The minimalist game lets you play with your food in both soothing and random ways.

Abbey White
September 25, 2017

A new crowd-funded app aims to generate a food-simulation that will encourage users to enjoy playing with their food.

Nour (short for nourishment), will see players interactively exploring food through a non-story or objectives-driven format. Based on color theory and featuring a variety of pastels and rich deep hues, the minimalist PC and Mac game focuses on getting you to engage with your senses and the aesthetics of your food—colors as well as touch and sounds—through open-ended gameplay. Scenes and options will feature edibles like ramen noodles, boba tea, and popcorn, as well as food apparatus like a meat grinder and toaster. As you play through the game, you'll be responsible for interacting with the food in whatever conventional or unconventional way you see fit.

From scene to scene and stage to stage, the controls will change—a gentle prod to experiment with the world at your fingertips. "Mash any key on your keyboard during the game and you'll get immediate feedback, which you can use to discover combinations of interactions throughout each scene," the Kickstarter page states.

The idea for Nour came after developer and self-taught designer Tj Hughes visited a local boba shop. What started as a 3D art project featuring the Taiwanese tea-based drink evolved into the focus of Hughes' Kickstarter.

"Every time I presented my bubble tea art to someone, they would remark about how it really made them crave bubble tea at the time, and I became fascinated with this idea," Hughes told GamesBeat. "The idea that I could make someone crave a certain food simply by catching the visual aesthetics and colors and textures of a food."

Because it lacks a goal-rewards system or a "loss" feature, casual players are less likely to get irritated or quit, according to Hughes. "The game is really inviting to any type of interaction you want to have with it," Hughes told GameBeat, "and I really see the effects of that when demoing the game live at events."

NOUR Explainer + Gameplay

Nour is a virtual ramen simulator, and easily one of the most unique games we've seen this year.

Posted by Polygon on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The calming interface and repetitive nature of the game can also help people with certain disabilities, Hughes has discovered. "...Games like this can be used for 'stimming,' which is repetition of physical movements, sounds, or objects—like tapping your foot, playing with your pen, rocking your chair," said Hughes. "The repetitive sensory stimulation can help calm one's nerves, or satisfy the need for stimulation, which especially helps people on the autistic spectrum."

Ultimately though, the game was designed around how colorful food can be and according to Hughes, aims to answer the question: What are the exact colors that elicit hunger?

Currently backed by over 500 people, the project has already met $13,500 of its $25,000 goal with 23 days left yet to still fund it.