Does Canned Rice Dream of a Napkin Heap?

This game is both absurd and amazing in equal proportions. I know I start all these spotlights like this, but I love it. I LOVE it.

Does Canned Rice Dream of a Napkin Heap throws you into a bizarre situation: you start the game and a robotic waiter at some galactic restaurant explains that in order to pay for your meal for the night, you’ll need to entertain some guests. How are you to entertain these guests exactly? By telling them a story. And wait, it gets better… to better illustrate your story, you’ll be using anything available on the table as ‘actors.’ So you’ll be introducing things like a battery, a pill, an eyeball in a glass box, or of course canned rice into the scene as actors, and then you’ll have to play out the scene.

But this is where things get really fun: there are about five guests you’re expected to entertain, and after each bit of action (which you’ll have to write just by the way) one of them will ask you a question: “is it legal” or “was it fun” or so on. Grading open writing in games is hard, so your answers to these hungry space aliens matters a lot more to the outcome of the game than what you actually write, but it’s a lot of fun regardless. The aliens aren’t so easy to please either: appeasing one will often anger another, so it’s an intricate balancing act. In the end I was able to entertain them all enough to pay for my dinner, so basically I nailed it.

At the end the game will generate a script for you to copy or save. I’ll post mine, a heartwarming story about a dog rescue, in the comments below (it’s a little long).

Like Killing Time at Lightspeed, this game appeared in the Antholojam, and is completely free to play in your browser*, so have a crack and post your generated scripts in the comments here!

*Note: Unity Web Player was discontinued in Chrome, you’ll need to use IE, Firefox or other to play it.

Adam Carr

My passions lie in creative writing, making games and breaking the rules. I started this here Collective and also make games with my brother over at

1 Comment

  • Adam Carr

    05.06.2015 at 18:23 Reply

    MY STORY: A lot of animals and objects become friends
    A story where people and animals make friends

    This happened a few years ago –
    This story takes place in a dog pound, a place on Quaoar.
    Dog, an animal, arrived at a dog pound.
    Hubert, a human, arrived at a dog pound.
    Hubert walked around the pound, looking at the kennels (That was legal.)
    Dog said, “woof!” (That was a nice thing for dog to say.)
    Hubert said, “Oh hello, dog fellow, would you like to come home with me?” (That could have offended.) (But it actually made someone happy!)
    Dog became friends with Hubert (It was very exciting!)
    Pound keeper, a robot, arrived at a dog pound.
    Pound keeper said, “sign the papers or get out! I’ve got more dogs than time here.”” (That was a mean thing for pound keeper to say.)
    Hubert stole dog from his kennel, and ran out of the store! (That was illegal.)
    Elsewhere, at the street…
    Hubert, a friendly character, arrived at the street.
    Pound keeper arrived at the street.
    Dog, a friendly character, arrived at the street.
    Fire hydrant, part of the scenery, arrived at the street.
    Pound keeper chased Hubert and dog! (That was legal.)
    Pound keeper tripped on fire hyrdrant! (There are no laws in the street.) (Pound keeper could be executed if caught.)
    Dog peed on the pound keeper! (It was very exciting!)
    Hubert kicked the pound keeper in the ribs multiple times. (It was very exciting!)
    Pound keeper said, “Okay Okay stop! I am bleeding internally!” (That was a nice thing for pound keeper to say.)
    Hubert said, “Okay, I will stop kicking you. Maybe one day we can be friends like me and dog?” (That was a nice thing for Hubert to say.)
    Fire hydrant burst! (It was very exciting!)
    Hubert said, “Dog, I will show you your new home now, and you can pee on all my furniture” (Things may be nice now, but they weren’t earlier…)
    Elsewhere, at Hubert’s house, somewhere in charted space…
    Dog arrived at Hubert’s house. (It was actually a rather calm scene.)
    Hubert arrived at Hubert’s house. (It was actually a rather calm scene.)
    Hubert brought dog into the house and petted him. (That was legal.)
    Dog said, “I love you Hubert!” (That was a nice thing for dog to say.)
    The moral of the story is it is good to rescue unfortunate beings from forced captivity

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