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This page will serve as a basic how to play guide for Where the Water Tastes Like Wine. While there is very little information available at this time, we urge you to check back often, as new information is being added all the time! Feel free to edit this guide with any tips, tricks, and suggestions.

Basic Gameplay[]

Basic Goals[]

The game is played by gathering and telling stories to the various major characters. Stories are gathered by interacting with objects on the world map, and told by camping at a lit campfire and interacting with one of the characters. The goals of the game are to evolve all of your stories, and to interact with the major characters until their arcs are completed.

Gathering Stories[]

The player will start off on the world map. While walking around, there will be small buildings that may have a white bubble floating above it. When approaching a bubble, the player will be given the prompt to search. By searching, they will be taken out of the world map into the story, where there will be a piece of art and a text box where the story will roll out, told by the narrator. At the end of each paragraph, the player will be prompted to continue the story by selecting actions presented at the bottom of the text box. In most cases there will only be one option, but there may also be two, posing the player with a choice of how the story will play out. When the story is finished, it will be added to the story inventory and the player will be put back into the world map.

Other bubbles that may hover over buildings are a slightly darker grey bubble and a small white bubble with no picture. The grey bubble will have the “search” prompt just like the story bubbles, but rather than create a story, they act to replenish the player’s health / hunger, tiredness, or money. If already full, the player will not get the reward. The small white bubbles will have the prompt “listen to a story,” which is how stories you have already told will come back to you, slightly evolved. After listening to the story, the version in the player’s inventory will change and the eye next to the title will widen slightly. When the story is fully evolved, the eye will be fully open, as the story has reached its full potential, and will not evolve any further. Another way to gather stories to go into a major city by approaching it and entering it when prompted. Only the first option, “explore,” adds a story. All other options are related to other mechanics.

Each story is associated with a tarot card. When camping with a character, the player will only have the option to tell four of the stories associated with each card. Stories can be switched out while on the world map in the “Story” tab of the inventory. When in the story tab of the inventory, click on a card on the left side of the menu, and the 4 “equipped” storied will be shown on the right. To switch them out, click on one of the stories and a new menu will come up on the left. Click on one of the new stories and it will replace the selected old story. To scroll and see more of the new stories, click while in the left menu and drag up, as the mouse wheel does nothing.

Some stories may also pose a threat to the player’s stats, which can be checked in the inventory menu. There are three stats: health / hunger, tiredness, and money. Each stat has 2 points, and when 1 point is taken health or tiredness, a thought bubble will appear over the player avatar until the stat is full again, either by interacting with minor stops on the world map, or by entering cities and purchasing something. Money is also replenished at minor stops, and at cities by finding work or panhandling, though in a city neither of these options are guaranteed to work.

Telling Stories[]

When the player has stories gathered, they can be told to the major characters at a lit campfire. When approaching the campfire, the player will be prompted to “camp.” By camping, the character is taken out of the world map and into camp, where the title screen for the character will appear, including the character name, which chapter the player is on, and the author of the character. That will fade and the environment and character will come into view. They will give you a short greeting and ask the player to tell a certain kind of story. In addition to the tarot association connected to the theme of a story, they will also have different moods (funny, exciting, hopeful, etc.). Each character will have preferences for different kinds of stories.

When a character asks for a story, an oval overlay will appear, around which are the tarot cards the stories are filed under. By clicking on a card, the available stories for the selected card will appear in the middle. To tell the story, click on the desired title. The screen will fade with the text “You told the story of _________.” Players are meant to remember the context and mood of the story when selecting them[1], although they can be looked up under stories if desired. When the character returns, they will respond as if they were told the story. Depending on if it was the type of story they asked for, they will either respond positively or negatively. If positive, they will open up to the player more, indicated by the eye on the top of the screen widening. Whether it was positive or negative, they will tell the player a little more about themselves according to the theme of the tarot card the story was associated with. For example, if they asked for a funny story, and the player picked a funny (or unfunny) story under the travel tarot card, the character will talk about their past travels, where they wish to travel to, or what travel means to them. Once a character has already heard a story, the player will not have the option to tell it to that character again.

The character’s stories are advanced by telling them the stories they asked for and opening the eye on the top of the screen. By telling the correct story, the eye will open wider, and when the eye is fully opened, the character will advance to their next chapter. The player has a limited amount of time to do this per night. When the night ends, the character will move on to a new campfire, and the player will have to interact with them again in order to continue advancing. No progress is lost from the previous night, and the player will have plenty of time to continue attempting to advance the character. Play continues in this way until all characters have finished their arcs.


The main mode of transportation over the world map is walking. Walking can be slightly sped up by whistling with the CTRL button on PC. When whistling, a small grid will appear over the player avatar with four sections, and a music note will pop into one of the grid sections. By pressing the arrow keys associated with each section, the character will continue whistling and walk faster. Another option is hitchhiking by pressing shift on PC near a highway. As a car passes, it may have a bubble pop over it, and the player will have to interact with it before it drives away. When in the car, the player cannot get out until the car drops them off, either at a random point on the road, or when the road ends. The last option is on a train, either by paying for a ticket in a city, or by hopping one at a station outside any major city, risking being caught and one health point in the process. Rivers will also divide the country, and can only be crossed at the ferry stations just outside any major city.


Function Default
Walking WASD
Camera Mouse
Recenter camera Right Mouse
Map M
Zoom (in map) Mouse Wheel
Inventory I
Interact Space
Select Left Mouse
Whistle CTRL + Arrow Keys
Hitchhike Shift
Main Menu Esc

Tips and Tricks[]

  • Before camping, check equipped stories and replace any the character has heard before, preferably with those they have a preference for
  • While moving the mouse also turns the character, it’s not recommended as the mouse controls on the world map are terrible. Recenter the camera with the right mouse button and use the WASD keys, the camera should follow the player just fine

See also[]