A reskin of a poor incremental clicker, The Wine Story is a short, shallow, generally uninteresting title. The Finger Guns Review.
Déjà vu. Noun. : a feeling that one has seen or heard something before.
I don’t think it’s ever a good thing if you’re playing a game and you get an overriding feeling of déjà vu, as if you’ve played a game before. Sometimes that’s simply because a game is similar to another. In some less-savoury examples, it’s because you’re playing exactly the same game but with a different skin. Having played 3 games from Webnetics now – Santa’s Workshop, The Ketchup Story and now ‘The Wine Story’ – it’s clear that these games are the latter. The games are mechanically identical and are only marginally visually different. It’s a reskin, no doubt. Even taking that into consideration, The Wine Story is the worst of the bunch.
According to the PlayStation store description, The Wine Story is a game where we “Become one of the biggest wine company in the world with this breath-taking story of young entrepreneur with small dream which comes through”. That quote is verbatim. And completely false. There’s no story. There’s no framing or setup. You load up the menu, read a tutorial and start clicking.
Grapes of Wrath
Much like the other Webnetic clickers, The Wine Story consists of two screens which you can flick between. The first is where you grow your raw materials. You do this initially by simply clicking X on the Dualsense pad. Grapes grow on the vine with each click until they’re fully grown. At this point, they’re harvested and are added to the total number at the top of the screen.
Once you have some grapes, you can switch to the other screen. A wine factory. On this screen, a press of the X button converts the grapes into bottles of wine and they head down a conveyor belt. It’s as simple as that, apparently. There’s no crushing, pressing, fermentation, clarification or aging in this game. You simply press X and the grapes magically become wine. With each bottle you produce, you’re rewarded with some currency.
Much like every other incremental clicker game, that currency can be reinvested. In the best in the genre, you have multiple unlocks that make the process ever more efficient or rewarding. In The Wine Story, there are only two unlocks. The first automatically progresses the growth of the grapes every few seconds without having to press X. The second upgrades the wine factory so that you’re rewarded with more currency for each bottle.
A Bad Vintage
Every Webnetic game I’ve played to date has been… shall we say, light on content. The Wine Story is undoubtedly the shallowest of the bunch. From starting the game to unlocking both of the available upgrades took less than 2 minutes. After that, there’s no real goal other than unlocking the trophies – which I suspect is really the reason that this game exists. A trophy list with a price tag, it takes less than 3 minutes to unlock the Platinum trophy here. Even for the tiny price tag, it’s a shockingly small amount of content.
Of course, some clicker games don’t have specific goals and masses of content. Instead, they provide a chilled out audio/visual experience. That’s not true of The Wine Story. The art style is bland and basic while the music is passable at best.
When the content of The Wine Story ran out quicker than the time the game took to download, I debated whether to even write this review. I considered copy and pasting one of my reviews of Santa’s Workshop or The Ketchup Story and simply replacing the name of the game. That feels like just as much effort the developers have put into this game.
It’s trophy bait. Pure and simple. It’s another attempt to prise some pocket change from trophy hunting PlayStation gamers with a Platinum trophy that takes just a matter of seconds to unlock. There’s virtually no artistic merit to this clicker game that feels like it misunderstands or intentionally misconstrues what makes the genre great. I couldn’t recommend this to anyone other than the most shameless trophy hunters who don’t mind exchanging a few quid to make a number go up.
A desperately sub-par clicker game that’s little more than a reskin of Webnetic’s previous games, The Wine Story is two minutes of ineffectual clicking without reward. Trophy hunters will be happy with the rapid Platinum trophy turnaround but without any real artistic merit, achievements made here will feel hollow.
The Wine Story is available now on PS5 (review platform) and PS4.
Disclaimer: In order to complete this review, we purchased a copy of the game. For our full review policy, please go here.
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