When we first laid eyes on Flairtender, it wasn’t hard to see why this game is so appealing. Available for the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, this game lets anyone in the world become their own bartender. The concept sounds a lot more complicated than one would originally expect, mind you, as there is plenty to do in the game. For the price of $14.99, you get a pretty decent game, although it can feel rather repetitive at times.
Flairtender is OK, but Players Remain Dispassionate
Every novel experience in virtual reality is worth checking out, regardless of what the game allows you to do. Professionally mixing drinks is something everyone thinks they can do, but it is a pretty different outcome when effectively trying it. Rather than smashing bottles to pieces as you throw them around your back, Flairtender brings the experience of being a professional bartender to virtual reality. It saves you a lot of time and money, even though this VR experience is not necessarily something that comes close to the real thing.
As the name suggests, your goal is to mix requested drinks. This process is delivered in a streamlined and convenient manner, which makes it very approachable. The “liquid” required in every drink is measured out using the metric system, which makes it slightly easier to properly find the right balance and combination. In real life, you will need to eye things a bit more carefully, but it is a more than valid approach regardless.
There are several dozen drinks to create. Additionally, you can use several mixers, garnishes, and glasses to successfully present the requested drinks. While this may sound exactly like what people would expect, the progression in Flairtender leaves a lot to be desired. You only learn new drinks by progression, which means a lot of drink-making gets pretty repetitive rather quickly. Additionally, you need to unlock the proper ingredients to make proper drinks, which can turn Flairtender into a grindfest. Not necessarily, the experience we were looking for by any means, as it certainly reduces the fun factor.
This game could have been so much more, but it is a pretty bland representation of mixing drinks all night. While the job itself isn’t all about fame and glory in real life either, this particular experience feels more like a grinding game than actually something to provide hours of fun. For people who are into that type of game, Flairtender is certainly worth checking out. Be prepared to make dozens of the same drinks before you get to the good bits, though.
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