The original Coffee Talk was a sport about, properly, espresso and speaking. Set in an alternate model of Seattle, one the place harpies, elves, vampires, and werewolves had been as frequent as people, it put gamers within the function of a barista at a late-night cafe. You had regulars who would chat about their issues, ask for his or her favourite drinks, and also you principally listened and provided recommendation. The sequel — dubbed Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly — doesn’t change a lot. And that’s precisely what makes it so endearing.
The second episode picks up a number of years after the unique (you’ll positively need to play the primary earlier than the sequel) and takes place in the identical espresso store in the identical perpetually raining model of Seattle. The sport is structured as a sequence of days. You begin by studying the newspaper headlines after which await the acquainted chime because the door opens and your first buyer strolls in. The world itself is actually the fashionable day however with the added wrinkle of a metropolis filled with all types of supernatural humanoid creatures.
For essentially the most half, Espresso Speak performs out like a conventional visible novel, which suggests most of your time is spent studying dialogue. For no matter cause, your barista character actually places individuals relaxed, and prospects will open themselves up nearly as quickly as they sit down. There are returning characters, just like the elf and succubus couple who at the moment are planning their wedding ceremony or the precise alien who’s making an attempt to slot in on Earth. There are additionally some new characters, and for essentially the most half, the fantastical creatures are used to inform deeply human tales. I will not be immortal like a vampire, however I can positively relate to the battle of discovering a permanent ardour in life.
Whereas this is happening, prospects will order drinks, which is the place the primary interactive portion of Espresso Speak comes into play. It’s easy: you could have a shelf of elements, and every drink requires some mixture of three of them. Generally prospects will let you know precisely what they need; in any other case, you’ll simply get a touch and should experiment. Over the course of the sport, you’ll construct up a pleasant little assortment of recipes, all housed in your telephone (the place you may also try a Twitter-like social community for gossip and browse each day brief tales). There isn’t a lot punishment for being flawed, apart from some modified dialogue, making it very low-pressure, which is good if, like me, your latte artwork expertise go away one thing to be desired.
Hibiscus & Butterfly provides a number of parts. There are colourful new tea blends increasing the sorts of drinks you can also make, and a misplaced and located drawer so you’ll be able to return key gadgets to characters. Additionally, there’s a cat that frequently seems for some cause. These don’t change a lot, although. Actually, the second episode is an opportunity to meet up with these characters and see how they’ve modified a number of years later whereas serving to them via the following section of their life. Whereas the writing generally is a little stilted at instances, I completely beloved simply hanging out, listening to those individuals I’ve grown to grasp over two video games. The ending is very heartwarming.
A part of what makes this work isn’t simply the characters themselves however Espresso Speak’s entire vibe. The whole sport takes place inside a restaurant that feels designed for max chill. There’s the sound of perpetually falling rain and the lo-fi beats soundtrack (the unique Espresso Speak soundtrack has been in common rotation after I want writing music), and the nice and cozy, comforting pixel artwork visuals filled with acquainted faces and steaming mugs. However there’s additionally the ritual of creating heat drinks, which, easy as it’s within the sport, continues to be very satisfying, particularly whenever you handle to make precisely what your buyer needs. All it’s lacking is the odor of freshly made brew.
It solely lasts a number of hours, and it doesn’t change a lot from the unique, however that’s simply nice. Like the purchasers in Hibiscus & Butterfly, I simply want an area the place I can spend a little bit time to ease my thoughts.
Espresso Speak Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly launches April twentieth on the Nintendo Swap, PlayStation, Xbox, and Steam.