A friend back East brought this to my attention and I am not sure what to make of it: Fiz, the Brewery Management Game. Instead of, say, slaying dragons or slaughtering terrorists, the hero of this game builds a brewery, crafts recipes, hires staff, conducts market research, enters brewing contests, worries about profits.
If the trailer is to be believed, the recipes are true to life, including real ingredients and simulating real results. Sounds cool, I guess, but I hope it doesn’t wind up like Restaurant Empire, the 2003 video game that allowed you to become your own version of Thomas Keller or Charlie Palmer, using a Sims-like system to build up from a hole-in-the-wall dive to a city-spanning string of white tablecloth joints. At least in my estimation, the game was fun in concept but slightly tedious to play in practice and I never advanced much beyond that opening night stage. It was more fun to actually cook at home than watch tiny electronic simulacra do it on a screen.
Then again, this is beer we’re talking about and beer makes everything better, even video games.
But if you want to try your hand at being a big time brewer without getting your hands dirty (or your wallet emptied by buying mountains of stainless steel) check it out on Google Play and the Apple App store. Either way, it will only set you back $1.99. The reviews from players so far, since it was released in December, are pretty good. I may give it a try myself.
Incidentally, our one-time video game blogger at the Press Democrat, Eric Wittmershaus (@gamewit), asked a very important question after I told him all the things you can do in the game: “Can you then go on Twitter and feud with other brewers?” No word on that function yet.
– Sean Scully