Coffee Talk (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Luke Hemming 22.02.2020

Review for Coffee Talk on Nintendo Switch

For anyone that has put themselves through the trauma of working in the retail industry, the majority would agree that the enjoyment and frustration of any position lives and dies solely on one factor: the customers. That word can instantly summon thoughts of incidents showcasing the best and worst humanity has to offer. With that in mind the question that springs to mind is: why take the risk on creating something focused purely on pretending that in all instances, the customer is always right. Thankfully for the right audience, Coffee Talk is a risk that pays off.

Set up as a late night retreat, the shop players take ownership of, frames the world as one filled with loners, overworked rat racers, and insomniacs. Normal enough for any real world scenario with the exception of all clientele being part of a fantasy race. Running the joint, in the first week alone, players meet love-struck elves, sex-starved werewolves, and vegan vampires. Every customer looks to find the perfect blend (tried and tested to improve understanding, and also make neighbours become good friends) that will allow them to offload the problems and stories that have been lingering on the brain for most of the day.

This simple premise is where the meat of the gameplay stems, and as the owner of Coffee Talk all tastes need to be catered for. It opens from midnight onwards, and after commenting on how bizarre a concept that is both from a social and economic standpoint (this barista is clearly not in it for the money), long term customer Freya runs the player through the main gameplay. Every passer through will mention a particular flavour or style that best suits their needs, and by browsing the ingredients that have been delivered throughout the day, a coffee can be made that will satisfy and improve their chatting. In the early stages the options available are limited and make progression simple but soon any useful information will be pushed out of the brain to make room for the correct way to brew a green tea latte.

Screenshot for Coffee Talk on Nintendo Switch

Basically... that's it. That's the game. For most people that quick introduction should be enough to make the decision to invest the time or get back to a bit of dungeon crawling and monster killing. In the opinion of this reviewer however, investing the time certainly reaps thoughtful, provocative rewards. Every night working the pump is a pretty fascinating insight into the human condition, and it becomes very easy to invest the time in each of the characters. Will Freya finish her book? Will it be well received or cause aggravation between her and the other patrons? Will love overcome race between a couple dating in secret? Hearing the doorbell chime and hoping it's your favourite customers coming back to fill in the next page of their life chapter.

As the media tends to regularly say, coffee drinking is also synonymous with sultry Jazz. Coffee Talk doesn't buck the trend, and defaults to its nonsensical rhythms flooding the space during gameplay. It's a personal choice of course, but it is refreshing to have the ability to change to some lo-fi chill through the app system where the game HUD hides. As well as a music player the app can be used to browse customer's social media for clues on best suiting the person to the brew. Officer Jorgi isn't shy in proclaiming on his media profile about his lactose intolerance, and by paying close attention to these little details the best combination of ingredients can be found. Return customers always bring fascinating stories. As new ingredients are unlocked they are also added to your phone app for quick reference.

Then comes the icing on the cocoa cake, the latte system. A system so surprising when found that it seems too good to be true, but is easily one of the biggest and most fun time wasters in the whole experience. If a latte is what's required, the option to create a design on the top of the cup can be selected. This doesn't seem to have any repercussions in terms of whatever is designed, and could really be a creative outlet for the more artistically gifted. For the rest, however, being as crude as possible is as satisfying as it is amusing, especially when the receiver comments on how credible the artwork created is. Although this isn't the bread and butter of the experience in any way, it's one of the most fun for people not fully invested in the non-traditional, story based gameplay.

Screenshot for Coffee Talk on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Without going in fully prepped on what is on offer here, there could potentially be a feeling of being short changed. The game element of this isn't really what is on offer. Tasks are simple and there never feels as if any mistake could lead to consequence. With Coffee Talk however, as with similar experiences such as Neo Cab, taxing gameplay couldn't be further away from a selling point. The real joy is the feeling of interaction and intimate knowledge of every NPC that crosses the threshold. It's very easy to become embroiled in their lives and feel comforted knowing that the small amount of ingredients bundled together has made a difference to them, and might lead to even more forthcoming titbits. A charming and relaxing experience from start to finish, milk it for all its worth.

Developer

Toge Productions

Publisher

Toge Productions

Genre

Visual Novel

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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