Mindful Gaming Review: Inbento

Inbento, a cute puzzle based game all about the traditional Asian cuisine bento boxes, bento boxes are a form of lunch boxes that mainly consist of rice, meat, noodles, vegetables and more. The game asks the player to arrange a bento box in the form of squares so that it matches the picture shown to the right of the screen. The game consists of 14 chapters and 127 puzzles and tells a wordless story about cats and parenthood.

A great aspect of the game is that it’s simple enough for you to relax and enjoy; challenges your brain with new mechanics throughout the 14 chapters. Early levels allows you to swap the square shaped food while late game levels allow you to duplicate squares while also removing some from the box completely. Once you start mastering the mechanics the game chucks new ones at you, constantly keeping you on your toes and challenging your brain. At no point did I feel overwhelmed by the mechanics of the puzzles.

Once each level is complete the game shows you an illustrations and tells the story of a mother cat bringing up her offspring through the power of food and bento boxes. You go through the stages of childhood and into adulthood. It must have been challenging trying to tell a silent story with only 25 pictures but the game does an extremely good job of it. I also like the fact that as the cat grows up in the story the food in the bento boxes change, just like a child’s taste buds would in real life. I dont know if this was accidental or the plan but it was a nice touch.

A fantastic piano soundtrack adds to the relaxing factor this games has and at no point did I get frustrated or annoyed with the soundtrack while trying to complete a puzzle, actually it helped me stay relaxed as I attempted to solve some of the hardest puzzles the game had to offer. The aesthetic of the game is very simple and pleasing on the eye, using soft colours and not overloading the screen.

As like many gaming reviews a score should be given as an indicator to how good the game was/is. But at Mindful Exploring we do things a bit differently and give a mindfulness score and a overall gaming score out of ten.

MINDFULNESS SCORE: 9 / 10

Gaming Score: 7 / 10

The Mindfulness score of 9 was given as this game will help you relax regardless of if you play it for 10 minutes or an hour. The game gets your brain to think in a relaxed way alongside a fantastic piano soundtrack. The game will allow you step back in the real world in a mindful state with breathing under control. The vibrations of the Nintendo Switch adds to the mindfulness score because its giving your body a new relaxing sense to deal with. The story of parenthood using cats just completes a marvoulls mindful experience and allows you to really be in touch with yourself.

The gaming score of 7 was given because I would have liked to have seen more levels. with an average of 5 to 10 hours play time I didn’t feel like this was enough. The mechanics are well made and adds a new challenge to each of the levels. The aesthetic is one of the most simple and effective aesthetics I have seen in a puzzle game. The soundtrack suites the game well and adds to each level along with the fantastic cat silent story. The game could have been more challenging for a pro puzzle gamer but this could have impacted the mindfulness score and the satisfaction of new puzzle gamers.

Hopefully we get to see inbento 2 in the near future.

Available for the Nintendo switch, also on the Android and Apple store.

Life of a modern cat can be stressful. Why don’t you PAWS for a second and relax with a few rounds of inbento?

Nintendo Store

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