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Venba Nominated for Best Debut Indie Game: Visai Games’ Title about South Indian Cuisine and Family Makes a Solid Debut

Mrinal Baranwal   |   Nov 14, 7:16 AM   |   6 min read

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Highlights

  • Venba, a game based on a South Indian family, has been nominated for the Best Debut Indie Game of 2023.

  • The majority of reviews for the game have appreciated the soundtrack, cooking mechanics, and story execution.

  • Venba has been nominated as the Best Debut Indie Game of 2023 alongside Cocoon by Geometric Interactive, Dredge by Black Salt Games, Pizza Tower by Tour De Pizza, and Viewfinder by Sad Owl Studios.

 

Released on 31 July 2023, Venba by Visai Games is a narrative cooking game in which you take on the role of an Indian immigrant mother who moves to Canada in the 1980s with her family. In this story about family, love, grief, and other topics, players make a variety of dishes, recover lost recipes, have connecting conversations, and more. 

 

The majority of reviews for the game have appreciated the soundtrack, cooking mechanics, and story execution. Being developed by a team of South Asian developers at Visai Games (based out of Canada) with a variety of backgrounds means that Venba is a storytelling cooking adventure about an immigrant mother's life that seems authentic. Venba has been nominated as the Best Debut Indie Game of 2023 alongside Cocoon by Geometric Interactive, Dredge by Black Salt Games, Pizza Tower by Tour De Pizza, and Viewfinder by Sad Owl Studios.

 

Also Read: Indus Battle Royale Introduces New Hero Pokhran On The Eve Of Diwali
 

Indie Game Venba Earns Nominated In Best Indie Game Category

 

 

The narrative centres on Venba and her husband, who relocated to Toronto, Canada, from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu to start over. The couple hopes that their newborn baby will have an easier time than them despite their challenges with the new language, culture, and lack of employment opportunities. Venba wants to foster in Kavin a respect for Tamil culture and language as he grows older. The main gameplay revolves around Venba's quest to recover misplaced recipes via experimentation. Venba and her son Kavin use food to discover their familial connections in each chapter, and the results are played out as puzzles. 

 

Over time, damage to Venba's mother's cookbook has resulted in coated instructions that make the recipes challenging to follow. Throughout the game, while they prepare various dishes, players run across these barriers. To overcome them, they must look up the related directions and illustrations. This challenge begins with one or two recipe lines missing, then eventually grows into a whole page with only diagrams to work with and no readable directions to help in cooking the dish correctly.

 

The art direction of Visai Studio presents us with delicious elements and the finished products of their dishes. The creators placed a high value on authenticity; team members had to prepare each dish several times before it could be included in the game. Furthermore, because there were very few cooking sound effects in the sound effects libraries that were suited for Tamil food, the sound crew recorded other kitchen noises, such as spices crackling in a hot pan. The story moments that occur in between each level demonstrate just how carefully Visai Studios has worked. When characters are conversing in Tamil or English, the text is displayed in a distinct colour, emphasizing Venba's displeasure at her son's choice of the former language. Attention to small details like these is the primary reason for the game's celebrated success, alongside the much-deserved nomination in the Best Debut Indie Game 2023 category.

 

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Mrinal Baranwal

Esports Staff Writer

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Mrinal, also known by her gaming alias Jollies10, is a semi-professional Valorant player with a never-ending love for Esports. She lives by the rule Eat. Sleep. Game. Repeat.

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