Venba is a small puzzle game telling the story about an Indian family who migrated to Canada. You mostly play in the role of Venba who moved with her husband from India to Toronto quite some time ago. The story tells about their struggle of finding a job and the cultural differences to overcome. When her son Kavin is born Venba tries to teach him about their Tamil heritage, for example tries to teach him Tamil language and cooking Tamil recipes. Cooking is the gameplay element of the narrative-focused game as you get the ingredients and cooking devices, and you must figure out the order of ingredients to add and how to cook them. Those cooking puzzles are quite simple but sometimes a bit of trial and error is needed to figure out the right things to do in the right order. Ultimately it is more the story of the game that motivates to play as seeing Venba’s concern that Kavin does not appreciate his Tamil heritage and identifying more as Canadian young boy.
A playthrough roughly takes one hour and the introduction of characters and their development feels rushed at quite some points. Usually, a chapter only lasts some minutes with dialogues between Venba, her husband and Kavin followed by a cooking puzzle. Between chapters a calendar and some photos show you how times has passed multiple years, thus seeing Kavin as a child, teenager, and young student later.
Venba is a short experience with good written characters and a good-written ending. The story, even so rushed at some point outweigh the quite simple and limited cooking puzzles. A plus is the Indian music though that add atmosphere to the puzzle and comes with enough variety of songs.
- interesting story and characters
- playful insight on Indian culture (food, music)
- good selection of Indian music
- cooking puzzles often a bit too much trial and error
“Venba is a narrative puzzle-adventure giving those interested a short glimpse on Indian culture and the life of Indians as immigrants abroad.”
Sources: Screenshots: own screen captures