PS5 Review: A Time Traveller’s Guide To Past Delicacies

Does this time travelling sock puppet cook up something special?

A short game about a fictional time traveller raiding the past to steal recipes. Follow a sock puppet into the dark bowels of time and learn new recipes. Meet your long-dead ancestors. Exploit them to further your cooking skills. Take some pictures of dinosaurs. Appropriate what you can. This is an experimental story-driven adventure. Don’t expect state-of-the-art cooking gameplay. Mostly, you will watch videos, cook some simple meals, trying to cope with things falling out of hand, and explore some strange places.

I honestly don’t know where to even begin with A Time Traveller’s Guide To Past Delicacies. It’s up there as one of the strangest games, full of broken mechanics, nightmare fuel characters and visuals that could make the PS1 laugh. And yet, there’s something about it that is worth your time. I can’t put my finger on it, but it definitely feels like the choices are deliberate.

The scenes with the sock puppet are filmed, while the cooking sections have you hit a button to generate what ingredient you need to place in whatever cooking apparatus it requires. The problem is that grabbing the item itself doesn’t always work, or you’ll keep dropping it and you’ll end up constantly juggling with the controls trying to grab the item and place it properly before moving on to the next item. It’s laughably broken.

When you’ve done that, you’ll take a journey to the past which becomes a first-person game where you need to search for recipes, usually by looking for giant exclamation marks that you need to take photos of. You’ll come across cavemen and dinosaurs, for example and they are some of the most bizarre looking character models I’ve seen in a long time. The visuals are also dreadful, so much so I think it’s done on purpose to fit with the overall broken feeling of the game.

You’ll repeat the process a few times, learning new recipes and travelling through time before the game ends. It’s relatively short and once it’s finished you’ll have no reason to return, other than to maybe show the game off to someone to see their reaction. I did find the whole experience surreal and find it hard to put into words, that even though it’s up there as one unholy mess, I still think it has to be seen to be believed.

The Verdict

I do love games that are out there and different, which this definitely is. Perhaps it’s too crazy and broken for its own good, but I personally think it’s worth a look, even just for curiosity alone.

Score: 6.5