The first tavern management RPG has just launched it’s funding campaign on Kickstarter, and backer support has been swift. It has even been given the coveted “Project We Love” designation. Epic Tavern, by Hyperkinetic, is already well on it’s way to reaching its $40,000 funding goal.
Combining elements of classic RPG’s, Epic Tavern adds an unique combination of roster management and social simulation. As the Tavernmaster, the player is tasked with building and operating a successful fantasy tavern.
Adventurers visiting the establishment can be insulted, entertained, and befriended. Once an adventurer has been recruited, the Tavenmaster can send them on perilous quests for fame and gold. Quests are learned about through eavesdropping on the gossip and whispers of patrons.
Choices will have consequences and adventurers will suffer set-backs and failures on their journeys. A good Tavenmaster will be able to rally his troops to fight another day. The ever-changing circumstances should make for decent replayability as adventure’s grow and change based on how a Tavenmaster utilizes them.
The tavern scenes of Epic Tavern look great, suitably cartoony and fun. The actual adventurer gameplay, well not as much.
To be fair, this is well in-line with the management genre, just a bit disappointing considering how much flexibility the player has in designing and interacting with the tavern aspects of the game. Watching helmets move across a map just isn’t as engrossing.
I suppose that’s the point though, in Epic Tavern, the story is focused squarely on what occurs when everyone gathers together at night in the tavern. The alliances and rivalries between heroes are all forged over a frothy pint. There are worse ways to make a fantasy living.