OR: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Cheap Beer
Level 1-1: Drinks After Work
The first round is a pretty straightforward tutorial that gets you accustomed to the controls in a simple social situation. After the opening cutscene plays (tap the coffee bar repeatedly to fast forward), move your party to the Tacky Theme Bar on the city map. You arrive around 1:30 on a Friday, so the level should be almost empty. The map is filled with junk that blocks line-of-sight, stake out spots at the bar to claim high ground. Ignore the temptation to take shelter in a back booth; those comfy tables have good defense and clear visibility across the map, but it’s on difficult terrain that makes it hard to bail when the time comes to get the party moving.
Once you’ve set up your dudes on the bar, deliver the order and make nice with the bartender: make sure one of your party members is proficient with plastic to settle accounts, as you’ll want to conserve your cash for the next stage.
Split the beer gracefully, and ration yours to last as long as possible. There’s a steep upgrade curve on these consumables, so tread carefully; high-level options like the IPA will actually damage your health (and taste buds) with every sip. Novice players should start at a lower difficulty (say, Blue Moon or Anchor Steam) and work their way up the brew tree.
You can visit the men’s room for a quick refresh, but you shouldn’t need it this early in the game; instead, make sure to sip your beer at measured intervals to keep pace with the rest of the party. If you fall too far behind everyone else, the limit break will trigger and force you to shotgun the rest of your glass in one gulp.
Level 1-2: Six-Pack In The Sun
The second level is an outdoor map, so make sure to equip your party with chill-weather gear; beer jackets don’t count. Advance your party to the Mission District and resupply at the corner store before tackling the Backyard map; the selection sucks, so hang back and let one of your party members take point on the re-up.
Like every great strategy game, this is our timed survival challenge. It’s just like classic Starcraft, except instead of holding out for evac from the Zerg infestation of Mar Sara you just need to survive the fickle weather of San Francisco long enough for the rest of your party to return from work.
This map is on split terrain with sparse cover atop shitty second-hand patio furniture, so you’ll need to conserve stamina while balancing the encumbrance of your beer and keeping up a steady stream of quips to keep party morale topped off. The difficulty curve ramps up pretty steeply in the next few levels, so make sure to tap buffs like Carne Asada and Goofy YouTube Video for the stat bonuses; you’ll need them to beat the final boss.
Be sure to balance beer intake with leveling your wit and levity. Remember that beer buzz degrades quickly (though it does carry over between levels), so you’ll need to carefully conserve your consumables. A hidden shortcut will appear near the end of the level when two NPCs join your party and a new challenger appears; take it and head for the exit, making sure to hit the men’s room for another health refresh if you need it.
Level 1-3: Dive Bar Blues
Regroup and move your party to the Dirty Thieves dot on your city map; despite the name, this level is actually really fun and easy if you don’t engage the hipsters clustered near the bar. The art is super cheesy but otherwise it’s pretty much the opposite of the tutorial, so post up in a booth and follow the dialogue cues to unlock a few new character abilities, including Corrupting Influence [Youth] and Knowing When To Quit [Drinking]. There’s also an opportunity to unlock new dialogue trees if your alignment matches that of your new party members, which can lead to hidden levels opening up later in the game.
After a few turns you’ll receive a text message from an NPC of the opposite sex inviting you to a backyard barbeque and a night on the town. At the same time your party will begin to dissolve, which means you’ll have to face the final boss alone in order to get to Level 2. Accept the invitation and head home to save your game before you face the final boss.
Level 1-4: Hold Your Cookies
The final challenge is fighting off The Early Evening Hangover, easily the hardest part of Day Drinking. This will be the hardest fight you’ll face in the first level, but as long as you keep movement to a minimum and focus on buffing your stamina with caffeine you should survive long enough to win. The constant MP Drain attacks make it difficult to concentrate, but The Hangover is weak against water and naps.
Here’s where careful beer buzz management pays off, as The Hangover’s staying power is directly proportional to how many consumables you’ve used up to this point. If you happen to have any beers left, consume them for a quick stat boost; otherwise, hit The Hangover with everything you’ve got (while staying very, very still) and reload if you hit a rough patch. Beating The Hangover earns you enough XP to level up and allows you to progress to the next stage. Congratulations, you’re ready for Level 2!