Do you remember the tech demos that console manufacturers used to show off when they announced a new platform iteration? The PS2’s “rubber duck in the bath” demo from 1999 showing a single duck a submarine interacting with the water in a “realistic” way… And then how Sony upped their game and blew peoples minds with the PS3’s announcement and showed a version of the same demo, but this time dropped 100 rubber ducks in the bath and added two floating and controllable galleons… Those will always be stand-out examples of video game tech demos for me. Nour: Play With Your Food is the ultimate example of a tech demo made playable and more importantly made fun.
Made up of what’s described as “over 20 edible vignettes” – Each dish you’re interacting comes with it’s own unique aspects and controls, while a few carry over from scene to scene. The d-pad and face buttons all primarily “drop ingredients” into the scene. Holding these down for a short while before letting go will let you aim your ingredient before inserting into the world. The triggers activate selectable powers into the scene or use an array of tools at your disposal. These range from magic to make every ingredient in the scene pulse to the rhythm of the soundtrack you are generating and a tenderising mallet that’ll squash your targets flat and making them wider or a size-ray to increase or decrease individual foodstuffs. That’s all to say nothing of the scene itself, which has its own set of behaviours to play with.
Nour literally oozes with that same juicy feeling that Sony’s now shuttered Japan Studio were able to put into all of their games. If like me you’ve missing that in your life then look no further. You’ll find yourself slinging noodles and dropping eggs to the grooviest of beats while launching boba at your leaning burger-tower in time with the music you’re creating to increase your capacity for using magic to then set the whole sticky concoction ablaze.
Supposedly Nour is “Goal-free” and while I’d agree with that in a sense that you can’t “complete” a vignette before progressing, there are very much achievements and hidden combos to find associated with each of the vignettes that will reveal themselves the more you play and the more you experiment with the tools available to you. Nour would not be out of place taking over an interactive museum.
Describing Nour is difficult. It’s a toy. It’s fun. It’s weird and it definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it’s perfect for that. But it’s also probably not going to be for everyone while also somehow being for everyone. I feel everyone should try it. It’s not a huge game, it’s certainly no Starfield or Baldur’s Gate 3, but it’s one hell of a unique experience that I can’t recommend enough. What Terrifying Jellyfish have achieved here is special and I really cannot wait to see what they cook up next.
A PlayStation 5 code was provided in advance by the publisher for review purposes