Bar Hopping won’t give players a game buzz
I have never been a bartender, but have often thought of what it would be like to sit behind the bar and pass out drinks. It’s one of those jobs that just seems cool. Bar Hopping lets players tend bar vicariously through an avatar with the goal to create the most awesome establishment.
Game play is very simple, but unless players have several friends participating, it can become mind numbingly boring after only half an hour.
The general premise is the player is a bar owner with aspirations of having the coolest and hippest establishment in town. The bar consists of one serving station where players can concoct up to three drinks at a time. Each drink takes time to prepare and the higher the level the more drinks you can prepare.
For example, a pale ale may only take five minutes to make 10 servings, but a 550 shot takes a couple of days. When you choose a drink to mix, you must add the ingredients, which consists of clicking on a bubble and there is no need to gather ingredients as there seems to be an endless supply.
Customers are constantly flowing into the bar two at a time and either leave unhappy if you have no drinks to serve or apparently drunk as they leave with a bubble over their head of a face with its tongue sticking out.
Every drink the player serves earns a few coins and they add up as each serving is used. This money can purchase decorations including tables, chairs, and televisions; bar equipment such as serving tables and bars; expand the bar or customize your character.
The game has a high social element with the player being able to visit friends’ bar and vice versa. They can come, drink some drinks and leave a hefty tip or volunteer to replace the temp waiters that the game starts players with.
Bar Hopping has about as much substance as the drinks the player makes. Once you’re serving stations are filled and the bar drinks in varying states of progress, there is literally nothing else to do. The servers wait on the customers and players sit behind the bar twiddling their thumbs.
They can always add some flair to the bar, but there is only so much room since you can only expand once you hit certain levels.
The other aspect that really turned me off of this game was the impression that everyone leaves the bar drunk since it’s a rooftop bar. I kept envisioning a stack of bodies steadily piling up as they trip over the edge. Maybe the next expansion can include an ambulance minigame. The customers also seem to be happy with whatever the player gives them to drink. If all the player has available are tequila sunrises, then everyone drinks a tequila sunrise and goes about their merry way.
Also, the wait time on drinks is annoying. I get that they need to drag things on a bit, but taking two days to make a shot borders on ridiculous. If I had to wait two days for a shot to get done, it had better give me superpowers.
If this game is going to survive, it’s going to need to improve its game play significantly. There is way too much downtime since the player has no real interaction with the customers. Give us something to do besides make drinks; make us wait on tables or wash dishes, anything. The game needs to be more interactive or no one will be coming back to this hangout.