Fatosh, a member of Film London's Equal Access Network, previewed Hundred Days - Winemaking Simulator as part of the London Games Festival 2021. Here they share their reflections on the game.
As someone who has been indulging in a bit of homebound wine tasting over lockdown, I found Hundred Days - Winemaking Simulator the perfect game to compliment my newfound hobby. The game presented an opportunity to learn a bit more about the process of winemaking so that I can impress my friends the next time we share an £8 bottle of Spanish cornershop red.
Admittedly I am no winemaking expert or wine tasting connoisseur. I come from Cyprus, a small Mediterranean country that is famous for its wine production. I felt it my duty to try this game out and fulfil a stereotype for my many British friends in order to gain more acceptance as a diverse member of our shared Post-Brexit landscape.
Luckily, for supermarket wine aficionados like myself, whom, whilst considered an expert in our esteemed United Kingdom, would be considered a novice on the continent, there is a charming tutorial that holds one’s hand during the introduction to the game. We are first introduced to our new next-door neighbour, a very friendly woman named Anna. Anna rambles to me a little bit, she somehow knows that I am a woman and that I have travelled from London. How this is, I don’t know... I cover the webcam of my computer with some gaffer tape (I work as a DOP and Spark).
I overcame my initial anxiety of being watched through my webcam to plough on through my winemaking journey. Anna introduces me to the local baker’s boy, Teo. Teo is a charming Mediterranean stereotype who leads me through my first vineyard experience.
Winemaking Simulator is a turn-based game that takes place on a grid where different processes take different amounts of turns and areas. The aim of the game is to optimise your space and turns whilst keeping an eye on the seasons, weather and grape development. As you progress through the game you expand your grid, and with that your wine empire.
I get completely absorbed in my small vineyard winery and forget myself for a moment. The relaxing music, charming graphics and informative menu screens lead me to creating my first bottle of a Barbera grape red wine that I name Goose Blood.
Despite its lack of body, this wine is a hit with supermarkets, private buyers and restaurants, receiving a 60/100 score during the wine-tasting session. Sales earn me a whopping £1334 in-game money to add to my initial £50000 starting pool. I’m ready to make the best wine this virtual universe has ever tasted now I understand where I’ve gone wrong. Unfortunately, time is up, the demo has ended and the full game won’t be released until May 13th.
Overall, I enjoyed my short time playing Winemaking Simulator, however it’s difficult to tell what the full scope of the game will be like from this short demo. Like the wine I made, this demo lacked body. At a reasonable price, I can see this game being a success with audiences that aren't traditional gamers. That success relies on if it can reach that audience.