Venba is a game that has been on my radar since its announcement trailer was released in 2020. It comes from a mainly South Asian development team, with its aesthetics, character designs, and sound design drawing its inspiration from the culture to tell a story about a South Asian family trying to reclaim and archive their own underrepresented culture after immigrating to Canada. It is an incredibly ambitious title to pursue when many video games do not try to engage with having cultures or identities outside of the white/western represented.
Venba is about trying to figure out your own identity (or sometimes lack thereof) in an all-new environment. This new environment is not kind or accommodating to people who are not considered white, and if you are underrepresented from a culture of color you are swayed and forced to assimilate, leaving what made you unique behind to survive this new place.
The game starts off in 1988, when Venba and Paavalan, the two main characters, are arguing right after Venba wakes up. Venba wants to make her husband Paavalan lunch, while Paavalan says he will skip lunch so as not to bother her. Since Paavalan is not the best at cooking, Venba gets up and heads straight to the kitchen. This is where the main gameplay mechanics of the game start. You will be making idli, a fluffy rice cake from lentil batter.
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