Brewpub Simulator’s premise is a parody of 74% of all simulators: your grandpa has died, and you’ve inherited [some niche business]. I’m going to kick off. Ok, cost of living, blah blah blah, but don’t people save anymore? Let’s kill off the grandpa narrative. It’s as overused as the Wilhelm scream and your underwear.
Now that’s out of the way, what does Movie Games’ latest have in store for you? After inheriting your grandpa’s derelict pub, you have the honour of clearing up all the shit accumulated outside, kicking a hipster in the face, and then pissing on the floor. Wait – wrong pub game.
Like every simulator that precedes it, Brewpub Simulator has you picking up the trash and mopping the floors, all in that point and click House Flipper style. But… in the time it takes to pull a pint, you can decorate your new bar with snazzy walls and select a name and logo to display to the world. And do you know what? The customisation options are ruddy marvellous.
As Grandpa has popped his clogs, a sketchy hobo named Albatross walks you through the steps. Think about it: you’ve inherited a bar, designed the logo yourself and spaffed some dough to make it look the part, but how do you pull a pint? Which brewery will you use? Who’s gonna clean up the place – the fairies?!
You’ll jump through some hoops, putting your first brew on the chalkboard – sorry, that isn’t retro enough – LCD screen, flip over the open sign to indicate it’s boozin’ time, then frantically serve customers, clean glasses on the fly, and learn telekinesis by sending glasses through the floor.
Quickly think about what type of game Brewpub Simulator could be, and you should conclude that hospitality is involved. Sure, you might have the hottest hops in town, but if you aren’t serving Johnny Public fast enough and ensuring your establishment is tippity-top tidy, you’re not likely to make much in the way of progress, nor user reviews.
The Customer Is Always Right, But Also Filthy
Something about the game is similar to Gas Station Simulator. Smartypants, or amateur investigators, will note that the sim has the same publisher, but Star Drifters are the developers. Click on their Steam link, and it’ll refer you to DRAGO Entertainment. In short, the style of play is similar.
Punters will line up once the bar is open and order whatever goodies you have listed. Again, Albatross isn’t much help, so I placed a glass on the counter and poured ale all over it. You mean I hold the glass on the pump? Easy. Just make sure there’s enough alcohol in the kegs…
Anyhoo, your customers will sit down wherever you’ve placed seats and frequent the toilet a little too much. This isn’t abnormal, but the amount of filth they leave behind is. Immediately after finishing a drink, it’ll develop a green toxic cloud and flies, meaning you wash the glass, wipe the tables and mop the floor swiftly. If this is what it’s like to run a bar in real life, you can get fu-
Keep It Clean
One of the frustrations with Gas Station Simulator was the volume of cleaning, but you could hire workers to clean up. It’s not the same experience in Brewpub Simulator. You’ll spend most of your time cleaning, inventing ales, or being indecisive about which tin sign you want hanging above the door (customisation is fun).
There are some technical issues. Interacting with some objects can be catastrophic – disappearing into the gaming void, never to be seen again unless restarting. The sim above had problems, such as flipped cars, but a reset button fixed it perfectly. Maybe we need one under the bar. Before sourcing some images for this review, I saw mixed comments on Steam about the same thing, but the devs have responded quickly and are on the case.
Brewpub Simulator is grindier than most, what with pulling pints and the volume of cleaning. There are a few minigames to break the monotony, but the customisation options are a winner. The visuals are very nice, but I had the game on mute as the voiceovers resemble freebie AI and not adding much in the way of character. Still, at least there’s no hangover.