The warm coziness of your home is nothing compared to the comforting feeling of freshly-brewed beer.
We live in the era of craft beer. From Stone Brewing Company in San Diego to Bell’s Brewery in Kalamazoo, a local beer is a symbol of community pride today. Brewmaster by Auroch Digital puts you in the shoes of a beer artisan as you mix, boil and brew up new and exciting beers. We were able to get into the alpha preview of the game and here’s how things fared behind the brewing pot.
Right from the start, the home of the brewmaster sets up a cozy atmosphere. Exploring the home makes for a fun distraction to play with in your new first-person playground. While the beautifully detailed rooms are a fun touch to peek into, the bulk of the game will take place in the kitchen. It serves as your in-home brewery, complete with everything you need to brew up some tasty beer.
While menus and instructions don’t have the same polish as the rest of the visuals, they served as a fine guide through the alpha test. This test only had one brew on display, Auroch Digital’s own pilsner, and plunged you headfirst into the art of beer brewing. Those looking for a fast-paced and frantic cooking sim akin to Overcooked will need to look elsewhere, as brewing a great beer is a labor of patience and precision. It takes time to not only brew the beer but to get your tools ready as well.
You’ll want to take everything out and set it neatly on your kitchen countertops as you follow the ingredients for your first beer. The pots, pans, and barrels should all be ready before you begin since the clutter that comes with the brewing process can get a little out of hand. After this, following the instructions to brew your first beer became natural and exciting. Learning the beer brewing process is fun and interesting, especially for someone who has never looked into it before.
The first time through is an engaging experience that will leave you hungry for more. It’s exciting to see the beer change as it goes through the different steps of the brewing process. You’ll find yourself striving for the perfect measurements as you mix up ingredients from container to container using the mouse and scroll wheel primarily. Using the scroll wheel to pour feels a bit jarring at first, as it will zoom the camera out as you spin it, but soon becomes natural as you go through the brewing process.
The process itself is fun and interesting to follow. For those who have never seen it, Brewmaster makes learning the beer brewing process engaging and intuitive. It’s also fun to see how beer changes and gets its coloring and flavors. One of the best parts of the game is monitoring how the sugars and other elements break down during the mixing process. These eye-catching details are important and will no doubt play a role in experimenting once players get a better grasp of the brewing process.
Unfortunately, this waiting game is where Brewmaster begins to fall apart. A stopwatch feature is available to fast-forward significant jumps in time, but using it to skip over a few minutes is a dicey prospect. Accidentally skipping too much can ruin your project, while continuously tapping the feature to time it exactly right is tedious. Combing over the fine details as they unravel in real-time is only fun for the first time and your home offers you no activities to help deal with the shorter wait times. I’m sure this time is valuable when someone has a good understanding of the systems but when trying to produce a familiar recipe, you can feel the weight of your wait. While these short intervals give you a bit of time to breathe, they go on far too long without any other activities.
Brewmaster is an engaging and interesting experience. There’s a lot to love in the detail-oriented gameplay and the ceiling for experimentation should be even higher in the full version. The controls work well and grow on you, despite feeling a tad awkward at first, with visuals that bring the beer brewing process to life. The main drawback to the core gameplay is the unmanageable wait times, which could be resolved by filling out your Brewmaster’s home in the full version of the game. Despite the annoying waiting games, the core gameplay featured in Brewmaster’s alpha test is unique and engaging that’s ultimately satisfying to see through to the end. We look forward to seeing how everything shapes up in the final version.