Publisher: Toge Productions
Developer: Toge Productions
Series: Toge Productions
Release Date: January 29, 2020
Genres: Casual, Cooking, Indie, Visual Novel
Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4
Coffee Talk is a game about listening to people’s problems and helping them by serving up a warm drink out of the ingredients you have in stock. It is a game that depicts lives as humanly as possible while having a cast that is more than just humans.
Immerse yourself in the stories of alternative-Seattle inhabitants, ranging from a dramatic love story between an elf and a succubus, an alien trying to understand humans’ lives, and many others modern readers will find strongly echo the world around them.
This game instantly attracted my attention with its stylish pixel art style and interesting looking characters. I picked Coffee Talk up on a whim and I am truly happy that I did. It’s a character-focused narrative about the patrons of a cozy little coffee shop. The owner of the coffee shop is a little bit mysterious, nobody even the regulars knows much about them, as conversations tend to be focused on the lives of the patrons.
The shop’s regular, Freya, is a spunky green-haired short story writer looking to make her big debut as a novelist, and she takes inspiration from the lives of the other patrons. Each of the characters had interesting stories, relationships, and the entire atmosphere of the game felt warm and comfortable even against the rainy Seattle backdrop. I really enjoyed each and every character and felt joy at watching their stories play out each time they came into the shop. Even though the player only gets a glimpse of the alternate reality that the characters live in, where mythical creatures like orcs, vampires, and catgirls exist, the world was intriguing enough that I wished I could explore more.
The game features a complete soundtrack that the player can flip through on their phone, the chill lo-fi beats add to the dreamy tone of the story. The gameplay is relatively simple, with patrons ordering different drinks as the evening progresses, sometimes requesting specifics and other times giving vague orders that allow the player to mix their own creations. There is a small catalog of drinks to be discovered, some that actually exist and others that are unique to the story. Foamy lattes also had a drawing mode that allows the player to draw fun (or in my case, mostly ugly) designs and get their creative juices flowing.
The story is relatively short, and while the stories wrap up beautifully I would’ve loved for the story to be longer. It can be completed in just a few hours, but for those that want to mix more drinks, there is a free brew and challenge mode with a mild learning curve. Even after achievement hunting for the coveted 100% I still clocked around 9 hours, and that is with leaving the latte art screen open for over an hour for one of the achievements.
The story made me crave a hot spiced tea and a smoke, it perfectly captured the indie coffee shop vibe. It’s the type of game that I could comfortably recommend even for readers that aren’t big on video games, the visual storytelling medium with music and animation makes for a relaxing experience with a wholesome story.