Playing video games and reading horror novels are two of my favorite ways of passing the time. I’ve also been known to read or is it play, visual books such as It Lives in the Woods or The Haunting of Braidwood Manor on the ever-popular app Choices. I like the dash of suspense and the sprinkling of drama, but you know what these titles are missing? Food. Do you know what horror visual novel isn’t missing food? Cooking Companions.
Cooking Companions is a dating sim mixed with psychological horror title set in the deep forests of the Tatras Mountains currently in development by Deer Dream Studios. What sets this title apart from other virtual horror novels is the lack of jump scares, unnecessary gore, and complete dead ends. Deer Dream Studios states they are bringing this genre back to the good ol’ days and focusing on intricate sound design, the crippling fear of the unknown, and building a sense of dread within their audience.
The storyline sounds a bit Donner Party-ish, the reader finds themselves stuck in the woods with four other adults. The problem is supplies are running low, the floodwaters are rising high, and it’s up to the player to keep morale high, or else they could wind up on the dinner menu. Players can also speak with various foods that appear to lead them down a path of madness and despair. These cute foods include cabbage, onion, potato, raspberry, and bread. As the players progress through the game, they can unlock recipes to try in real life, thus adding another dimension of fun. Players will also learn more about Eastern European folklore, which is sprinkled throughout Cooking Companions.
Cooking Companions looks like a sweet game, but I’m looking forward to seeing just how creepy it can get! After seeing the Kickstarter, I found the scenery artwork to be hauntingly beautiful and the music to have an air of serene loneliness. I’m curious to see how the adorable characters and foods will play with the horror aspect of this novel. Players interested in this visual novel can anticipate the release in October 2020 on Steam. In the end, I’m looking forward to the completion of Cooking Companions and can’t wait to add it to my Steam library.