Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

 

 

Genre:    Adventure 

Developer: Dim Bulb Games / Serenity Forge

Publisher: Good Shepherd Entertainment

Released:  February 2018              

Requirements (minimum):

  • OS: Windows 7, 8, 10
  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 (2*2200) or equivalent AMD Athlon 64 x2 4200+ (2*2200) or equivalent
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Geforce 8500 GT (512 mb) or Radeon HD 4350 (512 mb)
  • DirectX: Version 9.0c
  • Storage: 6 GB available space
 

 

 

 

By flotsam

 

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine

Dim Bulb Games / Serenity Forge

A talking wolf, a barrow full of kittens, a traipse-fest and Sting. What to say? How about, a flawed gem.

The stories are the thing, pretty much the only thing, telling and retelling, sharing and reinterpreting. All across the depression hit North American landscape, one side to other, back and forth, forever telling, forever looking to gather and tell more.

You will walk a lot. You can whistle to speed things up, but I never liked the way it worked. The walking may get you down, or it may just be the interlude in which to reflect on the stories so far and the ones to come. Up to you. Hitching a ride or catching a train (legitimately or otherwise) is also possible.

There were times when the construct made the stories feel less like experiences and too much like commodities, which detracted a bit from the stories themselves. So I went away and came back later and felt better about it. Dipping in and out was preferable.

Stories are currency. Donít have an appropriate one to tell, one that meets the needs of the individual (sad, funny etc) and people will clam up. Move on, hear more, come back maybe and offer again.

You might hear a familiar one from a different perspective. Retelling can change the narrative, or at least its emphasis. What is bleak to one person may be hopeful to another. Stories may be morphed in a Chinese whispers kind of way, or reimagined, or just appropriated. Cultural histories and legends get passed down, changed as they go, embellished or toned down. So it is here.

They are as varied as they are many. From the mundane to the fanciful, the realistic to the supernatural, the diversity was one thing. More than that, almost all had an elegant panache that made them worthy of your efforts.

Interestingly, tales donít remain within the depression timeframe. They do though (and I say this as a non-American) all spring from a place that is part of the American cultural fabric. Feel free to debate me on that point.

The experience starts with a poker game and a kind of a devil's deal with a dire wolf. Stripped of more than you can imagine, off you go.

It was aesthetically pleasing, from all perspectives. The music (a pastiche of styles) and the voice acting included.

You do have to manage a number of parameters in your wanderings (including health), which ebb and flow depending on some choices. Fail to manage these things and you can in fact die, although itís an unlikely consequence given the generous capacity to overcome bad outcomes. While this introduced an element of game-ness, I actually found it detracted from the main experience, and seemed too artificial in the broader context.

The sheer number of stories, and the fact that they are open to interpretation, means that it can be a little hit and miss when it comes to responding to a particular request (which were the sad stories, how would you describe that one). Yet the volume is also a plus, especially given the quality of the writing.

But the camera perspective can suck at times. And there is an inventory you need to sort out.

Where the Water Tastes Like Wine clearly has its flaws. However its essence is a wonderful tapestry of urban storytelling that deserves your attention. Donít think of it as a game, but donít not play it as a result, and (somewhat paradoxically) as an adventure game player you should be well pleased.

I played on:

OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit

Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz

RAM: 32GB GDDR5

Video card: AMD Radeon RX 470 8192MB

 

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