This is going to be a much shorter review than what I typically publish but here we go.
Drinks with Abbey is a free-to-play visual novel and dating simulator available on Steam. The game was developed and published by Ramify Games in 2019. It has a 9/10 rating on Steam and is a pretty good game all around.
The story is simple, you have met a woman - Abbey - on a dating app and have set up a meeting. You meet at a local bar and hang out - with the end goal being to impress Abbey to the point of getting a second date. In the process, you have to deal with a possible obstacle - a guy named Kyle - and a couple of other characters - Tom and Rachel.
Tom is the local drunk and Rachel is a waitress at the bar - she's also Abbey's best friend. The choices you make will determine whether you get a second date or not.
Good Storyline, Nice Music, Gorgeous Visuals
So, what works with Drinks with Abbey? Quite a bit actually.
The storyline is good, the idea of someone's first date being the basis of a story is great. Romance stories are great when done right and this one isn't too bad.
Visually-speaking, the game is gorgeous. The character models are great and the backgrounds are fantastic. You can tell that the guys at Ramify Games put a lot of effort into the backgrounds.
The music is nice - albeit a bit repetitive after a bit - and it definitely gives off the feeling of having drinks with a friend. The dialogue options are great too, influencing some casual (and witty) banter between you and Abbey.
The only real issue I have with this particular visual novel is the length. Drinks with Abbey is a very short game (I played through it twice and completed it in around 20 - 30 minutes both times). You make it to the end of the night and, if you're successful in impressing your date, you get the 'second date' achievement. This is fine, there's nothing wrong with that; but once that's done the credits start to roll.
I've no problem with a short visual novel but I'd thought it would be longer; leading into the second date with Abbey and any subsequent relationship after that. Instead, we have just the one date and then the end credits start; the game just ends. There's very little time to really develop or get to know the characters. Although, what we get in character development is pretty good.
Final Thoughts: Could've Been Longer
A few days ago, I had a review published for a game called What Never Was. My overall impression of that game was that it was an experiment or a demo of sorts to promote the developer. I bring this up because my initial thoughts upon finishing the game were:
"Was that a demo?"
I had similar thoughts when I'd finished Drinks with Abbey but I couldn't label this a demo. This is a completed game that ends with you either getting a second date or not getting a second date. Could it have gone further? Yes, I feel like it could've been much longer and given us some more story but it was solid enough.
Was it worth playing? Yeah, I guess so; it's a good starting point for people looking to get into visual novels. I think it's best to go into this game and enjoy it for what it is. I enjoyed it and I can definitely recommend giving it a chance.