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  • Writer's pictureAllan Jenks

Game Review #078: Marenian Tavern Story: Patty and the Hungry God (Nintendo Switch)

Updated: Oct 8, 2019

Reviewer: Allan J.

Developer: Rideon, Inc.

Publisher: KEMCO

Category: Role-Playing, Adventure, Simulation, Strategy

Release Date: 11.29.2018

Buy Marenian Tavern Story: Patty and the Hungry God from the Nintendo eShop here.

I Came Here To Fight Monsters and Serve Rice Balls

Marenian Tavern Story: Patty and the Hungry God is a role-playing simulation game with a turn-based battle system. You play the part of Patty, whose father is—or was—the owner of a tremendously successful tavern, until Patty’s brother, Gino, becomes possessed by Coco, the God of Poverty. After that, the bank comes to repossess the tavern. Patty, now out of a home and burdened with a huge debt to the bank, decides that she will set up her own tavern in Marenia, and she will make it every bit as famous and successful as her father’s tavern once was!

Of course, having the God of Poverty actively possessing your younger brother, who also happens to live with you at your new business/home venture, is a bit of a hindrance. Luckily, large crowds and bustling venues are not something Coco can tolerate, and he can be bribed with some good food to keep him occupied, so all you have to do to get him to stop possessing your little brother and go away is turn your run-down hole-in-the-wall tavern into a 5-star level 10 mega-tavern. Simple.

When Do I Get To Be Level 2???

One very unique thing about Tavern Story is the leveling up. You don’t level up by battling monsters. You can learn new skills by doing so, but the way you actually gain experience is by eating food that you make in your tavern. The more advanced the dishes, the more experience points you get. It took me about three hours of scratching my head before I figured this out. I am sure it was somewhere in the 30-minute dialogue in the introduction, but I probably dozed off for a second there. I know they have a lot of setup story they have to tell to get started, but I actually put my Switch into sleep mode for a while and came back later to finish the intro with this one. I’m glad I kept on trucking through, but it did take a minute for this one to get in the groove.

Once I figured out why my character was still level one after 3 hours of battling monsters, and how to remedy the issue, things started to pick up rather quickly, and the whole feeling of the game was just a lot more fun. I was able to beat some bosses and unlock some new dungeons to explore and harvest, which provided me with new ingredients to use for recipes I could use for dishes I could sell and eat at the tavern.

You can only harvest ingredients from a dungeon once per day, and even though multiple dungeons become available for harvesting, you can only visit one of them each day. You can also purchase ingredients, potions, weapons, and cooking tools from the local shop. You can also purchase items like Search Skip Cards, which allow you to skip over actually entering a dungeon and battling, and just adds all of the ingredients you would have collected to your inventory. You can only do this with one dungeon per day as well, so there is a definite strategy involved in maximizing and diversifying your ingredient stock.

The tavern itself levels up as well. Once you start making some bigger takeaways and making more advanced dishes to sell, you start getting weekly sales goals to meet. If you meet these goals and keep Coco happy and full, then the tavern levels up and expands. You can eventually offer more different types of dishes per day, and new dungeons and towns open up for exploration.

The Battle System

The battle system is a very familiar-feeling system that most fans of turn-based JRPGs will easily understand, with a few unique aspects as well. Your characters each have the options to attack their selected target with either a physical attack or a magic/special skill attack, and can also use an item, defend or try to escape. Rather than selecting these options in menu-based controls, each of the five selections is assigned to a specific button. When you select “Skills” or “Items” as your action, then it pops up with a menu where you can select the specific skill or item you want to use. If you don’t feel like just tapping attack over and over again until your enemies are all defeated, you can simply hit the R button, and this will place the battle on automatic all attack mode. You can also hit the L button to set a more comprehensive automatic mode, where the CPU selects different skills and items as the battle progresses, like healing spells or cure all potions if you get poisoned. You can turn this mode off at any point in the battle as well.

As I mentioned, you do not level up by battling and defeating monsters, you level up by eating food. So why, you may ask, are there even battles at all? Well, I have seen other people say that they think the battle system is basically useless since it serves no purpose for leveling up. I disagree. While you may not get direct EXP at the end of the battles, you do usually get some pretty useful ingredients that you won’t typically find if you were just harvesting the fruits and veggies spread out though the dungeons, like hog meat or beef.

Once you use the ingredients to make more advanced dishes, which carry higher prices when sold (which helps you level up your tavern) and more experience points when eaten (which helps you level up your characters), it’s hard to argue that the battle system is useless. Far from it. Plus, who wants to play an RPG where you don’t battle any monsters or bosses? I mean, I guess there’s an audience for everything… but not this guy! I want battles, and I want to level up to be better at fighting those battles, and if that means adding the step of cooking and eating the “experience points” I pick up from battles, then I am actually OK with that. I just wish I paid more attention in class so I didn’t spend 3 hours wandering back and forth between the same 2 dungeons wondering why I wasn’t progressing.


Visually, Marenian Tavern Story is nothing too over-the-top. It looks like a decent mobile port with some thought and care put into the artwork. The anime-style foreground character animations that appear during dialogue sequences are quite nice, and the battle sequences are a well-done throwback to the Game Boy Advance era of RPGs. The music is good, but not amazing. The main theme that plays when you are in your home town reminds me a lot of the Millennial Fair theme from Chrono Trigger, which is never a bad thing. The battle music is properly upbeat and driving, and overall, everything was sufficient. Again, nothing to write home about, but at least I didn’t find myself turning the volume down and listening to something else, so it’s got that goin’ for it, which is nice.

Wrapping Up

Marenian Tavern Story: Patty and the Hungry God is a great game, once you get in the flow of things. It takes a little bit for things to get going, but if you are willing to put in the initial work in the beginning, this game becomes very addicting, very quickly. The story is interesting enough to keep you involved, but really, you’re there for the tedium. I just wrote a review complaining about the tedium of a different simulation game, and how I just couldn’t enjoy it, but this is the kind of tedium I can get on-board with. If you are a fan of turn-based JRPs, or simulation/farming games like Harvest Moon or even Farmville, you will probably get a kick out of this game. I, for one, am glad to have played it, and I am glad to add it to my Switch library.

Final Score: 7.5/10

Buy Marenian Tavern Story: Patty and the Hungry God from the Nintendo eShop here.

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*Review Code Provided By KEMCO

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