“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” – Henry James
Teacup is a short and wholesome narrative adventure game about a shy little frog named Teacup. Players can enjoy helping her on her journey to find the ingredients for her upcoming tea party!
Developer: Smarto Club
Released: 23rd September 2021
Price: £7.19 – £8.39
The simple but wholesome story follows Teacup, a delightfully timid frog who wants to host a tea party. She needs to explore the town of Little Pond, talking to and helping its various animal inhabitants in order to find all the ingredients she needs for the get-together. The protagonist remains silent throughout and we only see the dialogue of the eclectic characters she talks to. This unusual approach is very effective in that it reinforces Teacup’s shyness and allows the player to fill in the blanks, creating an extra level of immersion.
The laid-back gameplay primarily involves exploration and conversing with the townsfolk. Teacup does not put the player on rails and instead allows non-linear exploration. The protagonist carries a book that lists all the ingredients needed. Once each one is found the page will be coloured in making it easy to see what still needs to be found.
Many of the NPC will be able to help on the mission to find ingredients but they’ll likely want something in return! This involves one of a selection of puzzles and mini-games, such as fruit-based jigsaws, memory games in the form of a theatre performance or swimming races against a salamander. There is a nice amount of variety among these puzzles and mini-games but they all involve very low-pressure tasks with minimal consequences for failure making for a casual and highly enjoyable experience.
Teacup has a unique, stylised aesthetic that is one of the stand-out features of the game. Although aspects of it look like it was created in MS Paint, it is delicately pixelated, with textures and gradients that look like a cross between digital spray paint and the beautiful pointillism of the late 19th century. The colour palettes are soft yet vibrant, adding to the distinct appearance.
The music is gentle and relaxing featuring instruments such as piano, flute and acoustic guitar. It fits well with both the gameplay and the visuals and helps to create a calming overall experience alongside subtle, ambient sound effects such as nature-related noises.
Teacup is an incredibly quaint game with an adorable protagonist. It offers distinct, colourful visuals, relaxing music, engaging NPCs and satisfying, stress-free puzzles and mini-games that add an extra level of interactivity to the non-linear exploration. It will take around 1.5-3 hours to complete and is a thoroughly enjoyable and relaxing experience that I’d highly recommend to anyone looking for a pleasantly slow-paced adventure game to unwind with for a couple of hours.
For more games about tea and coffee, take a look at these reviews:
Kabaret – Play the Monster in this Stunning Interactive Fiction – LudoNarraCon 2020: Coffee Talk Review – Become the Barista in Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly