In Microbrewin’, players try to amass the most Recognition in the brewing industry (striving to garner local, regional, national and, in rare cases, world-wide recognition), which they accomplish primarily by brewing quality beers. In order to brew beers, players have to acquire ingredients from a limited supply market, including four essential ingredients (water, hops, malted grain and yeast), as well as a variety of adjuncts and special ingredients that help enhance their flavor (e.g. coffee, chocolate and corn). Additionally, players will need to improve their brewery’s equipment, advertise, enter beer contests, attend beer festivals and research the microbrewing craft in order to become the most recognized microbrewer. A game plays out over the course of four years and each year consists of four seasons; each season is essentially a round, wherein all players first take turns, one-by-one, selecting two activities (e.g. Attend Festival and Brew Beer) to carry out (some of which can only be done a limited number of times during the round), before then resolving each kind of activity in a predetermined sequence. During the game, players can brew up to three beers (they receive Recognition for their best brewed beer at the end of each of the first three years, and for all of their brewed beers at the conclusion of the fourth year), and one of the major strategic elements players will have to consider is whether to invest in several quick-to-brew beers that yield less recognition individually or one quality beer that takes longer to brew but garners significantly more Recognition. Moreover, the limited availability of ingredients available at any one time, coupled with the competition for the better ones among them (all ingredients come in varying qualities, and the “premium” ingredients are especially sought after), forces players to make tactical adjustments to their strategies. Thanks to the wide variety of ingredients available for brewing beers, it is highly unlikely that a player will ever brew the same beer twice, and, as a result, no game of Microbrewin’ ever feels the same.
Microbrewin’: Playtesting Photos
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