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About the Story
a hannibal inspired cookbook...of sorts
16th Place, La Petite Mort - English - ECTOCOMP 2023
Number of Reviews: 2
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This game was entered in Ectocomp.
It's essentially a long villain diatribe, first discussing how Christianity justifies cannibalism, then going off on a very long message with slow timed text that explains how they use traditional Vietnamese recipes to cook what is implied to be human meat.
The game has some great music in the background, and a cool (albeit somewhat busy) visual background.
It's hard to identify with straight-up villain stuff like this. When something is one-note, it's hard to feel invested. There is some variation in emotion; it swings between sadness, gruesomeness, and mundanity, but I think having a spark of light or hope, or some indication of true happiness, could have increased the contrast with the horror.
I didn't get frustrated by the timed text because I downloaded the file and edited it out.
The Vietnamese food and culture were the best aspects of the game, for sure, along with the music. Also I'd love to have this quote framed in my kitchen:
ANYTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING RESEMBLING "BREAD" IS BEYOND MY CAPACITY, NOT AS A CHEF BUT AS A "HUMAN BEING" WITH "LIMITED PATIENCE" and "THINGS TO DO, VASSALS TO KILL."
You know how cooking blogs have those insanely long recipe posts, in which they talk about their whole life, often mentioning things that have absolutely no link with the recipe, tongs of pictures (but not of the dish!) and sometime parsing the steps of the recipe throughout those irrelevant bits, so that it becomes impossible to get clear instructions? To me, the entry emulated that to almost a T.
Though, instead of your run-of-the-mill regular folks with quirky recipes, this one is much more eerie and uneasy to read through, emanating a more sinister vibe than you'd expect from a cookbook (unless you read the blurb before hand). There is something quite wrong there, pushed forward by the interface and the eerie music, but it is not explicit in what - though the game hints at it with wink-wink-nudge-nudge jokes enough.
Some frustrating elements in with the interface: the animated background is pretty distracting as it is much brighter than any other element on the page (I had to turn it of with the console); the text block is quite small, especially for the length of the passage, forcing you to scroll a lot; and the typed text speed is way too slow (can be helped by pressing the Spacebar, though).