Venba is a narrative cooking game developed and published by Visai Games. The game was released on July 31, 2023, and is available on Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and Windows.
Venba is a short game, clocking in at around two hours to complete. However, it is a very well-made game with a heartwarming story and beautiful visuals. The game follows the story of Venba, an Indian immigrant mother who moves to Canada with her young son. Venba struggles to balance her new life in Canada with her traditional Indian heritage, and she finds solace in cooking. I have a huge love for indie games that have unique art styles and don't take 30+ hours of my time to complete. When I first saw the trailer for Venba I knew it was a game I had to play, and after playing it I can safely say I was not mistaken.
The cooking mechanics in Venba are the main focus outside of the narrative. Players will need to gather ingredients, chop them up, and then cook them in a variety of ways. The game does a great job of teaching players about South Indian cuisine, and it is a lot of fun to learn how to make traditional dishes like idli, dosa, and biryani.
In addition to the cooking mechanics, Venba also features a strong narrative. The game explores themes of family, culture, and immigration. The flashbacks show Venba's life in India, her decision to move to Canada, and her struggles to adjust to her new life. Players will need to make choices throughout the game that will affect the outcome of the story. The voice acting is really well done and the relationship between Venba and her family/friends is well developed.
Venba shines graphically, with each of its beautifully coloured scenes looking like a gorgeous painting. The colour and personality flow from the screen and the characters are all wonderfully animated. Just looking at the pictures on this review is making me hungry!
The soundtrack in Venba is also excellent. The music is inspired by Tamil film music and features a mix of traditional and modern genres with the song "Kanna Kanini" being particularly great. Give it a listen below:
Simple but satisfying cooking mechanics
Teaches players about South Indian cuisine
Can be a bit slow-paced at times
Some of the puzzles can be a bit frustrating
Overall, Venba is a great game that is sure to appeal to a wide audience. It is a short game, but it is a very well-made game with a heartwarming story and beautiful visuals. I highly recommend checking it out and with it being on Xbox Game Pass there is absolutely no reason not to give it a try! Also its well worth checking out if your just into your achievements, I mean who doesn't want another 1000g in around 2 hours? TOTAL SCORE: 9/10
Venba was released onto the Xbox store on the 31st July 2023. The game is playable on Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles. The game is priced at £12.49 and can be purchased HERE. The game is also available to play as part of an Xbox Game Pass subscription.
A copy of the game was provided for this review. A huge thanks for that!