Title: Coffee Talk
Developer: Toge Productions
Publisher: Toge Productions
Genre: Adventure, Simulation
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Age Rating: PEGI 3
Release Date: 29/01/2020
Price: £11.69 – Rapid Reviews UK was very kindly provided with a review code for this title.
In Coffee Talk, you play as the barista in an alternate-reality Seattle nighttime café. It is a simulation game in which you listen to your customers’ problems and serve them coffee in the process. There are branching storylines depending on how you serve your customers, instead of based on dialogue choices. Listen to the stories of orcs, elves, succubi, and more in this game!
Starting off, you begin by listening to the story of Freya, a writer for the local newspaper. You serve them coffee as you listen. What I like is that the game gives you the recipes for some of the drinks, and you can check your phone to confirm the recipe before making it. There aren’t any time constraints either – you can check your phone as long as you need before taking action. You won’t annoy your customers by doing this like you would in real life!
Something to note is that you seem to have a limit on how many times you can trash a drink attempt. Once you reach that limit, you can no longer trash drinks and must serve as-is. There does seem to be an impact from making the wrong drink for a customer, and the game’s description does mention the storyline being impacted by how you serve customers, so perhaps it does have an impact after all.
I enjoyed the diverse cast of characters; my favourites are Aqua, Hyde, and Rachel. The animated expressions on the characters’ faces were a nice touch. The music, too, lends itself well to the coffee shop atmosphere. Something I wish was different was the drink requests. Some of the customers would give you explicit directions or just the name – sometimes you don’t have the recipe for the name itself though.
I had to look up a couple of drinks and guess what amount and what ingredients to use. This ended up as a hit or miss situation. Sometimes I’d get lucky and guess the right ingredients, and other times I’d have to trash the end result as it wouldn’t be what the customer was requesting. Perhaps it would have been better if we started off the game with a full recipe book? Thankfully you can practice making drinks in another mode, and learn all 30 of the drink recipes there. Something important to note is that the ingredient order does matter. Another issue I had was that the latte art was a bit difficult to perform.
At one point when I tried to save, the game closed due to an unknown error. It also closed several times on the same day (October 3rd) when I tried to serve Gala his drink, the Gala Had, on my second playthrough. Changing the drink did nothing to prevent the crash.
Other than that, the only real complaint I have is that it’s a bit short, clocking in at about six hours (coming from a fast reader). Once beaten, it says I’ve beaten the main game and that there’s more to see. I’m not sure how the paths branch since the plot(s) seem fairly straightforward, but I look forward to replaying and seeing what I missed.
On subsequent playthroughs I did note some differences when I got drinks right I missed on prior playthroughs. There’s a lovely gallery of images on the main menu that you can look at that has art from the game, as well as concept art. I’m missing two or three images that I can hopefully fill in with my next playthrough.
Overall Coffee Talk is a short yet enjoyable coffee shop simulation with beautifully rendered art and nicely done music. I really enjoyed not having to make any choices other than ingredients for the drinks, although others may prefer a game to have dialogue choices. Personally I enjoyed Coffee Talk despite the lack of dialogue choices. I can definitely see a sequel(s) and or spinoffs happening because I really enjoyed the characters in this game.
Rapid Reviews Rating
You can purchase Coffee Talk from the Nintendo eShop on the following link, https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-Switch-download-software/Coffee-Talk-1707809.html
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.