Brewing the perfect cup of tea is supposed to be relaxing, but what happens when you add a robotic arm to the equation? In ProjectorGames Surgeon Simulator-inspired Ampu-Tea, you’ll find out just how hard it can be, but may end up rage-quitting for all the wrong reasons.
Ampu-Tea is supposed to be comical and rage-inducing, and it manages to accomplish that in spades. Not only is controlling a robotic arm in a physics-based environment purposefully difficult, but it’s hindered by a list of bugs that take away from any sort of fun you could be having. While struggling to grab the handle of a teacup and accidentally flinging it across the room in a table-clearing disaster is all part of the game, I often struggled with its randomly resetting resolution settings or various bugs surrounding the arm itself; randomly flailing around at the wrist, getting stuck inside of various objects, going through the table, or having some of my fingers close in the opposite direction, just to name a few.
Nothing was more frustrating than finally getting that teabag in to the cup, moving it across the table to add water, and then having all of my hard work ruined by something completely out of my control. A game being difficult is one thing, but imagine that while playing Dark Souls, your character would fall through the world or stab themselves in the face at random intervals. It’s no longer the game that’s frustrating at that point, but something wrong within the game’s coding.
Controlling your robotic arm requires a combination of keyboard and mouse commands, using one to grip your fingers while the other moves the arm up and down, rotates the wrist and moves the arm itself inside of the environment. Each tea order requires a list of ingredients, like adding a teabag, steeping it in water, adding sugar cubes, and a dash of milk before placing it on the serving tray. Many will not even make it passed placing a teabag in to the cup, but that’s all part of the game when it’s working as intend.
Another thing worth mentioning is the absence of a way to exit the game from any sort of in-game menu, requiring you to alt+tab to your desktop and closing it manually. I know this may seem petty, as it takes all of 5 seconds to do so, but why the option doesn’t exist inside of the game is baffling.
The most frustrating part of Ampu-Tea is that I see a brilliant game hiding in there somewhere underneath all of the current technical issues, and feel that it could eventually be something fantastic if the developer continues to improve the game through patches and hotfixes. However until that actually occurs, I’m not really comfortable recommending it to anyone, although the price is low enough that some of you may be able to overlook the issues at hand.
One does expect certain issues to arise from a new game, and that’s fine as long as the issues are eventually ironed out. However, judging by an 11-month old Let’s Play video by a world famous YouTuber, these bugs have obviously existed for quite some time. Hopefully the developer does take notice and we’ll all eventually get to play Ampu-Tea the way it was intended, as it does show a lot of promise. Just like the perfect cup of tea though, these things take time.
Recommended for fans of: Surgeon Simulator and other rage-games, but proceed with caution.
*This review is based on the current build of Ampu-Tea as of 6/3/2014. If the game is updated and becomes more stable, we’ll take another look at it and update the review accordingly.
Bradley Keene is an avid gamer & aspiring writer from Baltimore, MD that handles news, reviews and editing here at What’s Your Tag?. If he’s not writing or knee-deep in an MMO, he’s usually watching low-budget horror films or following Orioles baseball. Follow him on Twitter, Twitch or contact him by e-mail. Love gaming? Join TEAM XBRO today!