Home Reviews 4/5 Review A Time Traveller’s Guide To Past Delicacies Review

A Time Traveller’s Guide To Past Delicacies Review

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Occasionally a game comes along that wholeheartedly surprises. In a world of sequels, remakes and reimaginings, you are required to know exactly what you are getting from a game. If a remaster isn’t exactly like the game played years before there is usually an outburst on the internet, mostly followed by a host of tears. 

But with A Time Traveller’s Guide To Past Delicacies, you could never in your wildest dreams imagine what this game would be, nor what it is trying to do. Part DIY cooking show, part children’s entertainment, part horror, I have been left open-mouthed at times, while in the same breath found myself thoroughly enjoying the experience.  

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Yep, a sock puppet will guide you through A Time Traveller’s Guide To Past Delicacies

There’s a story here in A Time Traveller’s Guide To Past Delicacies. It’s bonkers, but here goes anyways…

You are a time traveller who, under the guidance of a sock puppet, can travel back in time and steal the recipes of your forefathers, cooking them in the present. You then get history lessons – from the sock puppet of course – of that recipe and the effect it has had on civilisations. There is stuff here about the origins of the recipes, but also of colonialism. The thing is, when you accidentally eat something from the past, there’s a chance you could destroy the very fabric of time. At least, I think. 

This is a story and a game which you are either going to love or find yourself massively annoyed. I adored it, mostly because it is extremely experimental and unlike anything else available anywhere. It is a game that doesn’t have to explain itself or hold your hand and say “It’s okay… here’s the next chapter… shhhh don’t worry”. It’s a mad rollercoaster, fragmented, full of cooking recipes. And frankly, what else do you need in life? It also made me want to make a sock puppet. Admit it, you’re sold. 

The gameplay comes in several different elements, but all are quite simple. The first are those cooking sections, which utilise crazy physics-based gameplay. You have several cooking utensils like a blender or frying pan, utilising them as you go through a recipe, collecting the right food in the right order, all before placing it in the right kitchen piece of equipment. The thing is, it’s all pretty hard to control and so expect to have onions bouncing everywhere. 

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Cook up a storm like no other

The next section of gameplay consists of you walking about in the first person, making your way through various periods in history, collecting recipes and taking pictures of things. There is also a small maze-based Pac-Man section that is quick and never gets repeated. It all means A Time Traveller’s Guide To Past Delicacies is a bit of a wild collection of different gameplay elements; all pretty rough around the edges. The thing is, I had a lot of fun with them and that’s the main draw. There’s also a strange section at the end where everything goes wrong that I particularly liked. Don’t worry, I won’t spoil anything here. 

Visually, the game mixes some FMV, focusing on the sock puppet in a kind of children’s TV studio talking directly to the camera and addressing you. There are some darker moments with this though; a stranger, demon version of the puppet gives you a list of rules for the world. Then you have the bright cooking sections that feel very much like a mixture of Fruit Ninja and The One Show. The first-person sections are strange and experimental with weirdly drawn characters and even weirder landscapes.

And the soundtrack and effects match the game’s experimental feel; the voice-over of the sock puppet is very much that of a hellish children’s presenter, with the reverb button switched on. 

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What the…!?

I love something a bit different and adore those game developers who take risks. The makers of A Time Traveller’s Guide To Past Delicacies do it in truckloads. This is a short, experimental journey into time and food; a journey that will make you smile. Sure the food physics are frustrating, there isn’t much gameplay to be had and the story is wild, but just consider the amount of joy it all brings and you should take a gamble on something that is out of this world. 

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I am an actor and a writer. I act quite a bit on stage, a little bit on tv and never on tuesdays. I have had some of my writing published and have written for TV and stage. I have been playing games since they begun and don't seem to be getting any better.
a-time-travellers-guide-to-past-delicacies-review<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>What’s not to like about a sock puppet?</li> <li>Recipes through time</li> <li>Mixture of styles</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Might be too wild for some</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, Sometimes You</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, Switch, PS4, PS5, PC <li>Release date and price - 21 February 2024 | £4.19</li> </ul>
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