Gaming doesn't have to be about saving the country, planet, or universe. Sometimes, games don't even need a story. In this day and age, more and more developers are pushing the concept of what we think a video game is.
Soda Drinker Pro is the latest game to shun traditional level design, progression, and story. Much like Goat Simulator and the upcoming Bear Simulator, which look as irreverent as they sound, Soda Drinker Pro bills itself as "the premiere software in the first person soda drinking genre."
Soda Drinker Pro is the brainchild of Will Brierly. As his brother Raymond told me, Will was inspired to create this game for the simple fact that he was thirsty one night and out of soda. The original FPS (first person soda, as the game's website points out), seeks to scratch that "lack of soda" itch by allowing gamers to raise a cup of soda's straw to their mouth, and then slurp.
By the way, the Brierly brothers deadpanned their sales pitch at PAX East. Either that, or they take soda simulation incredibly seriously.
The game has over 100 levels, and the goal is the same on each: drink a soda in your immediate surrounding. This involves drinking soda at an arcade, on the wing of a biplane, in space, or inside a peanut butter jar.
I played the PC version, using an Xbox 360 controller. One button raises the soda to the screen (meant to be your mouth), and another button sips. A meter in the top-left corner shows how much soda is left. When that meter runs out, the level is complete.
An Android version of Soda Drinker Pro is available, which lets gamers try out an augmented reality version of the game. A soda cup is pasted onto whatever your camera sees. Simply press an on-screen button to drink your soda. For the record, I indulged in some simulated soda drinking at PAX. It made me thirsty.
And there lies the beauty of Soda Drinker Pro. You can dismiss it as pointless (which happens to be the name of the studio behind the mobile version), but in the end, I had an emotional response to this simulator: I really, truly wanted to drink a soda.
Soda Drinker Pro is available now on PC and Mac for $4.99, while the Android version is $1.99, with a free demo. The Xbox One version is currently in development. Support for the Oculus Rift is also in the works.