I never thought I’d ever come back to this again. The last article I ever wrote about video game food and drink was 2016, covering the previous iteration of this specific drink. I mostly left these behind because I felt like I was being a dime store Dinosaur Dracula with these kind of articles, and decided to write things of more substance.
But if Mountain Dew – sorry, MTN Dew – is gonna go for a throwback, then I will too. Only because it was once a time-honored tradition on my blog. In 2023, as a throwback to slightly better times, Mtn Dew brought back Game Fuel as a proper soda.
After 2017, which featured promotional flavors to advertise Forza Motorsport 7 and Middle-earth: Shadow of War, they temporarily retired the Game Fuel soda flavors. Around 2018, PepsiCo tried a stab at the burgeoning energy drink market. The new Game Fuel, now under their AMP brand, kept the yearly game promotional tradition, but I didn’t really dabble with those as I’m not really an energy drink person, if the two times I tried both Monster Energy and Red Bull are any indication. Though admittedly, I was tempted to grab them a few times. These did keep things going with yearly promotions with games like Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 and the yearly Call of Duty installment, of which I really couldn’t tell you what they were like.
Presumably realizing the whole AMP Game Fuel thing was kind of a bust, Game Fuel returned as a special seasonal Mtn Dew flavor, much like LiveWire and WhiteOut before it. I was honestly surprised they were bringing it back, but with how the drink industry is, there’s always gonna be an audience who wants companies to bring back the Old Thing They Liked.
Now, the journey I went through to get these flavors was… quite an ordeal. While technology has gotten better in making it easier to find things like special flavors, getting both Game Fuel flavors was quite a challenge for me. After a thrift store trip earlier in the month, I waltzed into a 7-Eleven, expecting to grab the two flavors and be done with it. Sadly, the place only had one of the two flavors: The fan favorite Citrus Cherry. Using that fancy “Find your Dew” thing on the Mtn Dew website lead me to places pretty far away from where I lived.
Cut to a few days later. I check a local mom’n’pop convenience store and sure enough, they had both flavors. I grabbed a few bottles, of which the clerk had to use barcodes from Code Red to scan them in as Game Fuel wasn’t “in their system,” but it didn’t matter. I had finally grabbed the Game Fuel bottles for 2023, as you can see.
So we have two flavors, as per usual. One of them, Citrus Cherry, is basically the “standard” Game Fuel flavor at this point, the other being the new flavor, Mystic Punch. “Dew with a Blast of Fruit Punch Flavor” as it says on the label. Now I quite like fruit punch flavor, so I was kinda excited for this.
In past years, I have griped about Citrus Cherry’s flavor. The citrus ain’t no joke: That flavor smacks my taste buds in a way I could never anticipate, which made it hard to really drink. But this time around, it was… a little more tolerable? It still had that sort of citrus kick and aftertaste to it, but more subdued. I can’t tell if they adjusted the formula, or if my taste buds have changed over time, but this was actually quite good this time around.
Now onto the new flavor, Mystic Punch. The second time Mtn Dew Game Fuel has done a purple-colored flavor, the previous being Electrifying Berry in 2013. Like before, I felt like I was drinking something resembling a weird cocktail or an unknown substance, but I assume that’s the appeal of Mtn Dew these days. As for the drink itself, I couldn’t really parse a fruit punch flavor out of it. It tasted like there was a hint of it, but a lot of it tasted more “generic purple fizz” than any discernible flavor. It wasn’t bad, though.
Surprisingly, both of these drinks were actually a little more tolerable after they’ve settled. See, while I did the taste test with a small glass of each drink freshly opened, I didn’t drink the rest of the bottle until much later, after the carbonation settled down. I know I’m a bit of a weirdo for tolerating room temperature pop, but I think this actually works in their favor here, as it doesn’t smack you in the face with intense flavor compared to when it’s cold.
Typical of these promotions nowadays, there’s a promotion at mtndewgaming.com that you can redeem your Mtn Dew codes, as well as codes off bags of Doritos chips and, surprisingly, Rockstar Energy cans. A few points is enough to get such hot items as digital items in games like Diablo IV and Halo Infinite, as well as a chance to win game consoles and maybe even a fabulous new car, all decked out in Rockstar Energy regalia. And the first code redeemed gives you one free month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which is probably a nice little thing for those who want to play a lot of games and not spend oodles of cash on them.
Though I am curious about the people who redeemed the Starfield-themed LoveSac, or the Rockstar Energy fridge. Just curious why someone would want something like that, honestly.
All things considered, this is a fairly standard promotion at this point. While I may be at arm’s reach with the Modern AAA Gaming landscape, I find this a welcome return if only for the mild nostalgia value of the past decade. It was kinda nice to come back to this, even if it’s basically crass commercialism at its absolute ugliest.
Don’t expect me to write about this stuff again next year. Unless I run out of ideas, maybe.
This was available on Patreon one day early. As opposed to other times, this was available to read for everyone. I’m re-posting it here because I believe in putting my stuff on a blog I own rather than a website that could go up in smoke at any moment. But if you want to support my work, you can visit my Patreon here. Just $1 will get you early access to my stuff.
It’s been kind of a rough month for me personally, so my apologies I don’t have something more… substantial to write.