Dude, Where’s My Beer? Review (PC): Probably The Best Beer Game In The World

Is it too much to ask for a pint of pilsner? That seems to be the case in Dude, Where's My Beer? - an indie point and click on my radar for some time, now it gets a review.

Dude, Where’s My Beer? has been on the circuit among point and click fans for a bit, and as biased as I am of the genre, it’s pretty much timeless and can be covered at any time, right?

There’s nothing like a good beer. To be authentic in this long-overdue review, I’m currently drinking a pilsner – no word of a lie, qualifying me as both an old-fashioned professional, lush, and seeker of good drinks.

That’s precisely what we have here with Dude, Where’s My Beer? – on my radar for some time, I bought this a while back but never have had enough time to commit to it. That’s no reflection of the game, but a point and click should be enjoyed as a much as a good drink.

Dude, Where’s My Beer? Review

You play a refined gentleman on a completely relatable quest of finding a beer. Stuff the princess and demons emerging to take over the realm; you need to think for yourself in duo Arik Zurabian and Edo Brenes’ adventure. This is a real hero, willing to brave hipster establishments, absolute dives and pompous vendors that have to overcomplicate things with labels.

Dude, Where's My Beer Review - Begin quest
Quest begins… Source: Steam

Without reading up on the ‘behind-the-scenes’ nor having a conversation with the developers, it’s evident this is must be based on their own experiences – it’s just so real. Stepping off a bus and in need of a beer, the protagonist attempts to bribe the bus driver for his own beer(!), fails, and instead, you have to look around town for somewhere decent to drink.

Dude, Where’s My Beer? is a classic point and click, much like Zak McKraken and the Alien Mindbenders (reference for August), as you have to select a verb from the menu, combined with an object or person on screen. This means that it’s a little more difficult than most adventures as there are many more options than talk, use, look and sniff on the verb wheels. Even if you’re a veteran of the genre, this approach can be a little frustrating as you end up trying out everything when stuck.

Upon entering the first establishment, you’re told the previous owner has been replaced by a hipster keen on serving IPAs. Now, there’s nothing wrong with an IPA, but oldies and purists of beer often see their poison as black and white with no-nonsense. Our hero isn’t remotely interested in trying anything new, so it’s off to the next bar, and the next, in the hope that someone will serve something normal.

Fancy Ales

That’s a pretty lame summary, but that’s what it is, and fortunately, Dude, Where’s My Beer? does offer up a lot of charm in the process. It also helps if you identify with the individual’s plight. Such hard times. Admittedly, the game is a bit of a niche: point-and-click, old-school beer drinkers, and in-jokes about UX design. The comments one NPC makes, Jølla, was pretty funny, but I wonder how many people got it and how many skimmed through, not getting it? Coincidentally, this chap has a custom Mac, too. Says the person typing this on an iMac. Pfft – hipsters.

Dude, Where's My Beer Review - Too much to ask_
Is it too much to ask? Source: Steam

Like in real life, drinking a beer will lower your inhibitions. Fortunately, there aren’t any ‘wingman beer goggle anecdotes’ or long distance calls to the porcelain god to experience – this chap has standards. Still, a bit of Dutch courage is needed to talk with people, but equally, you’ll need to be sober for other actions. A tipsy gauge will show in the top right of the screen, allowing you to top it up a little should the thought of coherent sentences and mathematics get in the way of a good drink. After a few coins at the beginning, the currency here is irrelevant as you can top up on the drinks for free as their essential to the mechanics.

On that note, Dude, Where’s My Beer? is very linear, a bit like its peers from the earlier days. To progress or unlock new dialogue or options, you have to do one bit at a time. With a few minor exceptions, you have to be at the right place at the right time, and it’s so easy to get stuck. On that basis, it’s a pretty challenging game at times with some illogical solutions, but this adds to the game’s length and is not purely filler. Even some of the backtracking quests for achievements are optional, and as the game area isn’t that large, it’s not too cumbersome going back and forth to investigate a clue.

Arty Farty

The art style is pretty nice – particularly the choice of colours. Dude, Where’s My Beer? uses a minimal palette, opting more for various shades of grey (perv) and making the soft reds pop on the screen. That is one magical tash our hero has. Overall, it’s a nice aesthetic throughout.

Dude, Where's My Beer Review - Dude...
Dude… Source: Steam

There’s no voice acting in the game, just text, so if you’re can’t read, you’re stuck. How are you reading this? Ah… screen readers. Anyway, the dialogue is well-written and witty throughout without a lot of social commentaries without being irritating, humour and in-jokes, as mentioned earlier, that may be a little too niche in places. Despite the title making a slight reference to that chap that was bumping uglies with Demi Moore, it’s not puerile humour (though there are some booby bonuses if you’re into that sort of vulgarity). In summary, it’s not overly sophisticated where it alienates any gaming planks. It’s an everyman (or woman’s) tale.

As this was a game I picked up based on my tastes and adventure circles, there was a bit of time to read up on comments. A returning theme was some thought this was abrupt or incomplete – almost episodic. Having finished it (read the accompanying walkthrough), the ending – no spoilers – leaves it open for the next adventure. Yes, the locations are a little limited here. Still, the game feels self-contained – regardless of whether you like the conclusion or not – and the level of difficulty with some of the puzzles make this a game you aren’t going to finish in a couple of hours unless you’re brainy.

Dude, Where’s My Beer? is an excellent indie point and click with a story that we all have to face at a certain age. Yes, it’s a little more challenging than most – illogical puzzles that go with the territory. Is it worth having a look at? If you like the old school point and clicks and have a sense of humour, sure. Now I’m out of beer on a Sunday. I wonder if the local convenience store has any pilsner…