Winemaking is a tough job, and in Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator, you have a lot to pay attention to in order to have a thriving winery. The game is packed with several different ways to play, from endless mode, challenges, and a story mode. If you enjoy an authentic simulator that hands you control over everything, then Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator may be the game for you.
A great example of the game’s depth can be seen right away at the beginning. You start by creating a name, a logo, and brand colors for your winery. And there are quite a few options to pick from for your logo.
From there, you can choose your gameplay. Instinctively, I went with the story mode, as it seems that this is the most logical place to start. However, playing the endless mode taught me the ropes much better than the story mode. Both offer a tutorial, but in the story, the tutorial is wrapped in the characters’ dialog, whereas in the endless game, you are fed the tutorial in isolation and apply it as you play.
But that’s not saying the tutorial is perfect. It walks you through the basics of the game, but there were times when I questioned what I should be doing next. The tutorial will explain what you’re doing at that moment, but I never got a good sense of when I should be expanding my vineyard, buying new lands, buying different grapes, or even when and what I should level up first.
The game appears to be simple, but it’s anything but. You are given different cards to play, each card explaining what it does and how many rounds it will take before the task is completed. You play the cards on a board, and each card has a different shape, similar to Tetris. The goal is to arrange your cards to make the most of the board.
But it’s after you start growing grapes and pruning them that things begin to get complicated. First, you can control how much you prune the vines, which will affect the quality and quantity of the grapes. You can pick how long you want to ferment the wine, which will affect the outcome of your product. It’s incredible how much control you have over the product, but you aren’t given much explanation for why you want to do certain things to make the best wine. Even what grapes to plant isn’t well described. However, there are plenty of guides online that you can read or watch that explain what to focus on in your first few years to make sure you are successful.
After the grapes are pressed and fermented, it’s time to bottle up the wine. Again, I was impressed with how much control you have over the game, as you can change the name of the wine, what type of cork you’ll use, and even what kind of bottle you want to use for the wine. But, of course, all this affects the final production cost. And the game never explains why you’d use one type of bottle over another. Once the bottles have been filled, it’s time for a wine tasting, where your wine is scored. If you’re going to play this game, one word of advice, keep a notebook and write down what you did so that you can adjust your final product next time.
The next step is that you sell your wine as you get orders coming in, and you even get special orders, and if you can fulfill these special orders, the prestige of your winery goes up, which affects the cost of your wine. I felt I needed to diversify my vineyard, as I didn’t always have the product for the special orders. Sometimes the buyer wanted a wine with a specific score, and others wanted a bottle of wine I didn’t have in stock. This is where I felt the game could have been a bit more helpful, explaining the best way to grow your winery. Instead, I learned the hard way through trial and error.
As mentioned earlier, there is a story mode. However, I was shocked that I didn’t create a character; instead, you play as Emma, an office worker turned winery entrepreneur by chance. I did enjoy the story, the characters are well written, and you live vicariously through Emma, as she is just as baffled by the world of winemaking as you are, but I thought the story moved too slowly. Thus I preferred the endless mode.
There is also a challenge mode, placing you in different scenarios that you need to complete within a certain number of rounds. Some of the challenges include becoming a millionaire or producing all the different types of white wines or red wines.
Review: Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator (Nintendo Switch)
Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator offers quite a bit. With the different modes, there is plenty here to keep you busy. While the story is certainly the primary focus of the game, I found I learned more by playing the endless mode. That being said, I wish there was more to the tutorial to help you understand what you need to do to grow your winery. If you enjoy in-depth simulators, Hundred Days – Winemaking Simulator will not disappoint.