It’s Happy Hour Somewhere in Bar Society on Facebook

Bar SocietyFor most, it’s probably still a bit early to drink, but you know what they say: “It’s happy hour somewhere.” At least, those are the words that appear to be behind RedAtom’s Bar Society game on Facebook. Published by Playdom, it’s a game that made its appearance on our fastest growing games this past week and now holds over 907,000 monthly active users.

A combination of virtual business and space games like Nightclub City and Café World, Playdom’s new title tasks users with building a successful bar. Between mixing drinks, serving tables, and dancing patrons, there’s a satisfying potential. All the same, it’s a game that feels a bit slow on the uptake, and just doesn’t feel like it has the same level of style that its competitors have.

Right off the bat, players are introduced to Bar Society’s primary social mechanic of hiring friends to work for you. In this case, it’s as a bar tender. Like the cooks in Café World, users task them with creating everything from a simple Gin and Tonic to a rather pricey Washington Apple, with the more valuable drinks requiring higher levels to unlock.

Drink ListEvidently, your friends aren’t too good at mixing drinks, as they’ll take anywhere from five minutes to a day or so to prepare them. Of course, with behind the back tosses and various animated bar tricks, they at least look good doing it. Once ready, players must use one of their waiters (their avatar plus whatever friends they hire as one) to place the finished drinks onto wheeled drink carts. These work exactly the same as counter space in Café World, as whenever a patron orders a drink, one of the waiters will serve whatever drinks are on the cart(s). Also, like the Zynga app, the carts have a finite number of servings and only one type of drink may be on any single cart at any given time.

This is where the Nightclub City elements come into play somewhat. After guests have ingested a little bit of “liquid courage,” they’ll haphazardly make their way over to any dance floors the player has set up. Like in Nightclub City, these are required to keep guests happy (though we doubt they’d be happy if they knew how badly they danced). Additionally, when a character starts dancing, users can click on the music cleft floating above their head, which will begin to fill up a music icon in the upper right. Five clicks from five different customers will increase the bar’s rating.

The bar rating is the typical rating system seen in these virtual business apps. The higher it is, the more guests will visit. This rating is also affected by a number of elements such as serving guests quickly, better décor and having dance floors. The rating even tells the player exactly how many guests they can expect an hour. However, unlike others of games of its ilk, Bar Society is extremely slow to get started.

MusicRatings go up extremely slowly based on customers approving things like service, but at the start, users will get only around 100-120 guests in one hour. The game states that rating only goes up while the user is actually logged in and playing. Additionally, even basic decorations are surprisingly expensive, running the player out of their initial starting cash after three or four purchases. As one can imagine, between both of these aspects, improving that rating is painstakingly slow. To draw a parallel, in our review of Playdom’s new Market Street — which follows a similar rating mechanic — our store was brimming within about 15-20 minutes. An hour later in Bar Society, and there’s maybe two or three guests at any given time.