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Game Over: Coffee Talk

Game Over: Coffee Talk

With the holiday season over, I did what I always like to do: explore the Steam Winter Sale. Fetching a few bargains, I was quick to notice Coffee Talk, which I had been interested in since it came out, having played the demo a few years back. However, it was only this year that I thought: you know what? Why don’t I play it?

Now, I have increased my caffeine addiction, and I’ve once again found myself relating too much to fictional characters: Freya, a green-haired writer who struggles with writer’s block really was a mood, and ironically, it’s this game that got me out of a pretty significant writing slump.

Freya, with Lua and Baileys, as they meet for the first time.

Set in a small cafe that only opens at night, you play as a single barista who has few customers, but a pleasant atmosphere. Each night, you get to listen to the stories of each character, while also figuring out which drinks they’d like.

Some drinks, like Freya’s Espresso, are nice and straightforward: just three shots of Coffee. However, there are others you need to experiment with a little bit and try to remember. Thankfully, most of the drinks you’ll serve can be found on your handy BrewPad, an app on your phone that allows you to keep a log of all the named recipes you’ve unlocked. However, that wasn’t my favourite app on the phone.

Freya, our green-haired friend, writes short stories which you can read on your smartphone. Each day will unlock a new one, and truthfully, I’m a bit of a bookworm so it was quite nice to read a few short stories when I should have been tending to my customers. Not that any of my customers minded, after all, they all had different things going on.

An example of the goings-on of the characters inhabiting the Coffee Talk cafe

Each night, we were joined by different customers at Coffee Talk. Freya often found herself making new friends (and getting their life stories for inspiration) with these customers, and I couldn’t exactly blame her. After all, there was: Baileys; an elf doing freelance graphic design; Lua, a succubus struggling with her relationship with Baileys; Gala, a werewolf who works as a hospital admissions officer; Hyde, a vampire supermodel; Myrtle, an orc games developer; Neil, an alien with no luck on dating apps; Aqua, an oceanic indie developer; Rachel, a nekomimi singer; and Hendry, Rachel’s worried father.

All of these characters bring something new to the table, and they’re all brought together by Coffee Talk. I don’t think there was a single character I disliked, and it was nice to guess their preferences. Truthfully, I didn’t see many differences if I messed up their orders a little bit, but it was fun. Once I did two playthroughs, I thought I would try something different.

You can serve different drinks at the Coffee Talk cafe.

Aside from the story, you can find other ways to experiment with your recipes. In Coffee Talk, you have two different versions of an Endless mode. You’ll find Challenge mode and Free Brew. In Free Brew, you can make any drink you want without any worry about repercussions, or practise your Latte Art to see if you can make a form of art that looks like something.

An example of Latte Art which was not mine as I, for one, was terrible at it.

Of course, Challenge Mode is for those who really want to practise their coffee-making skills. You need to make different drinks based on your customers’ specifications, and this took a little learning curve, especially if you wanted all the achievements. Your drinks need to follow the guidelines given to you, and you only have a limited amount of time to make as many drinks as you can. If you mess up your order, you’ll have a disappointed customer, and you’ll lose some precious time. I spent hours on Challenge Mode, just because I found it so much fun.

Overall, I’d say Coffee Talk was a great game to start the New Year with. It was an easy game to play, even if you’re struggling with a cold, you can simply relax and make drinks, practise your art, or discover more about your customers. Personally, I could happily listen to the smooth jazz soundtrack as I curled up with a hot drink and read a book. It’s that kind of cosy, and I’m here for it.

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Bex Prouse

Bex Prouse

Staff Writer

Writing about all sorts like a liquorice allsort

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