Where the Water Tastes Like Wine
Top Critic Average
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine remind us of the power of oral tradition and how can shape our perception of life. Unfortunately some times these stories can feel like a chore, due to the way the game uses them as mechanics.
Review in Spanish | Read full review
This is slow burn gaming experience that is not for everyone, but those that fall into the demographic it’s aiming for are going to be absolutely smitten with it. Where The Water Tastes Like Wine is like nothing else I’ve ever played and is a title I intend to keep savouring over coming weeks.
'Where The Water Tastes Like Wine' is a giant leap forward for video game storytelling
For me it ended up being more water than wine.
A continent-sized anthology of American campfire tales that will keep pulling you in deeper, once you acclimatise to its slow pace.
Another example of that latest trend of videogames with "high artistic quality," Where the Water Tastes Like Wine is not something brand new, unique, and meaningful, but something boring, boring, boring that uses big words to say things that aren't that interesting. Oh, and it has Sting in it…
At the end of a long road, emotions can be mixed, with many exhausted by the experience or rejuvenated by the discoveries made along the way. WTWTLW instills the former, driving players to feel dragged through the mud as opposed to fulfilled. Although the game touts the importance of the journey over the destination, neither offers any real sense of satisfaction. In the end, an interesting concept and great art direction cannot save the game from the weight of ambition. The attempt is admirable, but the execution leaves much to be desired. WTWTLW is lacking the narrative punch and cohesion of other story-focused games, as well as the freedom and gameplay quality of other exploration-based titles. WTWTLW has all the promise of a long and exciting road-trip across unknown territory, but ends up only offering flat tires and postcards of better places.
There is space in gaming for narrative output like this, but they need to be carefully tailored to be games first and experiences second. You don't even want to know what this water tastes like.
On the surface, Where the Water Tastes Like Wine seems like it has a recipe for an incredible game. It stretches the lengths of what story-driven, Twine-like games can accomplish in scope—thematically, narratively, and in terms of the dozens of writers from different cultures and backgrounds behind them. And yet, the game's onerous pace and the way it relegates the stories you collect to flash cards ends up doing a disservice to the game's strengths.