Version Reviewed: 1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Bottle Empire is a curious mishmash of genres. Part freemium social game, part Monopoly-esque experience, it’ll take a little while to truly click. That’s not helped by the fact that its tutorials are fairly lacklustre. Still, scratch under that awkward surface and you’ll find that it’s kind of interesting, if not entirely compelling.
Presented with a game board, you roll a dice to take a turn and run round the board. Sometimes, you’ll land on a brewery which you can buy in order to turn a profit. More frequently though, you’ll land on an enemy square, requiring you to have a shoot out with a bunch of gangsters. Here, you can choose to tap to shoot at them or tap to move around, collecting health and other bonuses. It’s a kind of rudimentary system but an interesting one. It’s easy to die here, but all that means is you go back a few steps on the board. It’s nothing too serious and the experience gains from success make it worthwhile.
There’s another kind of mini-game that stems from the brewery spots, allowing you to brew your own moonshine. Again, it’s poorly explained but keeps things interesting once you figure it out.
At times, you’ll find yourself needing to wait for the dice to recharge or abilities to unlock, but none of it is too restrictive. It does detract from the board game side of things though, reminding you of the fact you’re playing more of a social game.
That’s the problem with Bottle Empire. There’s a lot going on but it could be better planned out. As you progress, things make more sense, but that introductory curve can be off-putting. The stronger you become through unlocking abilities the more you can enjoy the strange mix of game elements, but few could blame you for not persevering.