With the huge growth and popularity of Nightclub City in mind, many developers have attempted to emulate its success with their own iterations. The latest developer to try their hand is DNA Games with the new title Bar World. A week into its beta phase, this game already has around 325,000 monthly active users with about 67,000 returning daily.
Bar World is about designing a successful bar, rather than a nightclub — a tack that Bar Society also took. Dancing and drinks are still included, and Bar World takes many other mechanics from Nightclub City. There’s something original for each mechanic it borrows, and a differentiated visual style.
Your bar can be in the downtown nightlife, on the beach or in the tropics. The core game-play is familiar: you mix drinks with mixers (Café World-style) and serve them on bar counters. Then an employee, or a hired friend, will serve them to incoming patrons. As in Café World, drinks are made in sets of limited quantity.
In order to get more customers, you need to create a bar with a high rating. Bar World allows you to increase the rating of your bar in two ways: décor and customer satisfaction. The décor method is identical to Nightclub City — more expensive décor items increase your rating by the amount noted on the item. The customer satisfaction method works more like Restaurant City, with your bar’s rating increasing by a fraction of a point when a customer leaves happy.
So far, the only time we’ve seen customers get upset is when they run out of drinks. But they do sometimes talk about (in word bubbles) what they want to see in the bar. This is one of the nuances that sets Bar Room apart from Nightclub City or Cafe World. When you purchase arcade machines, juke boxes, or pool tables, the bar goers will actually make use of them, earning you periodic income to supplement alcohol sales. In other games, characters rarely interact with decor items.
As you play, the visitors to your bar are all actual friends or other players. When you click on these avatars, you can interact with them in three ways. The most basic is to buy them drinks. This doesn’t actually do anything functional, but you can buy them enough drinks to get them drunk and sick. This, in turn, allows you to post to their Facebook feed (if it is a friend) about their inability to hold their liquor.
The next way is also amusing. You can play the matchmaker and try to hook up one avatar with another. Again, this doesn’t really seem to do much functionally, but it allows for some cheesy pick-up lines and more amusing Facebook posts.
The final way is by visiting the bar of any avatar currently in your own bar (be they friend or not). Doing so will allow you to earn a daily coin bonus — though, this might change, because it means near infinite money. Visiting the Bars of others also improves the quality of your drinks or the effectiveness of your workers.
As a nice bonus, you can choose to “Like” other players’ bars. There is also a leveling system called “Popularity” that is earned when users interact with each other using the boost function. Leveling up in popularity unlocks different bar venues in areas such as the mountains or the old west. There’s even a drinking game called “Challenge” in which players play rock, paper, scissors with a friend and get free coins for winning. If they lose, they have to take a shot.
Our only significant criticism of Bar World is that it’s a hodgepodge of other games that came before; the title could be improved by playing up its differentiating features more, like matchmaking. But Bar World does provide a different feel from the other apps in its genre, and thus should do fairly well.