Venba title page

Venba Review

Game: Venba
Genre: Adventure, Casual, Indie, Simulation
System: Steam (Windows)
Developer|Publisher: Visai Games
Controller Support: Yes
Price: UK £12.79 | US $14.99 | EU € 14.99
Release Date: 31st July 2023

Review code used with many thanks to Propagenda PR.

Venba is a 2023 short narrative cooking game developed and released by Visai Games.


I’ve been waiting for Venba to be released since I played the demo a few months back. Venba tells the story of an Indian mom, Venba, who immigrated to Canada with her family in the 1980s. It’s a story about love, loss, sacrifice, and the cost of fitting in.

Cooking a dish, but the recipe is unreadable
Let’s get some cooking done.


The story is told in several chapters, and we each have to cook a traditional Tamil recipe. Venba, our main character, uses her mom’s recipe book to cook, but time and travel have not been kind to the book, so some recipes are not very readable. It’s up to Venba and us to restore the recipes and cook some delicious Tamil food. The figuring-out part is mostly guessing the correct order in which the ingredients should be added to the dish.

We have some dialogue choices besides the cooking, but from what I see, they don’t affect the story or the ending.

All controls are done with the mouse, and the game always shows on the screen what to do. It is also very responsive; never did I find myself clicking like crazy, looking for that one pixel that will solve the level.

Venba with her family
Venba with her family.

Art Style

While the game mechanics are fun, the real star of the game is the art style. It is colorful and vibrant and somewhat simplistic but fitting. It reminds me of Finding Hannah and A Little to the Left. While simplistic, it is also a stunning game. It has all these little details that catch you a little off guard sometimes. For example, when Kavin, Venba’s son, talks, his more emotional dialogue appears in a bubble that almost looks wet. Is it tears, maybe?

The artwork for the dishes is gorgeous. I recommend you have something to snack on while playing.

An interesting detail is how the passage of time is marked in the game, with calendar pages, photos on the walls and even silver in the hair of Venba and Paavalan.

A calendar page in Venba with family photos
Time passes by.

The Sounds of Venba

It will be inadequate to speak just about the music of Venba. Don’t get me wrong, the music is beautiful and appropriately chosen. But more than that, it’s skillfully adapted to the gameplay; it stops and picks up again at the correct times. When Venba cooks, her trusty radio plays songs in her language, making the whole thing feel natural. The tracks’ names and creators are listed at the end of the game, but they may be released as a soundtrack at some point in the future. 

For a game with no voice acting, Venba’s characters feel alive in a way few games manage. The dialogue is introduced in bubbles, with an accompanying sound like writing. It feeds into the idea that Venba’s husband, Paavalan, and her son, Kavin, choose writing as their career. When Venba moves around, even if she is out of view, we can hear the clicking of her bangles, nicely complimenting the music. 

An exciting and welcomed decision is that some of the written text in the game is in Tamil and then English. It adds to the impression that this game is a very intimate and personal story, made with much love and attention to detail.

Venba worrying about her connection with her son, Kavin
Venba’s worried.

Some Notes

This game has no difficulty settings, but it isn’t overly challenging. Also, Venba is a short (but sweet) game- my first playthrough took me about an hour and a half to finish. There are Steam achievements for this game, but no trading cards at this point.

Venba talking with her son, Kavin, saying this is really nice.


Venba is a great game and has an even more remarkable story. It gives us a brief glimpse at what an immigrant family goes through, the hardships and the joys. Venba also gives us an idea of how difficult it is to find the balance between adapting, fitting in, and still hanging on to your culture. It also touches on the universal idea that our children will not lead the life we do. This game has much humanity in the interactions between Venba and Paavalan, them and Kavin, the family, and the outside world. There are also simple moments of humor and love that feel so real that they could be someone’s memory.

While Venba is short, it is also long enough to do what it sets out to do: tell us a story and make us want to hug our parents.


Final Verdict: Two Thumbs Up: Two thumbs up


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