PC Games

Published on May 17th, 2024 | by Nathan Misa

Wartales – The Tavern Opens! PC review – Medieval Mogul

Wartales – The Tavern Opens! PC review – Medieval Mogul Nathan Misa

Summary: Manage your very own medieval tavern to fund your mercenary pursuits.


Medieval Mogul

Managing a motley crew of mercenaries means lots of spoils to spend, so why not invest them into your very own tavern?

That is the premise of Wartales’ second content add-on, The Tavern Opens, a bite-sized expansion that seamlessly integrates with the base game, and introduces a new systems for managing your own medieval tavern  – and all the stress, drama and coin that come with it.

Smaller than the previous content expansion, Pirates of Belerion, the main question on most Wartales players’ minds is whether it’s worth the $20 extra. It’s safe to say, if you love the management aspect of the game, you will enjoy the extras that this modest DLC brings.


The core Wartales experience (read my review) is already jam-packed full of content, so my main concern before diving into The Tavern Opens was whether it felt like an out-of-place, tacked on new gameplay mechanic, or if it would overwhelm with a bunch of new systems. However, the DLC quickly puts any concerns to rest with its enjoyable simplicity, well-paced progression that aligns with your mercs, and the fact it is entirely optional for your playthrough.

If you want to engage with the new content, you start off with your first tavern in the town of Stromkapp in Tiltren, where you can purchase a derelict tavern on the cheap (suspiciously so), quickly clean the place, hire your starting staff, and quickly work to make it your own. To be successful, you need to increase (or decrease) the level of prestige, comfort, security and capacity of your venue, depending on the type of clientele and factions you want as patrons. Different customers bring different rewards and events, and some are very hard to attract.

The tavern management takes place in its very own special screen, similar to when you enter your camp. You get an isometric viewpoint of the tavern, and a dedicated staffing menu where you can begin hiring for key positions, such as tavern keep, scullions, brewers and bouncers. Each new staff member comes with their own randomly generated stats, specialities and wages, making some suited for certain jobs over others – my chosen tavern keeper was a rough-looking fellow with a surprising combo of charisma (more likely to attract patrons from uncommon or upscale factions) while also increasing the level of security with his grizzled looks. Had he not worked out, there is also the option to transfer one of your mercenaries to fill in for shifts (hilariously, this also includes your animal companions, so make your bear a bouncer!)

I spent most of my playtime in the dedicated menu for tavern customization, which allows for decorating and designing the layout with a variety of flooring, wallpaper, furniture and other upgrades that can be dragged-and-dropped across the map to suit your preferred style while benefiting your business – for instance, cleverly positioning a few tavern tables next to a rambunctious bard on one side (playing your patrons’ favourite song) induce effects such as increased spending and customer comfort, while a few bouncers in the adjacent corner increase feeling of security for patrons. Seeing as how I was trying to attract the upscale crowd of merchants, courtiers and nobles, I also quickly moved on from thatch flooring to a more upscale carpet and wallpaper combo, and some fancier (but more costly to produce) food items.

There is also a full menu for assigning the food and drinks you want served, which helpfully include recipes you have unlocked, their costs (from suppliers and to make), and their sale probability; further elements, such as weekly promotions or shortages of ingredients, can be leveraged to maximise the profitability of your menu, but this requires a watchful eye over any changes. However, the tavern itself is quite flexible in that it runs in the background and doesn’t require your mercs to be in town, nor is it done in real-time, so you can still make money with relatively minimal input should you desire. Because your patrons pay in copper, you can budget your tavern income and mercenary pay separately; overtime, after some investments and increased patronage, you can begin to withdraw your earnings (the less frequently you do so, the more full value you get) to fund more expensive purchases for your band, which can in very handy for me in the early-game, when food dwindled and armor repairs ate into my coin purse.

For those wondering, managing the tavern is not done in real-time. Instead, it’s possible whenever you enter the camp menu. With each rest at the camp, a ‘shift’ at the tavern occurs, which provides a detailed report on how your tavern performed in terms of sales, employees leveling up, and any interesting events that may have occurred overnight. I got some neat interactions with customers which unlocked useful bonuses, such as a carpenter offering to reinforce the doors (boosting security) for free in exchange for not reporting her to the guard for being unable to pay a debt. Similarly, customers from each faction can show appreciation for your tavern by providing unique items should you appease their crowd enough, as I managed with both the working class farmers and the snooty merchants, further boosting venue appeal.

It’ll take a while to get patrons from all factions to come over, and with several other taverns able to be opened in bigger, later cities like Gosenberg, I’ve grown quite fond of The Tavern Opens as a fun side-activity to engage in, whenever I feel like, in-between hardcore combat encounters with my main crew. For some hardcore players, it could be argued that it may lessen the challenge of the early-game mercenary management, but if you’re on extreme difficulty with no saves allowed anyway, I don’t think you’re far away from an unexpected roadbump (as Wartales lovingly tends to serve up) to balance things out nicely again. Plus, come on… your own tavern!

The Final Verdict

The Tavern Opens is an excellent bite-sized DLC add-on that integrates seamlessly alongside the Wartales base game experience.

Priced at $18 AUD / $12 USD, some may find it’s a little pricier than most add-ons of comparable size and content, and it’s definitely a lot less meaty than the larger first expansion, Pirates of Belerion. I still think for what it is, The Tavern Opens provides a fun side-activity to indulge in and keep the game feeling fresh in-between combat encounters, but if you’re on the fence, it’s also an easy one to wait for a sale.

Ultimately, if you’re a fan of the management simulation aspects of Wartales or like the mercantile lifestyle path especially, the tavern management gameplay systems that this expansion introduces may be for you. Highly recommended.

Game Details

Primary Format – Games – PC, Xbox Series X | S, Nintendo Switch
Game Genre – Tactical role-playing game (RPG)
Rating – MA15+
Game Developer – Shiro Games
Game Publisher – Shiro Unlimited

About the Author


A senior writer for ImpulseGamer.com and former writer for MMGN and Ninemsn, Nathan has been reviewing video games and interviewing talented developers since 2012. As a nostalgia tragic eternally tied to the glorious 1990s, he's always playing retro gaming classics whenever he's not entrenched in the latest RPG, or talking your ear off about why The First Law book series is better than Game of Thrones - to anyone who dares listen.

Back to Top ↑