An updated version of this game is now on Steam! Please play our game there, and it's still free :)

Our game is Cooking Mama meets side scroller meets a wholesome story about hope. A Taste of the Past is about reconnecting with your mother’s culture through food while navigating a train that goes deeper and deeper in time. Made for Ludum Dare 48.

Controls: WASD or arrow keys to move. E to interact and advance dialogue. Mouse to select dialogue choices and for the minigames. ESC for settings.

IMPORTANT: If you get stuck on the second train, you need to go to the left of the great-grandma and wash your hands. After you've spoken to the great-grandpa, walk to the left until you see the task show up. To clarify, the handwashing minigame does not trigger until you've spoken to the great grandpa because he's the one who tells you to wash your hands.  Another thing is you must advance through all the dialogue in one train cart before moving onto the next or else you may get soft locked.

For the deaf and hard of hearing community, our ending has voice acting but no readable dialogue. To access that, go here: https://imgur.com/VyzexIL (Spoilers)


Writing: Emily Pitcher InstagramYouTubeItch.ioemilypitcher8@gmail.com

Art: Isabelle Szeto Twitter, Julia Lee Instagram, Jaimi Qiu Twitter Instagram, Caroline Wang Instagram

Programmers: Richard Cheng Itch.io, Johnny Wan Itch.io

Editor: Kelvin Nguyen

UI: Caroline Wang Instagram

Music/Sound: Caio Jiacomini Instagram Twitter Itch.io

Voice Acting: Grace Lulu Fang Instagram, Mei Tam Instagram

Special Thanks: Dennis Woo, Ray Hsiao Itch.io


A Taste of the Past (Mac).zip 78 MB
A Taste of the Past (Windows).zip 70 MB

Development log


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I'm not crying, it's just the onions. But seriously this is fantastic. I lost my grandmother last October and this hit hard. I wish I found this game sooner.

dude this is such an emotional thing, i cant imagine losing my dad and playing this really made me think about my past and whats gonna happen in the future, thank you


Thank you! We are releasing an updated version with new art, music, and writing tomorrow (plus, it's free!)! Feel free to wishlist here: https://store.steampowered.com/app/1706930/A_Taste_of_the_Past/


Thank you for making this, I lost my grandpa this month and this helps me imagine what he might have said and I cried it all out!

Aw, thank you so much :)


This is a masterpiece. It made me cry so hard. It's so good. Good Job!!!


Thank you! We will be releasing a full verison of this game in January so be on the lookout :)


I cried so hard.. I wish I had this kind of bond with either of my birth parents, but the closest to this is the bond I had with my Mema, who passed a few years ago from brain cancer. Thank you for making this, and giving me an opportunity to cry out some feelings while playing. Wonderful game and wonderful art, 1000/10

Aw, thanks so much for this :)

This is so pretty game~~~~ I love it so much :3

Thank you!


This was so emotional!! Such good feels, and good writing. I would love to read this in a graphic novel format!

Glad you liked it!

🍇🍇🥝💖💖💖 I LOVE THIS GAME you did a lovely job on EVERYthing and I had a bad bay and you made me happy with this lovely games soi Love You💖😁☺️

Aw thank you!

That was a lovely game, the music and art were perfect, as well as the way grief is handled and how it all ties up together in the last speech of the protagonist. Very short and sweet. As someone who has lost a grandad a couple of months ago, this felt close to home.

I'm sorry about your loss, and thank you for your kind comment. I really appreciate your kind words <3

As someone who lost a parent at a relatively early age (although not as young as the heroine of this story I) can really relate to her experience. The way other people treat her, the way she feels, the way everything grinds to a halt for a while. But then you gradually find life again, even if nothing is ever like it used to.


Thank you so much for sharing that and for commenting on my game. I'm glad you enjoyed my game!

This was a beautiful game and it was just... Amazing. The amount of emotions and story and everything put into the game in that much time was astounding and made it so fun to experience.  The art and music were fantastic and really went together well to make he game that much more of a whole experience. The personality and history of each character was well defined and done! Was an amazing gem of a game and had so much fun playing it!

I had a great time watching this playthrough and thank you so much for your nice comment!


Confused. It says “Remember this” and then the screen shows me three colored bowls. I assume I need to get the bowl it showed, but it doesn’t do anything, and I’m just stuck on this page with three bowls.


You have to drag the smaller bowls into the big bowl. The hitboxes are imperfect so you may have to try a couple of times.

I really like this game! It was very emotional, I hope I get to see more of your works in the future, Best of luck! :D

Aw, thank you!


Absolutely love this game! Please keep up the good work <3

Thank you! P.S. I like your pfp :)


Loved the mini games throughout and the overall story, were you guys inspired by What Comes After(It’s pretty similar to this one)?


One of our team members came up with this idea having never played What Comes After before. I have played the game, so we definitely used it as inspo!


what a beautiful game!! 10000000000000000000000000000000/10 <3


Ahh thank you!

Such an emotional journey. I just loved it, there was cute graphics, relaxing sounds and interesting story and dialogue. Only thing I hope there would have been was subtitles on voice acted parts but other than that it was so great!

We're planning on adding subtitles for our full version. Thanks so much for playing our game on your channel!

this games amazing!

Thank you :)


I wasn't expecting something so sad!  But I really enjoyed playing this game.

Thank you so much for posting a playthrough of our game!

Of course!  It was fun to play (also surprisingly sad).

Asian here? yiieee

I really love the game art and the calm environment makes the game seems cute and peaceful. i could give more than 5 stars just bc of the game art lol. Nice game, I love it


Aw, thank you so much!

This game was pretty good! I like it!

Aw, thanks!

The game doesnt work for me, it just gets stuck on the ingredients page.


We aren't aware of a bug like this, you do need to press "E" to advance during the intro though (including the ingredients page).

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Okay, thank you. I tried doing that the first time,so it might be an issue with my keyboard and not the game.

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This was soooo a other than that this was very good :)
- Have a great day everyone ! ~Aizen 🕊️🤍

Thank you!


It's been nearly a year since my grandmother, who raised me, passed away, and I've been working on trying to transcribe her recipes onto my computer. I found this game and started playing by sheer coincidence. I didn't know about the grieving aspect of the plot, so it kind of hit me unexpectedly with heaviness. Of course, I did really like the game. A lot was funnily on the nose.  I recall at one point I was making one of my grandmother's recipes and it didn't turn out right. I got really angry and people were telling me that it still tastes fine. They didn't understand why it set me off so much. I childishly kept yelling about how I wasn't going to ever be able to make it right and how it was "gone forever now."  Really I felt guilty about not having cooked with her more often or not having paid enough attention, not acquiring enough information while she was here, not being able to do it like she did, so I thought it was interesting how a lot of Mei's dialogue sort of mirrored that as well. I think this game did a good job with using food/recipes to symbolically represent the stories, information, and memories shared with a loved one, and with the past as a whole. Coincidentally we also had a mother's day gift for when she returned from the hospital that she never got to receive, having died on mother's day, so that part also unexpectedly got a lot heavy for me when I played.
Overall I hadn't set out to play a particularly emotional game, but I ended up liking this game quite a bit. If you'd excuse the sappiness, I never really had allowed myself to process my grandmother's death and reflect on it, and this game provided a bit of that, so I'm glad I got to play it. 


Hi, Emily (the writer) here. This game is actually inspired by my grandmother. I grew up with her cooking, and Chinese people don't really write down their recipes, they eyeball and improvise. Now that I'm an adult, I have no idea how to recreate any of her food, which makes me feel like I've lost a part of my cultural identity.

I have a nonexistent relationship with my parents, so while I've had an Asian American upbringing, nothing is tying me to my Asianness anymore. The food at restaurants tastes nothing like home. I can barely speak and understand mandarin. Through mourning the loss of my family, I am mourning the loss of myself.

Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I'm truly touched by your comment -- this is the reason I make games!

This game is so  pretty and calming! Thank you for making it :)

Thank you!

*I implore people to dive into this visual novel*

Such a sweet and positive take on everyday life for some people. The idea that Mei wanted deep down to be forever connected to her mother through her favorite dish is soothing :) 

Here's my readthrough* for all to explore, Enjoy!


Thank you so much for posting our game on your channel. I watched the playthrough and loved it!

The writing is great on this game, it was like reading a good book. Thank you!

Thank you!

This game was awesome, I love everything - from the art to the music to the voice-acting. It was a great experience and I'd do anything to relive it again :) You guys did a great job :D 

Thanks so much!



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Incredibly heartwarming game. The character designs and backgrounds were beautiful! The music fit well. The mini-games and dialogue choices kept me engaged. (Also adds some replayability.) It was surprising to hear voice acting and it was well done for what it was! My only nitpick is that I wish there were subtitles during those voiced segments.

I did run into a bug where you can get softlocked. If you don’t advance the dialogue in one room, the next room won’t let you interact with anything and you get stuck. (Not sure if this is the same issue as you mentioned in the "important" section of the description.) I happen to get a separate video of this occurring, let me know if you’d like to see it!

Regardless, it was a great experience! Keep up the fantastic work!


Thank you so much for making a video --woah! Yes, we are aware of the softlocking bug as we made this game in three days, so there may be a few errors with it (We plan on making a full version sometime though, so stay tuned!). We plan on adding subtitles for the full version.

We appreciate your comments :)

A very pleasant experience. Greatly enjoyed the audio and story. Nice job! :D

Thank you so much!