Epic Tavern - PC Preview

While Epic Tavern is in Early Access, and therefore a preview of a game that clearly still has a ways to go, there is an undeniable charm to this RPG / strategy hybrid that put a smile on my face and looking forward to seeing where the title ends up.

As with any Early Access title, especially one that has only been available for a week or so, there are some kinks to work out. There are probably more load times than I would care for, the UI is a little unwieldy and it does sometimes hang up and force you to exit / restart in order to actually proceed. The price tag is probably a point of concern given some of the technical hiccups along the way and that it is clear there is more content to come (there are several aspects of the game listed as 'coming soon'). All of these things are true of Epic Tavern and something anyone looking to buy right now should probably consider.

However, after having spent some quality time with this title, I can say that there is a lot of potential to be had. Obviously 'potential' is a dangerous word - but for I see enough of it here to be excited by what is to come. Having just read the description, I almost expected one of those pixelated RPG Maker titles that PY from my team absolutely loves. Don't get me wrong - I dig them too and have spent oodles of hours working in RPG Maker, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a very different if somewhat basic aesthetic to the visuals. There is a softer sort of 'by the fireplace' glow to the inside of the tavern that has that warm, comfortable feeling that complements a title of this nature.

So what is the game all about? Well, Epic Tavern is a simulation game with a fantasy setting where you are essentially recruiting parties from the tavern to go out and complete tasks. Considering that 72.936% (number completely made up, but you'll get my point) of all Dungeons & Dragons campaigns start with: So you're at the tavern when you meet X person or hear about Y quest - sally forth! Epic Tavern stakes its claim to that niche of fantasy gaming.

You really don't have control over the party itself, which is where the strategy / simulation aspects come into play. You pick your party and send them on their merry way in what is mostly a combination of text, numbers and static images that either allows them to return victories or explains an unfortunate end. Even these moments of disaster are kind of entertaining, because you can clearly snatch some humor from the jaws of defeat, if not victory. There is a rather dark sense of humor that the development team possesses, and it pays off nicely with moments that bring an unexpected chuckle from me.

Of course, you want your party to be victorious, because that opens up future opportunities to upgrade your tavern. This in turn will open up further and more interesting options for questing down the road. It's an interesting progression loop that is different from a lot of games out there. Of course, the dev team still has to iron out some of the wrinkles (you can get into bad states where a quest can't be concluded), and the long term success of Epic Tavern will be tied to how much variety is added to the quests and the tavern upgrades. What is charming now could easily become redundant if Hyperkinetic Studios fails to offer branching, unique content further down the line.

Is Epic Tavern worth picking up right now? Probably not this exact moment since things are a little rough around the edges, but as someone who enjoys the setting, appreciate the humor and is always on the look for something a little different, Epic Tavern scratches a particular itch for me. This is definitely going to be a title I keep an eye on as the team continues to roll out updates.

Game Information

Hyperkinetic Studios
Epic Tavern Holdings
Single Player
Other Platform(s):

Provided by Publisher

Article by Nick


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