Coffee Talk was my first new game purchase of the year. As someone who enjoys a nice cup of coffee or three (as well as many other hot beverages), and as a former barista, this game had a lot of appeal to me. I’ve always thought I would enjoy opening a coffee shop or a bakery if my only costumers were my friends, and this is exactly what this feels like. Sure, you’re not actually friends with all your customers at first, but the game never makes you feel like that.
The character you play as is charismatic and outgoing enough to instantly make everyone feel at home. This character is an extension of yourself, sharing your name and point of view, but not your voice. You’re in charge of making drinks, but your character is in charge of communicating with costumers. And that was the part I struggled with in real life, the part that stressed me out more. I didn’t have to go through the real social interactions that wear me out as someone who is both shy and introverted. I just got to make beverages for friends, from the comfort of my sofa with my own hot beverage in hand. And I got to listen to light social commentary and stories of my customers’ troubles and successes in a fantasy version of Seattle, with vampires, werewolves, merpeople, and more.
I enjoyed trying to figure out ingredient combinations to create the specific drinks customers would ask for (and was glad they were never upset when I got it wrong). Although I think it would be cool if this were expanded on a bit, its simplicity was right for the length of the game. There’s also an optional latte art feature, which I didn’t mess around with much, but I’ve seen some cool creations from players on twitter. I do wish I could add chocolate to the coffee beverages. It does make me think, that expanding the drink making system, along with digging further into the storylines or adding new characters would make for a great, fully fleshed out sequel (not necessarily asking for one, but I think it has a lot of potential).
My favorite time to play Coffee Talk was right before bed, to relax and unwind. With its visual novel elements, it felt like reading a book before bed, something I used to do a lot (and should get back into!). Its lofi beats and rainy, nighttime setting were perfect to help me chill as I was getting ready to go to sleep. I highly recommend fixing your own cup of tea or hot chocolate to sip from while playing to further this cozy effect.
The game’s ending was a bit unexpected. While it neatly wrapped up its storylines, it also introduced some new questions. It has definitely given me a reason to replay the game, which I’ll probably be doing shortly. Anyway, play Coffee Talk! If you’ve already played it, what do you think?