Beerman Review

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Earlier on Greenlight: This is a joke submission, I’m just going to downvote this and move on.
Later: Wow, it actually got Greenlit!
Later still: I have a chance to review this and curiosity has got the better of me. Maybe it’s not as bad as it looks.
Now: Dear lord, yes it is. Why did I do this to myself?


Beerman is a story driven shooter with longish cutscenes between levels. Throwing beer cans and shooting at baddies pretty much covers it.

Pros

In my opinion the dev is not lazy or sloppy, he genuinely cares about his work, you see him on his community page agonising over the level difficulty. He just lacks the basic skills to produce a modern video game. This can change. He can learn from his mistakes and I would encourage him to keep trying.

Good voice acting and long cutscenes showing a potentially amusing story set in the urine-soaked backalleys of Boston about the ‘Ninth’, an evil secret society whose members aspire to the coveted ninth chin. I say potentially because I can’t get far enough to see most of it.

Cons

Badly pixelated (probably royalty-free) clipart. Comic Sans. Text that disappears off screen.

Appalling gameplay. It’s not always clear what you’re supposed to do. It took me over an hour to clear level 1 by trying to use the intuitive method of moving up and down while firing tins of beer left/right, with incoming fire so fast that it’s impossible to react. I was about to rage-quit when I realised the enemies could easily be cleared by just moving up and down on top of them. Level 2 is so easy it’s pointless. Level 3 involves firing a turret gun with inverted up/down controls and running over baddies while your armour depletes at a ridiculous rate regardless of how efficiently you despatch the enemies. I’m still there.

This is crying out for controller support but has none. Just 80s-esque WASD with instant direction change. It’s not possible to move up/down and fire left/right simultaneously on level 1 that desperately calls for it.

No achievements. No trading cards. We don’t even get that small pleasure.

No Mac/Linux. It’s made in Unity so why not?

Difficulty

Rage-quit difficult. This is not due to clever level design or intelligent AI, it’s simply due to the clunky, awkward controls, confusing gameplay – for example why do I keep bursting into flames for no apparent reason? – and unfair/impossible rate of energy loss.

According to the dev level 3 is supposed to be easy. After 3 hours of trying I still can’t get past it (see above). I hate to think what level 4 is like.

Value

I question whether this belongs on Steam at all, even for free.

Verdict

I wanted to be proven wrong about this game, I really did. I suspected the visuals might have been made deliberately cheesy to hide engaging gameplay. Unfortunately it does what it says on the tin (see what I did there?)

This game looks and feels like it was made in 1995 with MS Paint by a 12-year-old for LOLZ. The tolerable storyline doesn’t make up for it.

Good

  • Amusing storyline, possibly (don't know for sure)

Bad

  • Everything else
1

Horrendous