In Startenders you take on the role of a mundane office worker who has accidentally been abducted and forced into working shifts at the Startenders Bartending Academy. This involves you serving weird yet wonderful concoctions to even stranger beings from galaxies far, far away. It all sounds simple enough, however with a wide variety of unfamiliar ingredients and a whole host of odd-looking utilities, it’s not quite plain sailing.

The main aim is to correctly make and serve each extra-terrestrial customers' procedurally generated orders. These consist of a list of draught liquids, fruit to be juiced or sliced, extras to add to the glass’s rim, and whether to heat or chill the beverage. With a big thumbs up, the only interaction you’ll have with the customer, you must then press and flip the various buttons and levers at your bar to operate the machinery. It’s all very physical on the arms, as you grab and move ingredients in and out of various appliances speedily as you are timed. Take too long and the impatient being will leave, but produce the goods in excellent time and you may just get an extra tip. Once your beverage is served, you’ll earn money and tip tokens to spend on upgrades, cosmetics, and new ingredients for your bar back at the hub.

There are a good variety of modes on offer, with a four to six hour campaign, an Endless Mode for non-stop fun, Free Mix for experimental recipe making, and Daily Shift, a daily level that encourages competition with global leaderboards. Alongside all these modes is an explorable hub where there are a bunch of minigames available to keep you occupied in between your bartending shifts; from shooting hoops to rocket darts, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had.

During our playthrough, however, we encountered several bugs with machinery getting stuck and items falling through the bar and not resetting to their default positions, making it impossible to complete orders. All the problems we found were solved with a quick restart of the level, but when it occurred multiple times it turned out to be quite the inconvenience. We also noticed the lack of any implementation of PSVR2’s newest features: headset haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and eye-tracking all appearing to be absent from this PSVR port.