Hang tight, because this week I’m talking about video games.  What? Foodies and gamers can overlap.  Just look at that Australian guy from Eater who keeps popping up in Polygon content.  Also I’ve written about Pokemon here at least twice, so this isn’t even that much of a stretch.  

After a brief respite in the Console Wars, Microsoft and Sony have recently begun unveiling the next generation of entertainment boxes.  And with the PS5 briefly having been available for preorder (before selling out a few hours later), now seems to be a good time to look at one of the few games that has actually been announced for the platform (lmao): Nour: Play With Your Food.

From one of the makers of my favorite game of last year, untitled goose gameNour: Play With Your Food is a, well, play-with-your-food simulator.  Boasting 20 different vignettes, such as “empty out a vending machine,” “throw stuff into a meat grinder,” and “too many toasters”, I can only assume Nour will have the same whimsically mischievous vibes as that bastard goose.

There isn’t much else I can say about it until it comes out (which I will write about when that day comes), but there is another food game that I’ve come across that I can talk about- Eat: The Revolution.

From the makers of The Stanley Parable, which is a game I haven’t actually played but know that it’s one of those games you can namedrop to sound smart, Eat is, at first glance, a simple mobile game, available for free on iOS and Android.  Tap the food that appears on screen to eat it, get rewarded with praise… or a warning.  

All you see are foods as they nervously shake on a stark black background, waiting to be eaten.  All you hear are droning, ambient sounds,whistling wind, and munching sounds that are oddly satisfying, even though eating sounds are usually the grossest thing ever.

As you eat the food provided to you, you are told that you are part of a revolution, and that you will munch upon salvation.  “Chomp faithful” becomes your call to arms, urging you to “keep eating, comrade.”  Just when you start to wonder what Eat is trying to say, they hit you with this: 

As you push onward, it becomes clear that “Uncle Hunger” is not to be appeased, but defeated. And as you tap ceaselessly through the food, warnings not to believe Uncle Hunger’s lies turn to rallying cries of Uncle Hunger’s true nature, weak and pathetic.  Utterances of “Cold, Hard, And Empty” become “It Feels Warm,” and then “You Feel Hot.”  Victory will soon be at hand.

But, this is often offset by other, more sinister messages.  “Protect Yourself” turns into “Do Not Believe Your Pain.”  “Eat For Prosperity” becomes “Better Dead Than Hungry.”  The food provided to you begins to slip slowly into the uncanny, until by the end, you are told “All Food Is Fake” as you are presented a series of items so jarring I can’t bring myself to spoil them here.  

The gameplay is tedious and repetitive, yet morbid curiosity- and the uncertainty of whether or not my progress would be saved if I closed out- drove me forward, with no end in sight.  Or so I thought.  Because suddenly, without warning, you are informed, “There is no more food.”  

A treatise on how endless, hollow consumption for the sake of consumption drives our lives, only to be blindsided by finite, dwindling resources, Eat leaves you wondering if, perhaps, the revolution was just another lie you’ve been fed.

Or something. I don’t know, I’m still wondering what Eat is trying to say.  

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