I've been sitting here for the past 20 minutes trying to think of a clever way to open this review of “Happy Hour”. So far I've already scrapped, “Guess what’s on tap?” and "Belly up to the bar because we're being served a new customer service game!" Now I'm stumped, so how about you just read the review and I’ll try to keep the cheesy dialogue to myself?
Congratulations! You've just won the Bar-o-Matic lottery! That’s right, you are now the proud owner of the Cocktail-o-Matic 6000, a new cocktail-mixing machine but that’s not all! You’ve also acquired a rundown bar called John Doe's! Oh, won’t your mother be so proud?
This is how “Happy Hour” begins, a new micromanagement RTS "serving" game, but this time around instead of food you're slinging cocktails.
Fill, pour, mix and swap beverages as fast as possible. Keep your customers tanked and happy and they’ll keep coming back for more.
The gameplay goes something like this, you stand behind a bar, in front of the Cocktail-o-Matic 6000 and when a customer comes up to the bar you must fulfill their drink request. But instead of serving familiar cocktails and drinks, such as martinis and Long Island Iced Teas, customers will ask for a specific color combination drink, as seen in a thought bubble above their heads.
For example, you might have a guy who comes in and wants a red and yellow drink. That’s where the new thing-a-ma-bob Cocktail-o-Matic 6000 comes in. To use it all you have to do is place a glass under one of its colored (red, blue, green, yellow) dispensers and then pull the handle to make the desired drink. Let me help you with this guy’s drink order, since it’s your first time, okay?
So this nice man wants a red and yellow drink you say, well first let me grab a nice tall, clean glass for ya over here underneath the counter and then I will first take the glass and put it underneath the red dispenser, pull this handle and wait for it to finish pouring (whistling). Okay now I will take the same glass and put it under the yellow dispenser, see how the yellow color is going right on top of the red color? That’s just what we want it to look like and now we wait again for it to finish (humming, checks watch.) Well, great now it’s done and doesn’t it look nice and refreshing? “Here you go sir, bottom’s up, and enjoy!”
Pick up the money and your tip and get ready for more drink orders.
That was easy enough right? I think you can handle just fine from here, but don’t worry I will stick around for a little awhile in case you need me and I can give you some hints.
Just remember, if you make a mistake you can always pour it out and start over again, but I don’t recommend it, since you will lose money for the wasted drink. Better yet place the drink off to the side and hope another customer will want that particular color combination later on. Chances are high that eventually someone will, since there are only 4 colors and only so many color combinations that you can make. “John Doe’s” bar might sound like a dive but it is a neighborhood favorite and it gets pretty busy at times, especially at Happy Hour as the title implies.
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You must learn to multitask because multiple customers will suddenly line up at the same time. Here’s a trick of the trade for ya, you can buy some extra time and increase your tip if you plunk down a bowl of peanuts off the conveyor belt over here and give it to the lush ( I mean customer) at the far end of the bar who’s waiting. Peanuts are great for two reasons, 1.) it keeps the customers occupied and happy and 2.) it gets them nice and thirsty so they will keep ordering more and more!
Other extras will be given to you after awhile, too, such as a music CD, to chill out those impatient patrons.
After every round you'll get a chance to purchase new items for the bar. In “John Doe's”, the first bar you'll own, it could be anything from pinball machines, and dartboards, a new stereo system, even to much needed bathrooms.
Well, look at you go; you are slinging drinks like the pros and raking in the tips big time! You sure learn fast, I think my work here is done. Good luck and after eight levels or so you will move onto another bar with a new look, different kinds of customers and add-ons, and other goodies.
While I raise my glasses high for “Happy Hour”, I do have to knock it down a few notches for some minor flaws. For one, some bugs cause odd things to happen every once in awhile like the music will suddenly just stop playing. Also, you must click on items very precisely such as glasses; the machine spout or placing the drink in front of the customer just so, this can be so frustrating because you might only be an eighth of an inch off or so.
The 2-D graphics feel very out of date. Some might say it has "retro" appeal, but I couldn't help wondering while I was playing this much better the game would be if it was refreshed with today's technology.
Lastly, the music is repetitious - the same three songs or so play over and over again; even after I upgraded to a stereo system.
Despite those few setbacks however “Happy Hour” is fun and refreshing and hey, no I.D. is required!Get Happy Hour Here