#1 Teacup

#1 Teacup

September 25, 2021 0 By Owly

Developed by Smarto Club, and published by Whitethorn Games, Teacup is a short adventure that released on September 23rd via Steam, Xbox, PS4, and Epic, with a Switch release due on September 30th.

The publishers, Whitethorn Games, pride themselves on being the “defenders of easy games”. It was only while browsing their website that I realised I had recently played another of their titles, Lake, which I simply adored. You play as Meredith Weiss, who takes a break from her job in the city to visit home for two weeks to work the postal route. It has a confident plod of a pace and is alluringly relaxing. The older I get, the more I lean towards indie games like this, as I find them far more wholesome and memorable than other areas of gaming on offer. Having thoroughly enjoyed Lake, Whitethorn Games succeed again with Teacup, which is nothing short of a delight.

You play as Teacup, a shy and introverted frog living in the woods. Tea is your world but somehow, the day before your party, you discover you have run out. So you must meander through the woods and surrounding areas collecting a long list of ingredients. You do this by talking to the eclectic members of your community and exchanging help to those in need. The premise is simple with controls to match. If you’re playing on PC, as I did, you move Teacup with the directional keys and interact with items and other characters using the space bar. Every now and then you’ll need to use the mouse for a mini-game or puzzle, but that is pretty much it. You also carry a book with your list of ingredients in, which you can open/close by pressing ‘z’.

This town severely lacks knitted sweaters”

The game is beautifully illustrated, making wondrous use of colour, with an impressive and soporific soundtrack of piano, violin, and mandolin. You will walk for most of the game and revisit places often, unlocking more and more of the map as your progress, but mini-games are generously scattered throughout the story that break up your journey nicely. You will fire magic dust at flying carpets, search for hidden objects in a magician’s tent, help place machine cogs for the lighthouse attendant, memorise moves when performing on stage, and more. Your tasks can be completed in an order of your choice and although I was in no rush to be done here, I finished the game, collecting all 13 achievements, in under ninety minutes. At no point was I stuck or lost, and although the game doesn’t hold your hand, it has been crafted in a way that frustration just doesn’t come in to the equation. Whitethorn make “easy-going, bite-sized, and stress-free” games and that is exactly what Teacup is.

“My balloon cart once flew away. How I got it back, you ask? I…didn’t”

I primarily work as a private music tutor, often finding that initial bond with students, particularly younger students, through our shared loved of gaming. I’ve sadly found this involves lots of discussions with somewhat ill-informed parents, who still hold the belief that gaming is largely a pursuit of violence and unhealthy competition. I do my best as a proud gamer to show parents the endless possibilities of experiences that gaming can offer. Games such as Teacup. I loved my time with this title and I would highly recommend to those in search of a pleasant afternoon.

You can follow Whitethorn Games on Twitter – @WhiteThornGames
You can follow Smarto Club on Twitter – @smarto_club

“Look mom, that kite looks like a big balloon”
“Yes dear…wait, that actually does look like a balloon cart”