LifeisXbox’s Teacup preview | Meet Teacup, a frog that loves tea. Teacup wants to throw a tea party, but she’s out of tea. And since this is kind of crucial for her party, she sets out on an adventure to find the necessary ingredients. Teacup is a narrative adventure game by developer Smarto Club. It focuses on exploration and non-linear progression. This is a game that’s featured during LudoNarraCon, the digital festival celebrating narrative games!
A simple story
As I shortly mentioned in the intro, Teacup is about a shy and introverted young frog who is all about drinking tea and reading. The day before she is supposed to host a tea party at her little house, she realizes she is out of tea. The drama! She must now go out into the world, talk to the other animals that live in the wood, and go on an adventure to find all the ingredients she needs to restock her pantry. It’s a pretty basic story that doesn’t have too much to it, and the goal of the game is clear: gather all ingredients so you can host that teaparty!
The demo for Teacup is actually quite short. I was just starting to get the feeling of the game, and then I got a screen saying ‘thank you for playing the demo’. This short introduction to the game is all about gathering the first ingredient: mint. As the game description states, this gameplay is non-linear so the rest of the ingredients won’t have a fixed order; you can just tackle the list however you feel fit.
In order to get to the ingredients, you’ll have to engage with other animals, like a badger, an owl, and so on. The map will gradually expand when you learn of new places to go on your journey. Of course, nothing comes for free and nobody will hand over information or the ingredients just because they’re nice. In the demo, you’ll be asked to organize the badger’s stand (as you can see in the screenshot above) in order to get information about where to find mint. This is not a very difficult puzzle, but if you happen to get stuck, a hint will show up after a while. Another task that’s in the demo, is swimming against Salamandro. This is also quite easy; you have to press the right arrows in order to swim faster.
Graphics, sound and conclusion
The art style used in Teacup reminds me of a children’s book. Given these graphics and the simplicity of the puzzles/tasks, I feel like this game is aimed at a younger audience than myself. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautifully illustrated but I’m not sure all grown-up players will enjoy Teacup.
The soundtrack provided on your adventure is simply beautiful and really fits in with the art style and easy-going gameplay. I definitely felt calm during the whole demo thanks to the music. And really, I was sad to see it come to an end so quickly. I’m very curious to see how long the actual game will be, since getting the first ingredient only took about 15 minutes. It’s a really short demo, but I did enjoy myself!