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Tavern Master's like a good night out without the hangover

tavern master bar layout
(Image credit: Untitled Studio)

As a lover of beer, wine and generally hanging around in dingy bars, I suspected that upcoming Medieval strategy sim Tavern Master would be right up my street. The game has a demo as part of Steam's Next fest and fans of Yes, Your Grace will appreciate the daily money and time management side of Tavern Master as you weigh up expanding your pub, adding more seats or simply refilling your kegs.

To expand your establishment, you'll need to research various topics such as opening the kitchen, lemonade kegs, and hiring more waitresses. You'll be able to choose who you hire, too, and each individual comes with their own bonuses, such as attractive +7 customers or carrying eight beers at once. You'll be able to upgrade your staff after so many shifts, though you'll want to keep an eye on their happiness. A waitress with a bad attitude isn't going to earn you money.

There are also practical things to consider when building your pub, such as the placement of lighting and constructing your kitchen. You'll receive a hefty gold bonus when you unlock the kitchen, allowing you to buy the various starting bits of equipment needed to start churning out orders. Just don't do what I did and forget to buy the plate cupboard, because your chef will just stand there facing the wall like he's given up. Seems they weren't big on sending food out in plate alternatives like shoes or roof slates back in medieval times…

(Image credit: Untitled Studio)

The demo lets you research as far as unlocking lemonade, an additional waitress and more customers, but eventually you'll be able to unlock new functions, wine and milk kegs, and even as far as a weapons shop. I'm hoping that upon its release on November 16 I'll be able to create a one-stop-shop for all things booze, shagging and weapons-related, as it sounds like a good place to start a chain. I think I'll call it Desert Beers, and we'll sell spontaneous fermentation brews only, thank you very much.

At the end of each day, you'll get a report on your earnings and losses, with the aim being to make the most money you can in order to cover procurement, wages and whatever else your fledgling business needs. The more into the red you'll go, the harder it'll be to recover. This is where balancing your staff becomes important because if they all come with bonuses involving attracting more customers and carrying eight drinks at a time, they're going to burn out fast and you'll either need to sack them or they bugger off.

Decoration and layout is important, too—you might like a dive bar, but some of your clientele would like more contemporary surroundings with lots of plants. Tavern Master comes to Steam on November 16, so if you're looking for a relaxing strat-sim with an earworm of a soundtrack, you should check out the demo soon.

The first three games Lauren played on PC were Star Wars: X-Wing, Zoo Tycoon and Barbie Fashion Designer, which explains her love of all things space, strategy and aesthetically pleasing. Lauren recently joined PC Gamer as the deputy guides editor after three years of writing many dozens of Destiny 2 guides at VG247, as well as casually trying to shoehorn in The Witcher 3 articles wherever possible. When she's not trying to force everyone to play as a Warlock in Destiny 2, Lauren is either mastering her SEO abilities to help smash the competition, or patting one of her red sons.