I rarely look at Alpha build games these days as I like to let them brew a little longer before I analyse them. However, I occasionally break this rule if a game tickles my fancy. I was invited to look at Brewmaster: Beer Simulator, and as I love alcohol and gaming, so I had little to lose.
Developed by Auroch Digital and published by Sold Out, this is a realistic home brewing simulation title. Currently, in its very early development, I had low expectations regarding quality and content. Fortunately, the developers quashed my concerns with some wonderful mechanics and intriguing ideas.
Brewmaster: Beer Simulator is more in-depth than expected!
Simulation titles are renowned for their intoxicating gameplay and time sink nature. So, therefore I probably shouldn’t have been shocked by Brewmaster: Beer Simulator’s in-depth mechanics. However, a game so early in its development shouldn’t be this advanced. The levels of detail and accuracy required to make each beverage were truly incredible.
You are tasked with following specific recipes to the nth degree. It asks you to grab ingredients, the correct utensils, and accurately measure and blend them all. Furthermore, you will pour water, heat it, cool it, and ferment the alcohol. It all sounds easy, but one minor error undermines all your hard work.
An immersive sim that may go too far.
Now, I love an immersive sim as much as the next person, maybe even more so. However, when certain mechanics make the gameplay unnecessarily tough it is annoyingly frustrating. The developers don’t want you to grab ingredients and type in values. No, they want you to pour and tip exact quantities.
This would be an excellent concept if these mechanics were accurate. Sadly, though, they are far from it and this leaves you reeling. You’ll read the recipes, begin to measure the ingredients and subsequently mess up. You try to rectify the error, but this makes matters worse. You’ll pour too little or too much and it’s reminiscent of a comedy sketch. Annoyingly, however, you won’t be laughing as your perfectly brewed drink is ruined. If the developers allowed for accurate measurements, this would alleviate many of the problems immediately.
Brewmaster: Beer Simulator is a little claustrophobic.
Like the recently reviewed game Alchemist Simulator, Brewmaster: Beer Simulator limits the action to a few rooms. The choice to keep the action to such a small world is understandable, but it somewhat stifles creativity. It would have been nice to see an array of locations, as this would have reduced the monotony. However, what you are exposed to is a nice looking title with interesting animations. The ingredients and utensils look unique, and there is a nice sense of realism in everything you do. The textures and colours are pleasant on the eye and have a good quality finish. Importantly, I never suffered frame rate issues and the action never stuttered. Furthermore, the UI and use of submenus are clever, and this alleviates any confusion while brewing.
The audio helps to create a chilled out and relaxed vibe that works perfectly with the theme. The wonderful sound effects match the actions and this enhances the realism. I loved the gushing water, the noise of the ingredients bubbling, and the ambient sounds. The audio does nothing new, yet it delivers what you’d expect to a high standard.
The controls need work.
Thanks to the accuracy of the mouse and keyboard and the well thought out UI, Brewmaster: Beer Simulator is easy to handle. Completing many tasks such as pouring water, switching on the hob, or grabbing ingredients was simple to achieve. Unfortunately, though, this is undermined by the woeful measuring mechanics. If the developers can resolve this issue, they’ll have a desirable experience on their hands.
In its current build, the tasks and recipes are limited. Going forward, there should be much more content, plenty of recipes, and hopefully a larger world to explore. There is plenty of potential, and the game should incorporate business mechanics to complement and enhance the core concept.
Brewmaster: Beer Simulator attracts a niche audience.
In its current state, Brewmaster: Beer Simulator will only interest a niche audience. If the developers evolve the game to incorporate business elements, this will attract a wider playerbase. It has potential, but the gameplay frustrated me! If you like sim games and beer, I recommend you to wishlist it here! Don’t settle for cheap generic ales. No, grab the ingredients and tools, and make your own.
Brewmaster: Beer Simulator is a title that’s full of potential! Still, in its Alpha state, the developers have the opportunity to expand the core concept to make it a fuller, more rounded experience. Subsequently, I can’t wait to see how it evolves between now and the full release.
(Reviewed on PC using Steam. Coming to Steam soon.)