148Apps Network Post
Developer: 99Games Online
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Winemaker Extraordinaire HD is a curious game. It’s not really the most exciting of games, nor the most innovative. Yet it’s a game that I found easy to ignore its flaws, purely because it was so darn compelling.

Taking the role of a wine maker desperate to impress former members of the Guild of Extraordinary Winemakers in order to discover secrets, Winemaker Extraordinaire HD is certainly a different take on the typical management game. This all comes down to travelling across 15 different countries, while buying and selling relevant grapes and bottles before producing the wine in special wineries. In the early stages of the game, some careful money management is required to succeed but it’s not long before money is hardly an issue.

Keeping track of what grapes blend to create which wine is all done via some attractive looking menu systems. Unfortunately, they aren’t always as comprehensive as they should be so I did find myself having to go back and forth through them too often. This is compounded by the fact that the player must remember which country offers which grapes rather than simply being able to consult a handy guide.

Producing the actual wines is slightly more involved than just tapping a button. Grapes can be produced through a mini time management game while a Match Three style game provides the means in which players can boost their wine production. A game of pairs helps perfect the wine quality to a maximum of five stars.

This is all in aid of keeping winemakers happy which is how the story develops and new countries and blends are unlocked. This is also where a big problem emerges. A glitch means that the game loops round in circles at one pivotal point which is immensely annoying.

I had a lot of fun with Winemaker Extraordinaire HD up until this point. It’s perhaps not the most exciting of subject matters but it’s oddly compelling nonetheless. Unfortunately with a bug such as this, it does make it a little tricky to recommend at the relatively hefty price of $4.99 however which is such a shame.

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Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Games, Reviews

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