08 March, 2017

Tavern Tycoon - Dragon's Hangover Early Access Review

Running your own tavern? Sounds like an interesting and possibly relaxing game doesn't it? Interesting for sure, but not quite relaxing yet. Tavern Tycoon - Dragon's Hangover has a lot of potential with an interesting premise, and at the time of writing(2017,03,08) is still in early access. So anything in this preview will be subject to change.

Very clearly inspired by Theme Hospital, Tavern Tycoon has you building similarly, with similar looking mechanics that still differ when you get below the surface of them. At present, it seems to use a similar system - Someone comes in, goes to the bar, and gets drinks until they need to go to the restroom. From there on they will attempt to go to other rooms before they finally are satisfied and leave happily, or they get angry at your tavern and leave in a bad mood.

Now, as it is early access you can still expect bugs, crude balancing and other parts that need polishing, the most notable bugs and complaints I've found were that rooms stop functioning with guests refusing to use them(Thus becoming angry at the long wait and leaving), everything being expensive to the point a single bench costs 5 or more months of wages for a staff member, and the timescale being incredibly fast- There is no pausing to design a room, months pass in what feels like a matter of seconds which makes it nearly impossible to make a profit without doubling your prices from the default(Not to mention stressful as you are immediately under pressure to build everything), and many pieces of furniture not being functional yet.
Many more things are not perfect yet, but it shows that the ideas are there, there is someone actively working on them and there is a functional build with more to come.

Even then, it is pleasant to run a functional tavern and it has the beginnings of something that could be very interesting and even challenging to play, but still frustrating thanks to the bugs and unpolished nature of early access.

There is certainly great potential here, but at present it is untapped and unpolished. I've found it to be a bit too close to Theme Hospital to make the tavern theme truly work, but that may still change as updates are made and it develops into more of its own thing. My suggestion for those looking into it would be to wait- At least for the bugs and balancing to be adjusted, or you're going to be frustrated more often than not. But if you need to make a decision right now on whether to buy it or to never look at it again, I would say it is worth the risk. The price is low and the basics are there to enjoy it if you try to ignore the worst of the unpolished parts.

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