Inbento Review (Switch)
Bento lunches too cute to eat!
Available on: Switch/Mobile
Right from when this was showed, I knew I just had to have it. For one, it’s super cute. Cats? Yes. Playing a cat mother packing bento lunches for her son? Double yes! Darn my desire to grab cute things. Inbento is light on the story, only using it as a framing device to explain why the puzzles are food related, but it works. Through a series of cute pictures that you’ll unlock at the beginning of every chapter, you play as a mother cat making lunches for her child. You’ll see highlights of her buying ingredients, preparing them, arguing with her child over including certain food, and see her child grow up and where he ends up (which I presume we switch over perspectives).
There are 14 chapters, with each of them having 9 puzzles each. You don’t have to complete all 9 puzzles to progress to the next chapter, but you’ll need to do most of them. When you go into a puzzle level, you’ll be given a recipe card showing what you’ll be aiming to achieve, an empty bento box, and your ingredients ready to be put in. It starts out pretty simple to introduce you to how you’ll be placing the cute food blocks in. Getting you used to seeing the food blocks grouped up into one shape and that overlapping some food blocks will be necessary to match the recipe card. What happens to the bottom ingredient is unknown, but as long as the top layer matches, it doesn’t matter. For the most part, Inbento is an easy puzzle game, but it does get complicated as you move on to new chapters.
You won’t only be dealing with food, but also those that were already placed in the bento box. You’ll be given these special pieces that will interact with the food already placed in various ways. Giving you the ability to swap the placements of two food blocks, move one or multiple food blocks (which will leave an empty space afterwards), copy a certain food block onto another block, and even take out some of the food blocks so you can then rotate them and then place them back in either immediately or later on. Though, the puzzles don’t truly get difficult until you encounter and learn each of these special pieces and start requiring you to think your moves ahead. Or at least, mess with the pieces until you figure out what to do. I’d say it’s around Chapter 7 or 8 where you’ll start to be challenged for real. I actually took a break from Inbento for a month and when I came back to it, I had no idea what to do as I gazed at the puzzle I last left on.
There is also one more special block for you once you get past these tricky and difficult levels and you’ll momentarily return to easy puzzles to learn what it does before it starts to introduce the difficult levels again.
As I’ve said before, Inbento is such a cute game. The illustrations you get once you complete chapters are so cute and perfectly show what’s going on without needing any text. Just sounds of the cats meow-speaking, food being chopped, or boiling water. These illustrations will even slightly move if you move or tilt your Switch. The food blocks are also cute and I love that you’ll be working with various different kinds of food to show how tastes change and just giving you something else to look at. The music accompanying the puzzles was also calming and never got annoying to listen to.
For having over 100 bento puzzles for you to complete for the cheap price, I do fully recommend Inbento. It’s such a cute puzzle game that’s easy to learn, but with the difficulty coming from the various pieces the food blocks will make and the special pieces to mess with some blocks already placed. Though, be warned that it does get really challenging around chapter 8 before it lowers back down briefly.