The ultimate goal of the game is increase your popularity by drinking enough to reach equilibrium (either warm, buzzed, drunk or rowdy) and turn into the life of the party. Stay too sober or get too drunk, and your popularity will decline. Once you run out of cash and chug the drinks sent from friends who are also playing the game, you'll have to wait to start all over again. Monitoring your popularity requires you to look at the leaderboard, but we would really like to see another way to keep track of your social standing, maybe with something as simple as a meter with points on the main page.
Drinking Buddies includes a big selection of drinks to send to your pals (or yourself), everything from the holiday appropriate Frosty Noggin to a glass of Scotch on the rocks. The higher the alcoholic content in the drinks, the more they'll cost, and some premium drinks can only be purchased using wooden nickels, which you can buy for real-life cash or acquire through a direct marketing offer.
You can also create and send custom drinks to your friends (I crafted a new cocktail called 'Libe's Lament'), but instead of making a drink using real-world liquors and mixers, you can only select a glass, garnish and then a color of your drink, which will be disappointing for any cocktail connoisseurs playing the game.
We'd be lying if we didn't say that the game's overall presentation was a little sobering -- and not in a good way. Drinking Buddies lacks the polish found in other text-based social games like Mafia Wars and Mobsters, which have already raised the bar (no pun intended) for design. We're not going to assume this game was slapped together to make a quick buck over the holidays, but we think we'd rather stick with real drinks for now.