A game that actually teaches you a vocation? A game that can help you score big with the opposite sex? A game that feels mature that actually passed the App Store scrutiny?
Yes there is such a game: Nimble Strong: Bartender in training. As a fresh young bartender you have to learn how to make a whole bunch of drinks. At first it takes a lot of double checking in the drinks recipe to remember all ingredients. A drink starts by you adding ice by holding to pour. Then you choose the correct spirit, and pour the correct amount. It is all a matter of timing, and judging amounts. More advanced drinks have multiple spirits, juices, liqueurs and need to be stirred or shaken. A lemon wedge, olive or other garnish is also introduced. Overall the controls are really well implemented with focusing on being playable instead of being gimmicky. There is a game sharing theme and setting called Bar Oasis that I found unbearable after only thirty minutes due to being almost as gimmicky to control as poor Wii games. In Nimble Strong you don’t have to look like a complete fool when you play.
The story is quite easy to forget about once your timer is ticking down for a couple of drinks. There is no time off to read the recipes so it takes some learning to become good at the game. The different characters have their own personalities, and some of the comments are quite funny. But as a bartender I have no time for small talk, and if you need some serious sessions go talk to Dr. Phil. The tutorial is good, and hand you off on your own with quite a lot of knowledge. The game is good at awarding the small improvements to your skills, and soon even the easier drinks are done with great care to score big.
Nimble Strong sports anime presentation in a mature style without being over the top, but rather artsy in the lines. I like it a lot, but the competitor Bar Oasis actually looks better. The music is really good, and varies depending on the stress level provided by the current order. It feels completely integrated, and it is hard to put it in a specified genre besides anime soundtrack. The sound effects are ok with some nice realistic ice and pour sounds. You can play your own music along with the sound effects.
Nimble Strong is a fun game for a while that teaches actual drinks, and this might be interesting knowledge to a lot of people. Of course there is a whole lot of repetition to the gameplay as all you are doing is drinks to order. To me it all felt like work about one hour into the story, and playing for the promised game time of 3-4 hours felt beyond my patience. As I am not that interested in learning drinks by heart I gave up on the game. If you dislike time management games, or rather stay on the customer side of the bar you might want to skip this. Otherwise definitely try the lite version. A true interest in learning the 70 recipes is probably needed before opting for the full version.
Tested on an iPhone 3G and iPhone 4.