Gosh I love short games. Games that can be completed in less than half an hour. They’re so rare, and nearly always so interesting. The Supper, a completely free short adventure by Octavi Navarro, is exactly that. A witty, macabre, and superbly realised point-and-click adventure that lasts a solid 20 minutes, and is completely worth your time.
Navarro’s name might be familiar from his wonderful pixel art on games like Thimbleweed Park and Luca Redwood’s Photographs. So it’s a joy to see more of his impeccable work. The Supper is his first short adventure to hit Steam, but his fourth overall, with Midnight Scenes Episodes 1 and 2, and The Librarian, all on itch.io.
The Supper is, at first glance, a game about an elderly lady – Mrs Appleton – running a small dock-side restaurant. Her menu is a simple one. There’s Pigeon a la Sauce Rosee, Spicy Red Swordfish, and Hand & Tongue Stew. Each smothered in her, um, trademark “Special Sauce”. And yes, Hand & Tongue Stew is exactly that: “1 Plump Human Hand, Add 1 Slimy Tongue, Cover with Special Sauce”. Yum.
Mrs Appleton is accompanied by a narrator. We’re all familiar with the concept of the Unreliable Narrator, untrustworthy to the audience, but I think The Supper might be my first encounter with the same betraying the characters within his tale. From the very first moment, something feels sinister about this unnamed narrator, and the rather unpleasantly controlling way he speaks to our player character. It just feels wrong.
Which is the beginning of the malevolent tone that dominates the few minutes this all lasts. And superbly so, since it’s all presented as if everything were perfectly normal.
I also completely loved that the player character is an elderly woman. I’m sure there are more examples, but the only other that springs to mind is The Graveyard.
I’m deliberately avoiding saying what actually happens, because in a story this brief everything’s a spoiler. But safe to say you’ll be preparing some dishes. One of them is best served cold.
I love this. It’s mad that it’s free on Steam. I’d have been delighted to have paid for it. There’s a DLC pdf art book you can buy as a way of paying if you liked it, but I think it’s far better to get it from itch.io, where you can pay any amount you think it’s worth. (I went and bought his other free games there, after.) It’s a wonderful piece of art, and a satisfactorily sinister story, and all over before the kids are screaming for your attention.