I really like weird games. There’s something about having a mind-bending and creepy experience that draws me in. Whether its the weird narrative adventures of Paratopic and About an Elf, or the baffling claymation Isolomus, I just can’t resist them.
Obviously I had to check out an FMV game that blends time travel, cooking, and sock puppets.
Many thanks to the publisher for the review code.
Have you ever wanted to travel into the past to steal recipes from your ancestors? Well, boy do I have a game for you! Set up to be an educational futuristic cooking programme hosted by a sock puppet named Captain Coolimbus, you’re given steps on how to cook in (what seems to be) low gravity environments before being let into the past to gather your own recipes.
Half of the experience is with the charming FMV videos that feature the captain alongside some cooking equipment that has clearly been taken from some young child’s bedroom, but then the other half will actually see you interacting with the world in a more game-like manner. You’ll initially be tasked with gathering some ingredients in a colourful maze before having to murder one of your ancestors, but later you’ll have to photograph some recipes in a 3D environment. It sounds slightly more complex than it actually is, and there’s never really any challenged involves, especially as the photography environments are all rather small and the recipes in question have massive glowing exclamation marks to show you where they are.
Of course the real meat and potatoes of the gameplay (so to speak) is the cooking itself, and to do that you’ll need to press a button to summon the necessary ingredients and guide them to where they need to be using an awkward cursor. There’s no touchscreen support, but given how purposefully difficult it is to move stuff around, I imagine that’s probably intentional. These parts are laughably bad as you constantly find yourself losing ingredients, but as I said before, I think that’s also the point.
All this gameplay though is really just a way to keep you invested while the weirdness happens, and the game doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Aside from the core concept, the game blends together awkward dialogue, surreal visuals, and nonsensical storylines to help make you walk away feeling like you’ve been on an acid trip. And for those gamers who are after that, this game will certainly hit that spot.
The biggest issue I have really is that there’s not really a whole lot to A Time Traveller’s Guide To Past Delicacies. I was captivated as the game opened up with its weirdness, but then I found it ran out of ideas quickly and just decided to end. The early game seems to indicate that it’s going to be a surreal mix of gameplay styles, but then it doesn’t really do anything more until it reaches the game’s resolution. It’s still fun for what it is, but I was still left wanting more by the end of the game’s 20 minute runtime. I don’t mind really short games, but I still found it was missing a little something to help make it feel like a more rounded experience.
A Time Traveller’s Guide To Past Delicacies is just as bonkers as the name suggests, and is certainly a wild ride for anyone looking for a weird game. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t seem to have a lot of meat on its bones and runs out of steam fairly quickly. Perhaps a little bit more time in the oven would have made this feel like a more filling meal, rather than an hors d’oeuvres.