Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
Top Critic Average
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine could have had deep mythology building for 1930s Americana, but instead it offers only enough to get you intrigued before forcing you back into the grind-laden, story-gathering crawl the rest of the game is.
This game isn't worth a deal with a devil, but it could be worth it for you if there's a good deal. Just don't put up your soul as collateral.
As an interesting intellectual exploration of the role that word-of-mouth plays in storytelling, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine plays like a proof of concept that never graduated beyond an initial prototyping stage. Sure, it has plenty of narratives to uncover, but ultimately the repetitive, shallow mechanics prevent the experience from meeting its full potential. Despite the best efforts of the excellent visual presentation and voice acting, the net product is a hollow shell of what it could've been.
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine takes a bold step in trying to make a game based on a concept that is very unusual in this medium. That's something to praise but even though the game features an interesting plot and the stories are certainly worth reading, the gameplay experience does not feel adequate to what is on offer and way too often the game feels like it should have been done differently and with other mechanics.
Review in Portuguese | Read full review
If you treat Where the Water Tastes Like Wine as a visual novel with added interaction, you'll find a unique premise surrounded with a host of interesting characters and stories. As a video game, however, it is too stripped back to feel substantial and remain engaging through its lengthy run time.
I do think Where The Water Tastes Like Wine is worth a gander, just don’t expect a swan song of a tale or gut punch metaphor about early America. Enjoy it for it what it immediately offers: a fun series of tiny vignettes and discoverable characters to unwind with. Forget the rest.
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is a simple game about traveling the USA while listening to and telling stories.
An inspired attempt at something new, like an Americana graphic novel read through at a snails pace. The lovely meditative quality to the gameplay eventually becomes somewhat frustrating because of repetition, the limitations of the concept and how much the player can interact with the characters and stories. Regardless of these shortcomings, anyone looking for some fresh ideas in their games should give it a try.
Overall, if you enjoy a very slow burn game that really seems better suited to being played for an hour or so a day, or just really want something with a huge focus on narrative, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine may scratch that itch. Those looking for a game with more varied gameplay probably won't find much to like here, however, as just walking around an admittedly bland map will likely come to bore you sooner rather than later. The game has value and I certainly enjoyed my time with it, but its Switch debut likely won't turn any more heads than its original release did.
There's no other game like Where The Water Tastes Like Wine, even if it does lose the plot when it celebrates the art of stories and the power that they possess.