Adventure Bar Story
is one of those strange game combinations that only the Japanese can
do well. Part casual-sim, part rpg it can only be described as
quirky. Siela and her sister own a bar/restaurant. Siela, as a
nice girl and all, helps out on occasion, until a sinister
restaurant tycoon in the same city, Gustav, pays her sister an
unwelcome visit. She then agrees to take on the cooking while her
sister becomes front-of-house. The dream is to make the restaurant
the best in the land while Gustav wants to run them out of town and
take their place over. This is where the fun begins.
The game revolves
around several interesting little tasks. You need to make recipes
in order to put meals on the menu. Depending on the season, the
popularity of the meal, how often you have already put the meal on
the menu (Just like in real life, your customers can get of the same
meal over and over again), you will sell various amounts and it is
up to you to make a menu that is to your customers’ tastes.
You start off with a limited set of recipes and find more as you
progress. As time goes on, “Hint Recipes” are given to you - these
are recipes with only part of the ingredients and required tools
revealed. You can stumble onto the correct combination or buy full
recipes at the town shop. Luckily, the shop also sells a variety of
weapons and armour as these will come in quite handy later on.
ingredients can be purchased, the best way of collecting them is
outside town, in the different dungeons. The dungeons are in a
top-down view and rather basic, with exits back to the world map and
ingredients scattered throughout. (You can only visit a dungeon
once a game day). Battle takes place using normal turn-based
combat, with varying skills and items to use. Winning battles allow
you to eventually gain skills. Experience (and stat raising) comes
by eating, not by winning battles (so not only do you need to cook
for your customers, you need to cook for your party members too!).
come in the form of unlocking recipes and buying “imported”
equipment. The story progression is slow, which isn’t too much of a
bad thing, as the collecting and cooking is fun. I had a great time
grinding (in the rpg sense as well as the cooking sense), collecting
and cooking, but I did wish for a stronger, more evolving storyline.
The graphics also feel rather dated though and hark back to the days
of the SNES unfortunately. There is no semblance of a tutorial or
anything to ease you into this multi-faceted game. After hours of
play, I stumbled upon HELP which all players should read to get the
most out of Adventure Bar Story. Even after these failings,
Adventure Bar Story is an enjoyable, quirky fantasy romp that only
the Japanese can deliver.