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I'm really looking forward to tucking into Nour: Play With Your Food later this year

This game is very *chef's kiss*

A bathtub and shower full of ice cream in Nour: Play With Your Food
Image credit: Panic

"Olivia, get the bowls and chopsticks ready to eat dinner," my mum asks 10 year old me. I do as I'm told, taking them to the dinner table. In childish, whimsical fashion as a childish, whimsical child, I grab my pair of chopsticks and start hitting them together as if I'm a drummer. "Olivia, don't do that," my mum scolds me. "Your grandma always used to tell me off when I did that as a child." Sullenly, I put the chopsticks back down on the table.

Well, 10 year old me, you're in for a treat. If you wait a couple of decades, you'll learn of Nour: Play With Your Food, a game which allows you to bang together chopsticks. The game wants you to. Nour is a physics simulation of a variety of foods, where you can choose the ingredients for the dish and add various "effects" of a non-culinary nature.

Nour has been in development for a while. We first caught wind of Nour in 2017, and developer TJ Hughes ran a Kickstarter campaign to help get it to the pass. The last update we had on it was in August 2021, and now Hughes has announced a demo as part of the current Steam Next Fest.

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With its bright colours and shiny pristine models, it's tempting to arrange everything nicely on the screen for pretty picture, but its far more entertaining to make a complete mess. Drop food haphazardly, set it on fire, make it start vibrating to a dance beat. In the meat grinder level, I shoved absolutely everything I could into the grinder and wound up with multi-coloured tubes of who knows what. Tasty? Absolutely not, I wouldn't want to put this abomination near anyone's mouth. But once the tubes start swirling around in the air from the magnet effect, I'm not looking at it as food anymore. It's an art form to be visually consumed.

The aftermath of "The Grinder Incident". Thankfully you can't see most of the mess on the floor. | Image credit: Panic Inc.

The demo shows off a nice breadth of dishes to play with. There's a ramen bowl, which I tried to pile a massive stack of raw steaks into, but then decided to slam a load of noodles in instead. And then I set it on fire. And swirled the noodles around and around in the soup. And then I froze it. I was genuinely heartbroken when I picked up the not-Kikkoman soy sauce bottle, but couldn't flip it the correct way. It poured everywhere except into the bowl. I can't believe I managed to waste the world's best condiment like that.

There's only four dishes available in Nour's Next Fest demo, though the final game will contain over 20 different vignettes. Hughes revealed Nour: Play With Your Food will be out later this year on PC, Mac and PS5. If this is just taster of what else is included, I'm sure the full game will be a visual feast. Maybe not a gourmet one, though.

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