Review – Dude, Where Is My Beer?

I’ve always been a big fan of point-and-click adventure games, probably due to the fact that I was raised playing Sierra’s King’s Quest games. They can be a great way to tell a story in an interactive manner, while keeping your brain busy trying to figure out solutions to obstacles in your path. While there are plenty of duds out there like The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, there are also occasionally remarkable ones like Röki, which I recently had the pleasure of reviewing. So when I was told about Dude, Where Is My Beer?, a new beer-themed point-and-click adventure game, I decided to try it out. Let’s crack open a cold one and see if this game is worth savoring.

The premise is a very simple one. You’re a gentleman on vacation who’s travel-weary, parched, and eager to quench his thirst with a light, refreshing pilsner. There’s just one problem: pilsners have become all but extinct in a sea of ever-growing craft brews. Desperate to satiate his desire for a simple pilsner, he ventures from one bar to the next, navigating his way through masses of various hipsters. Will he be able to find his frosty prize or will he have to learn to adapt to the new wave of fruit-infused dry-hopped concoctions?

Dude, Where Is My Beer?

I got right about here and had to take a break to buy myself copious amounts of craft brews.

Right away, I appreciated the art style, even if it’s nothing mind-blowing. It has a cute, cartoony look with a very minimalist color palette. It’s simplicity is actually a smart move here, as it allows for the zaniness of the game to be better realized. The sound design is also well done, with each bar having its own music. There’s also a good amount of audio recorded from real places that play in the background, which makes the bars feel more authentic. The Kniven Bar has hardcore metal playing in it (a personal favorite of mine), while the Big Dog sports bar has nothing but televised sports and people cheering. This gives each establishment a bit of their flavor, so to speak.

Dude, Where Is My Beer?

The Kniven Bar rules.

Dude, Where Is My Beer? has a lot of meta humor throughout its story. The protagonist will comment on the state of things while often times addressing the player directly. There are references to other classic video games sprinkled through it as well. At first, this was really cute and provided some much appreciated levity, but it does tend to wear out its welcome after a while. Although, I do feel that much of the dialogue fatigue is due to the fact that you’ll talk to the same few people over and over. Unfortunately, this brings me to my biggest issue with the game: its gameplay.

Unfortunately, there’s not as much as help as you might like in here.

Being a point-and-click game, the gameplay itself isn’t difficult. Although, the UI is very old fashioned and can feel a bit cumbersome at times. However, the main issue lies in its puzzles. Dude, Where Is My Beer? is a very linear game, with our hero needing to solve one puzzle in order to unlock the next one. While that’s a bit disappointing, it’s by no means a deal breaker.

However, it makes the cardinal sin for point-and-click adventure games; its solutions at times make no sense. In addition to that, it’s not always clear what it is you’re suppose to be doing. I wasted a good chunk of time just wandering around trying to figure out what to do next. There were two puzzles in particular that I’m fairly certain I would have never figured out if it weren’t for a walkthrough guide. Thankfully, the developers have one readily available for those who need it.

Good old The Secret of Monkey Island reference.

The other problem is that there aren’t very many places to visit. Plus, most of the people you’ll encounter only say the same one or two things over and over. I do feel bad nitpicking this issue, as I am well aware that this was only made by two people. That being said, once you’ve been stuck on a puzzle for a while, the fun takes a hard hit once you feel like you’re trapped in a small area. Which I suppose is fair because essentially you are. Still, some more dialogue variety would have been nice.

I’d also like to talk about the game’s drunkenness meter. Certain puzzles can only be solved when you’re at the appropriate level of intoxication. This is clever idea in theory, but once again, the rules aren’t always clear. Our protagonist states right at the beginning that he can’t talk to people unless he’s a little intoxicated, but for the most part, that’s the biggest clue you get. There are a few other times that he’ll make reference to needing to be sober to perform an action. Other than that, it’s almost anyone’s guess as to how tipsy you need to be.

The rest of the intoxication cues aren’t as clear as this, unfortunately.

I feel I should also mention that this game is not a completed story. Whenever I tried to get drunk, the game would tell me I couldn’t until the second half of the game. After a significant chunk of time had passed without being able to get fully drunk, I wondered if I had encountered a bug or something. Then the game just ended with the promise of a second installment. I wish I had known this going into it, but I’m still curious to see where the story goes from here.

Dude, Where Is My Beer? is a somewhat amusing point-and-click adventure game, but does have its drawbacks. The puzzles don’t always make sense and I wish there was a better indicator of what it is you’re suppose to be doing. The humor is pretty great until you get bored of seeing the same lines repeated relentlessly. However, I am legitimately interested to see how the story ends. Will our hero finally be able to get a refreshing pilsner? The only thing I can say for certain is in an ironic twist, all this game really made me want to do is drink a bunch of hipster craft brews. I might have actually gone out and bought a bunch after playing this game. Ok, I absolutely did. Cheers!

 

Graphics: 7.0

Hand-drawn cartoony art style that fits the satirical nature of the game well. With only a few locations, the scenery gets stale before too long.

Gameplay: 5.0

A point-and-click adventure game that uses an old school command system along with items in your inventory. It also has a sobriety meter for an extra challenge, but it maxes out at the halfway point for this installment.

Sound: 7.0

There’s no voice acting, but the sounds of the various bars is spot on due to using sound clips taken from inside real pubs. The music for each bar fits their themes perfectly, but they’re very short sound clips so they get repetitive fast.

Fun Factor: 6.0

The satirical theme and meta, self-aware humor are very amusing at first, but it does eventually wear out its welcome once you realize that’s really all this game has to offer. Not to mention that quite a few of the solutions to the puzzles make no sense.

Final Verdict: 6.0

Dude, Where Is My Beer? is available now on PC.

Reviewed on PC with an i7-9700k, RTX 2070, and 16gb RAM.

A copy of Dude, Where Is My Beer? was provided by the publisher.