This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development.
Travellers Rest was a game that came out of nowhere for me, with my first contact with it being through a live stream on Twitch. It’s pretty much impossible to find new cool upcoming and unknown games nowadays on Steam thanks to how overcrowded it is. For that reason, I’m really glad that I stumbled upon Travellers Rest, so you can kind of already tell how I feel about the game, given these first few words.
Travellers Rest is a game where you play as an innkeeper and run your own tavern, but, on top of that, you also get to brew your own beer and other beverages, as well as tending to your own small plot of land to farm. These small management games are something which I completely adore, and Travellers Rest is no different. Beyond its rather unappealing visuals, there’s a really compelling gameplay loop waiting for those who always wanted to run their own tavern.
On its own, Travellers Rest is extremely repetitive and simple, but, at the same time, it’s also really addicting. When a new customer arrives at your tavern, they will simply walk to the bar counter and place their order, then all you have to do to serve them is click on them or pour tap beer and they will automatically get their order and proceed to a free seating spot. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, it pretty much is, this isn’t a challenging game at all but, even so, there’s something about it that makes it quite compelling.
As you increase the number of seats on your tavern, by buying and placing extra tables and seats, you must keep tabs on your stock of food and beverages, otherwise, you’ll serve gruel to your customers, which only rewards with a small amount of reputation and money. While money is used to purchase supplies, furniture or decorations for your tavern, reputation serves as a means to progress through the game and unlock new mechanics. Whenever you reach a reputation milestone, you will unlock something new such as, the ability to rent rooms on your tavern, a quest board, the option to hire staff to help you run the tavern, or even trends, which will grant you extra reputation if you serve food and drinks that are trending. It’s a pretty decent progression system since it encourages you to serve as many people as you can as this will allow you to reach milestones quicker, but, even still, you still have to grind quite a bit to reach each milestone.
Besides managing and tending to your clientele, another major aspect of Travellers Rest is making everything that keeps your tavern running, whether that be brewing beer, making wine or cooking food. The recipes for these items can be unlocked through tech trees, as you gain points by crafting, but you must come up with the ingredients yourself, either by planting them on your farm or by ordering them through a postbox that’s just outside your tavern. It is in the process of brewing beer and cooking food that the game develops even more because while recipes have their own set of ingredients that you must have in order to produce each item, you can also add more ingredients and experiment as you see fit. The more complex and rich in ingredients the lager, ale or food that you serve, the more money and reputation it will reward you on each sale, so the game encourages you to try out different combinations to find the most rewarding one.
There are also XP upgrades that you can gain by completing orders and quests. While the tech tree focuses on granting you access to new recipes, these XP upgrades focus on your character and enable you to clean and craft faster, as well as increase your farming yield. With that said, all the quests that you take on from the quest board are straight-up fetch quests. Furthermore, unless I’ve done something terribly wrong, some quests also seem to be bugged, as providing the requested item cannot complete the quest with a message saying that the requirements weren’t met.
My issues with Travellers Rest don’t end there though, as the game is also lacking in other aspects. For instance, while different furniture items will increase the comfort of your tavern, thus making your customers happy, the tavern customization aspect is fairly limited, and I’m pretty sure that different players’ taverns will look very alike. Besides that, another thing that is also rather disappointing is farming, and this is simply because there’s no need to water the seeds and every single crop takes exactly 3 days to be ready for harvest. This means that all you need to do is go and plant whatever you want on your farm and then come back 3 days later, there’s no maintenance needed. Then there’s also the fact that you can only save your progress by sleeping, I’d much rather have the option to save whenever I’d want. Finally, the thing that bothers me the most is the lack of filters on your inventory, as this makes everything look and feel quite messy, as you have to manually sort out different types of items, and it can become quite difficult to manage things since there are quite a lot of different seeds, crops, vegetables, fruits and all sort of ingredients.
Apart from what I’ve mentioned above and, although Travellers Rest is a game focused on gameplay, there are a few other things worth pointing out. First, the people that come to your tavern have nothing going for them, they’re devoid of any personality and you can’t even chat with them. Then, there’s also the fact that the game has no story elements whatsoever, there’s no introduction of any sort, you don’t even know who you are and what kind of world you find yourself in. For people that only care about the gameplay, this surely won’t be an issue, but for those that want a more fleshed out world and characters, this will surely appear a disappointment.
At the end of the day, Travellers Rest is still a work in progress and if all goes well, it should receive plenty of more content, on top of more recipes for food and drinks. Whether you’re cooking, brewing, farming, serving people or cleaning the mess that they’ve made, this is one of those games that are perfect to play while listening to something else on the background, like a podcast, an audiobook or a live stream.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary PC code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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