POOR former competitive eater?