Energy drinks are usually cited as the beverage of choice for a typical gamer. But just as often, a refreshing beer fuels long hours of raiding. New Holland Brewing Company has been tapping into that insight with its Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout, a monster-themed brew that’s been popular with both online and analog gamers who like to crack one open before playing.
Now the brewery has gone a step further and created its own game, along with actual loot for gamers to find. “Raid the Dragon’s Hoard” is an 8-bit-style computerized dungeon crawl created by Seattle agency DNA. The evocative graphics will spark plenty of nostalgia in anyone who remembers Sierra games from the ‘90s—think the “King’s Quest” series (or “Leisure Suit Larry” for the debauched). The coding was completed in just six weeks by TRBL in Michigan.
For just two days, Dec. 19 and 20, the dungeon opens and players can delve into its ruins, searching room-by-room to find the dragon and its hoard. They’re likely to die a few times along the way as they guess which of the items they encounter might open the way forward.
There are references to other giants of nerdom, like “Monty Python” and "Magic: The Gathering," and even JPRG-style combats against dungeon baddies. If players make it all the way to the slumbering dragon, they roll a digital 20-sided die. If they roll high enough, they can win a prize, including a PlayStation 5 and a throne made from bourbon barrels. There’s also an actual sword and shield made from oak barrels, a first-edition Dungeons & Dragons set, chainmail neckties and assorted Dragon’s Milk merchandise to sport on game night.
“Our goal with this work is to create a new way for the brand’s loyal consumer and potential fans, to deepen their connection with Dragon’s Milk through an experience with cultural impact,” said Noel Nickol, creative director at DNA, in a statement. “Our beer drinkers are huge gamers who bring Dragon’s Milk with them almost as a badge of honor to game nights.”
Before the dungeon opens for raids, prospective players can sign up to see all the prizes and rules and get a notification when the game goes live.