After years of joking about it, Razer’s slow pivot to Spencer’s Gifts lifestyle brand is picking up steam. Just last month Razer announced it was working on an RGB-laden toaster. Now it’s back with “Respawn by Razer,” and no, it’s not a musky cologne for gamers. (You’ll need to turn to Xbox for that.)
Rather, Respawn is a “Mental Performance Drink.” It’s not—let me repeat, not—an energy drink, a fact Razer stressed in pretty much every email it sent on the topic. Maybe they’re skirting some regulations or something, like calling it “Cheese Product” when it doesn’t contain enough dairy to be cheese proper? I’m not sure.
It could simply be due to the low-ish caffeine amount: 95mg per serving, about the same as a cup of coffee. (Monster, by comparison, has about 150mg per can while certain Rockstar variants contain a whopping 240mg.)
And you mix it yourself. That was the other surprise when our review kit arrived. There are four flavors—Blue Raspberry, Pomegranate Watermelon, Tropical Pineapple, and Green Apple—and each $25 box of Respawn contains 20 small packets of powder. We’re quite literally drinking Razer’s Kool-Aid here.
You’ll find our impressions in the video above. We went in with low expectations and honestly? We came away pleasantly surprised. Each of us had a different favorite. Mine was Blue Raspberry, while my colleagues Adam Patrick Murray and Gordon Mah Ung preferred Pomegranate Watermelon and Tropical Pineapple respectively.
Regardless, we all agreed on one truth: The Green Apple tastes like nuclear waste and should be jettisoned into the sun.
Stick around for some surprises as well. For our initial (and official) tasting round we stuck to Razer’s instructions, mixing a single packet into a 16 ounce water bottle. Afterward we experimented with some wholly unsanctioned—some might say unholy—concoctions though, mixing Respawn and Red Bull for the ultimate gamer drink, and even trying the dry powder on food. Spoiler: Pomegranate Watermelon tastes very good on potato chips.
As for Respawn’s touted “Mental Performance” benefits? Razer’s press release says “Respawn sits at the center of the gaming ecosystem by helping to enhance the gamers themselves. The mental performance drink mix keeps gamers’ minds at consistently high levels of focus and attention and taste buds activated, especially as they compete over long gaming sessions.”
Those are lofty claims, and I can’t say I noticed an increase in focus or whatever—though I am a regular consumer of energy drinks, and thus might have built up a tolerance to the minor miracles bestowed by B-Vitamins and caffeine.
I’d probably drink it though. That’s my final verdict. It’s tasty enough to join that Halo-themed Mountain Dew in the upper echelon of video game-themed consumables, that bizarre novelty niche. I don’t know if I’d spend $25 on a box of it, but it’s way better than I expected when Razer reached out to say it was making beverages.
Now I just want Ninja to hawk Respawn on late-night TV the way retired athletes shilled for Metamucil when I was a kid. That’ll be the day.