inbento (Xbox Series X/S) Review

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 31.05.2023

Review for inbento on Xbox Series X/S

Now available on Xbox, inbento by Afterburn is a new puzzle game. This company has created Golf Peaks in the past and it's cool to see them branch out into something new and offer something so overbearingly cute. This game was originally a mobile game and this version, published by 7Levels, offers the same experience but on the big screen! With their solid history will this be devoured or dropped into the bin at school?

The feeling of satisfaction and of love when creating a lunch for your child should never be underestimated. Therefore, inbento puts players in the shoes of a mother who makes daily bento lunches for her child. Throughout the game, little scenes are interspersed between the levels showing the relationship between the characters growing and changing with time. It is somehow both melancholic and peaceful to experience.

Gameplay takes the form of a puzzler. Here, true to its mobile roots, players must slide, move, and swap blocks that represent various box fillings to recreate the bento shown in the UI. This begins very easy with single blocks to place but quickly introduces a host of inputs and block types to change up the action. This plays somewhat like a top-down perspective stacking game, where blocks placed on top of others become the dominant block, for example if there is salad and the player places fish on-top, that block is now fish. The learning curve isn't steep, but it does go much higher than expected. The originally swipe-y gameplay from the mobile experience has been expertly applied to the controller interface, making the gameplay extremely accessible and simple to understand.

Screenshot for inbento on Xbox Series X/S

Visually the UI and design are excellent. This title presents a very simple menu and game screen. Each set of levels is set in a collection, usually based around a game mechanic being introduced. These make navigation easy and visual. The levels themselves are very cute, there is a bank of blocks to be placed (all of which must be used) at the bottom, simple control commands shown on screen to ensure the player remembers what they can do and in the middle is a cute little bento box usually with a block or two pre-placed that the player needs to work around. It's just lovely and has a great colour scheme. The art style used in the in-between "story" moments is extremely adorable and akin to something from Beatrix Potter. Music adds to the presentation; it's slow and contemplative but happy, perfect for keeping the player engaged with this type of content. No real zingers but perfectly pitched.

Where inbento struggles is that every level sports the same presentation, bar some colour changing, so it can become a bit bogged down in a longer play session. This is especially true for repeat plays. It's a small bug bear but might be the killer for some players.

Screenshot for inbento on Xbox Series X/S

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Small bugbear aside, inbento is so charming and simple that it is hard to put down once it gets going. It's a solid puzzle title that starts out super easy and accessible but ramps up far enough to challenge players who want more. It's a great little package full of heart that deserves a pickup from puzzle fans.

Developer

Afterburn

Publisher

7Levels

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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