The Supper is a tiny game that caught me by surprise. It makes for a very quick playthrough, but its story and themes may linger in your mind for a while. It’s also a perfect game for people who don’t have a lot of time to play, but still want to enjoy something with a lot of depth and a huge emotional charge.
At its base level, The Supper is a point-and-click adventure. The controls are simple: you move around and interact with items with the left mouse button. Because of this, you can play it on your laptop without a mouse. The experience is a bit more immersive this way, as you won’t have to actually make clicks or any noises that could distract you. It’s important that you really get your head in the game, because each second you waste focusing on other things, you’d be missing clues and bits of the story. With a game this short, this can be a problem.
The story is simple, at least on the surface. You play as Ms. Appleton, who is a cook at her own tavern. Your job is to make 3 meals for the people who come in. And that is all I can say without giving the plot away, so I’ll leave it here. The Supper is best experienced if you go into it without any expectations.
What is good about it?
The first thing I noticed was the music. Most short games don’t put effort into the soundtrack, because the player won’t be listening to it for hours on end. So in most cases they just use something royalty-free and really repetitive. With The Supper you won’t get increasingly agitated by the music. At all. Developer Octavi Navarro took the time to create the music it and it turned out amazing. For a taste of what I’m talking about, listen to the music in the trailer.
The second thing that stood out was the art style. I’m going to be completely honest, it was the main reason I was interested in this game. I love pixel art and The Supper‘s style should be taught in art schools. The characters are built perfectly, the shading is absolutely amazing and the color palette highlights everything important. It may seem too simple at first glace, but take the time to look around. Pay attention to how the light spreads around the room and how it hits objects. I especially loved that shrug Ms. Appleton gave when I wanted her to do something that wasn’t relevant to the game. And those expressions…
Let’s talk about something even more important: the message and emotions behind the game’s exterior. I exchanged a few words with Navarro and asked him what his inspiration was. The short answer is pretty depressing: “I’d say it was the death of my father, two years ago.”
With an inspiration like that, the end result was destined to be something with high emotional charge. And Navarro has succeeded in that regard. The Supper takes a pretty unexpected turn at the end, which will make anyone feel at least a little empathy. But it’s not forced, which is interesting. As Navarro said, “I don’t like to tell the player what they should feel or understand from it. I want it to have the meaning each player finds in it.” Which is a really interesting turn on this game.
What is bad about it?
Nothing major, really. With such a short game there is not much room for error. The only thing I found issue with were the controls. There were times when my clicks wouldn’t register, and Ms. Appleton just stood in one place while I desperately tried to get her to move. This never lasted more than a few seconds though, so I don’t think it’s that big of a problem.
I should still say this, though: I would have loved it if The Supper was just a tiny bit longer. I think it would’ve given some more intensity to the emotional charge, and perhaps given it even stronger pacing. Like many good things, this game felt like it ended a little too soon.
Give The Supper game a try if you want to experience a very unique and thoughtful little adventure. If you end up enjoying it – which you probably will – head on over to Navarro’s website where he has all of his games listed and available for download. All of them are point-and click-adventure games with interesting plots, so you can keep that Supper vibe going for a just little longer.