Inbento is a Switch-exclusive new puzzler that’s out now and available for just under 5 Dollars/Euros! That gets you 127 levels of puzzling – is it worth the money?
Do you enjoy cats? Do you enjoy Japanese bento dishes? I have to admit I’m not particularly fond of cats and had no idea there even was such a thing as “bento”, but I thoroughly enjoy puzzle games so I was still curious about Inbento developer Afterburn’s take on the genre.
It turns out the cat theme is mostly narrative window dressing that you see through wordless images that tell the story of a family of cats in between levels, and it’s something you can skip through if you’re not into the narrative side of puzzle games. The visuals are cute and cartoon-like though, and the digital nature of these cats doesn’t require you to have a fondness of the animals in order to appreciate it.
I’ll also go ahead and admit I had to look up “bento food” on google to figure out that side of the thematic puzzle, and it turns out it’s all about meals that are neatly packed in a box with smaller compartments inside of it. Yes, much like airplane food is served sometimes.
This translates to the puzzle mechanic of Inbento, where you have to make a set number of pieces fit into a box using the pattern provided to you. This is initially easy enough as there’s only one way of fitting the shapes correctly, but things quickly get more complicated as you unlock new levels and the mechanics that come with them.
Early on, you’ll learn that (parts of) shapes can be placed on top of already placed shapes, making the initial shape disappear (or crushing the food underneath?). I found this out through a bit of trial and error, so the game could’ve done a better job or providing a tutorial here. These changes are never something that stumps you for long though, as the learning curve in Inbento is very gradual. Before you know it, you’ll find that some pieces can’t be rotated, and others result in previously placed tiles being switched around.
This makes Inbento a simple yet satisfying puzzles, though not one that sticks out from the crowd of (mobile) puzzle games out there. The price tag, however, makes this an interesting choice for those looking to add a casual puzzle game to their collection. There are far better puzzle games out there, but not at this price point – Inbento is a solid package of over 120 logic/pattern-based puzzles.