The Wholesome Direct aired Saturday, June 10th, filling viewers with a satisfying slew of indie titles that don’t rely on violence for entertainment value. As part of the Direct, I received early access to some demos, and Venba is one that stood out.
Now, Venba has appeared in other showcases and Directs; however, we now have a release date! Venba is described as a single-player narrative cooking game with puzzle elements, living through the years of a family that moved from India to Canada. Venba attempts to recreate her mother’s recipes from her damaged cook book. It’s from experiencing failure and success and cooking with family that she connects with her roots.
I thoroughly enjoyed the early access demo–which was roughly fifteen minutes of gameplay up until you discover you are pregnant. The young woman–Venba–and her husband are struggling to make ends meet and consider a move back to India; however, her nausea and exhaustion ended up as symptoms of pregnancy. She is filled with joy, and the two discuss their plans for a family.
The visual art style and music immerse me in Indian culture, and the idea of creating traditional dishes made my mouth water (and yearn to learn my mother’s Chinese cooking). This is no simple cooking sim. The dish I had to recreate was a decent puzzle to figure out; however, it wasn’t too easy or too punishing. The part I enjoyed most is that the narrative already feels so powerful that I am now compelled to see out Venba’s story.
Checkout the trailer for Venba below, and I highly recommend testing out the demo on Steam!
Venba releases July 31st, 2023 on all major platforms.
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