I recently purchased Nimble Strong: Bartender in Training for the iPhone, after reading a review of it on Joystiq last week. The thought of a game that teaches me how to make drinks while I play, was intriguing. After all, how many games actually teach you something that you can use in real life? And for the $4.99 price tag, it’s well worth a shot. Nimble Strong serves up 1 0z. of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney with 2 oz. Cooking Mama, both in a perfect blend.
You play as Nimble Strong, a rookie bartender. You’re hired on at the Cocktarian, by a man named Muskrat, after your former friend Alex and wife Eva screw you over to manage the Magnum, a rival bar. A rival bar that YOU planned to co-manage with Alex. Can you think of a better reason to drink away your sorrows?
Gameplay is simple but addictive. You’ll learn how to concoct each drink from a cast of unique characters visiting the bar, all providing you with some constructive criticism along the way. Drink orders begin with a lesson from your customer or coworker, and then you are presented with an empty glass and the necessary mixers and tools to complete each order.
Timing is everything. The timer ticks away as you use your recipe guide to help you through each order. You may need to rely on it from time to time, because orders become much more complex and time is limited as you progress.
The motions you do on screen are simple and responsive. For example, if you need to shake a martini, you’ll just shake the iPhone. Or To pour 2 oz. of vodka you’ll hold your finger on screen for two seconds. The better you get at mixing, and the quicker you are, gets you higher tips from your customers which can later be used to unlock over 70 recipes outside of story mode.
I definitely enjoyed my time with Nimble Strong. It’s simple, fun, and at the end of it all, I do feel as though I learned some things about bar-tending. I even have the game’s printable graduation diploma to prove it. Story mode may only take you a few hours to complete (there are only 4 acts), but the real fun is going back and memorizing and using the recipes you unlock. I highly suggest picking up the lite version of the game to try it out.
Now go! And impress your friends at those late night parties you never get invited to!