A most unusual type of simulation, Last Call puts you in the shoes of a bartender at the Last Call Bar. You serve drinks, "shmooze" the customers and, most importantly, rack up tips to advance to the later rounds. Gameplay is relatively easy in the earlier rounds as customers have more patience and ask for easier drinks. In between rounds, there is a bonus round where customers ask for one-shot items such as olives, cherries, soda water, melon liquor and so forth.
The bonus round can also be accessed from the main menu and, in fact, is a bit surprising. The voices in the regular game rounds seem very human but those in the bonus round sound like they're computer generated (not done particularly well, either) making it difficult to understand what the customers are ordering at times.
The customers are a hoot and include such diverse characters as a caveman, a robot, a very angry woodchuck and several human customers with, shall we say, "interesting" lifestyle choices. I particularly like Cyn, the girl in black leather who comes riding in on her slave.
The object of each round is to make a certain amount of money in tips -- in the first round, it's thirty dollars. You are automatically advanced to the second round if you rake in $50 in tips. The second round requires you to earn sixty dollars and advances you to the third round at $100 -- you get the idea.
Making drinks doesn't comprise all the tricks you have at your disposal. When a new customer appears at the bar, you must card them and take their order by pushing the appropriate buttons. You can flirt with the customers (you set the sex of your bartender when you start a game), change the music on the jukebox, give people a free drink ticket, use the recipe book or bounce them out of the bar if they get too abusive, drunk or both. And, if you complete enough shifts or rounds, you are taken on a tour of Bartender's Heaven by none other than the Greek god of wine, Bacchus.
This is an extremely cute game but definitely geared toward adults. The humor is intended for adults and the drink recipes can be saved for later personal use away from the computer screen. Just listening to the customers' banter is often enough to make you smile or even laugh.
Controls in the game are easy but do require a bit of familiarization. You click on the bottles of liquor and drag them over the glass, blender, straining glass or shaker until they start to tilt. Clicking and holding pours the liquor. If you've ever wondered if the life of a bartender is really like that portrayed in the movie Cocktail, here's your chance to find out. Last Call offers laughs, drink recipes and a bit of fun to enliven your time in front of the computer.
Graphics: The graphics of the bar are excellent but the patrons are a mix. Some are drawn well and others poorly, especially in the bonus rounds. All have a cartoon-like look.
Sound: Mostly good but sometimes difficult to hear or understand. The background music is good.
Enjoyment: The life of a bartender isn't really all that fun but serving drinks can be interesting as well as the "shmoozing" aspect levied at the customers.
Replay Value: Every game is different and the game can be played repeatedly without boredom.
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