Review: Brewpub Simulator
Publisher: Movie Games S.A., Surefire.Games
Developer: Star Drifters
Available on: PC (Steam)
When I first opened up Brewpub Simulator, it sent my fans into jet engine mode and, frankly, froze my PC in a way that made me think my PC was broken, but then it eventually started up then crashed. After doing some checks on my PC, I realized, it was the game. So I did not start my review and decided to wait on some patches to see if anything got fixed.
The good news is, after waiting almost two weeks, the game launched without crashing. The bad news is it still causes the whole system to freeze up until it fully loads. But once it fully loads, Brewpub Simulator plays fairly well with a normal amount of load on a PC. I highly recommend that if you play this game, you use Razer Cortex or some other game booster software to help it along. Go to the graphics settings immediately as well, as the game defaults to ultimate and adjust them to where your PC can handle.
Brewpub Simulator still has some bugs, like objects getting stuck in unreachable corners and items dropping through other items, but once it plays, it plays rather smoothly. The gameplay is what you would expect of a Brewpub Simulation: Brew beers, manage your pub, customize, clean, and make bank. Actually, that latter part is where the challenge comes in because, as it turns out, serving customers can be overwhelming.
Brewpub Simulator starts you out with a small pub once owned by an already forgotten family member, as many of these games do. What's important is that now you have the pub, and you are going to learn how to brew beers and sell them to your customers. A typical day in Brewpub Simulator goes in a nice, predictable loop: Spend the daytime brewing up beers to put in fermenters and nights serving beers to customers. Time does not pass during the daytime phase, so you can take all the time you want to experiment with brews and use recipes to come up with your latest brew. Nighttime, however, is when the challenge begins because customers come pouring in, and you only have so many hours to serve them.
In fact, those nighttime hours get overwhelming quite quickly if you're not ready, but once you get into the groove of things, it can really pay off to serve beers and keep your establishment clean as you go. When you return to the daytime phase, you'll be cleaning up what's left from the night before and wishing you had some employees you could hire to serve and clean so you can focus on brewing newer, better beers and chatting with customers. Employees can be unlocked later in the game, but you'll have to do plenty of brewing to get there.
Brewing will take up a decent amount of your funds at the beginning, but as you build up your selection of beers, you'll have a good supply to serve customers with higher-level brews bringing in a better buck. Brewing to sell isn't the only reason to brew beers in this game, however. As mentioned before, employees can be unlocked as you go along in the game. The game drops you some quests for beers to brew, and as you complete them, a new quest drops for you to work on.
Hot tip! Brewpub Simulator has the option to increase batch amounts in recipes on your menu so that you can get the correct measurements without having to guess or do the math. If you're looking to brew enough mixtures for the large fermenter, definitely use this.
It's not a bad gameplay loop, and if you enjoy being able to customize what you make, it'll be addictive fast. But it can also get routine and boring once that ability loses its luster, so take that as you will. The fact that the daytime loop has no time limit means you can essentially brew as much as you want so long as you have the funds and the supplies. Experimenting in this game is a pretty great way to learn what works and what doesn't.
Hot tip! Watch IBU levels as mixtures boil, and make sure they're kept within an acceptable range for the kind of beer you're brewing. This seems to be the biggest indicator of whether or not a beer is high or low quality.
Overall, as I got into Brewpub Simulator, I enjoyed it, especially as I progressed and expanded the pub. The customization options, from pub name & logo to the overall look of the pub, were quite nice, and I got to make the dive bar of my dreams with wildly named beers and labels in whatever theme I wanted. The gameplay loop is addictive but will eventually get boring, allowing me to move on to the next game.
In its current state, I recommend putting Brewpub Simulator on your wishlist for when you're looking for a new game and have $20 to spend. At $17.99, it's not a bad price point for what you're getting.