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.
As always, any questions please ask away.
@Simon_Fitzgerald Were there any improvements to hand tracking with the sense controllers? Playing the PSVR1 one, the tracking was pretty good, but it's always gonna be handicapped by the Moves. Curious if they improved it?
This one looks interesting for 15 bucks. How fast does the difficulty ramp up on this, as this is my main problem with games like overcooked?
@gbanas92 I had no issues with the hand tracking at all whilst playing. Im not entirely sure if it’s been improved from the PSVR version since I didn’t get around to trying it.
@LeeHarveyOzgod I would say the difficulty ramps up pretty well during the campaign, I didn’t start feel overwhelmed until the final few levels. It is all about good time management and not accepting orders too quickly. Also once you reach a certain point you unlock a difficultly setting as well that allows you to pick easy, medium or hard.
@Simon_Fitzgerald Thanks for the lovely review! Regarding the headset features. We do have headset haptics on things that involve the head. Eating and drinking ingredients, will trigger it as well as vomiting causing a very intense rumble. We have adaptive triggers on the Cleaning brush, welder and a few ingredients that involve pulling the trigger as a secondary action. (They are sometimes subtle so appreciate you might not have picked up on those!). We did try eye tracking to assist in the customer order accepting but it caused more accidental accepts and caused frustration more often than not. Glad you enjoyed it!
@Simon_Fitzgerald It was honestly really great on PSVR 1, quite the accomplishment given the move wands, but no issues is good enough! I'll take it haha
So I bought this and I'm almost embarrassed how much fun it is! I love this game. It's just a silly, fun time, but can also be challenging. You will be disappointed in yourself if you take too long or mess up an order. For 15 bucks you can't beat it. My only complaint is the lack of variety in the customers, basically the same 3 or 4 customers in different color outfits over and over, that is truly unacceptable to be honest. There should be no less than 20 or maybe even 50 different kinds of customers, considering we aren't talking about last of us graphics here.
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