Necrobarista - Final Pour - (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Luke Hemming 30.09.2021

Review for Necrobarista - Final Pour - on Nintendo Switch

Visual novels have seen somewhat of a rise in popularity since the release of the Switch, with its portable nature lending itself well to presenting the genre in the best possible way. Necrobarista: Final Pour takes a fascinating concept to base its title around, and uses it to stand out from the crowded digital bookshelf. So, with a great idea in principle, does it cause a stir or is it a question of too little, too latte.

The premise of Necrobarista: Final Pour is a simple but engaging one, following the day to day of a coffee shop with a customer based of the recently departed - kind of a pit stop before finally moving onto the afterlife. The Living and dead are both catered for by its main server Maddy, and tales unfold around her as the shift progresses. Its worth stating straight off the bat that the interactions between Maddy and the customers are easily the most engaging. She is a well written, likeable character, with that streak of pessimism that stops her being overly nice or one dimensional. Speaking of one dimensional, Ashley, who doesn't even work at the coffee shop but wont leave, provides the comic(?) relief. Ashley grates from the very beginning, and seems to only insult people or throw things, put her in the pantheon of pointless characters along with Snarf.

What could be seen as a criticism for some however, often feels like the greatest strength of the title. A visual novel lives or dies by its writing, and every character interaction (besides Ashley who sucks) is, very typically, human. After the initial shock of finding out a coffee shop is essentially your last interaction with the living world, customers just seem to chat about very normal, everyday things. No excitement or world-shaking revelation, just titbits of their previous life, fond memories shared, and drinks consumed. Its these interactions that really form the basis of a real world existing and its those human stories that feel the most gripping.

Screenshot for Necrobarista - Final Pour - on Nintendo Switch

Adding to these human moments forms the gameplay element of the novel, as a passive observer the areas inside and around the coffee shop can be explored and certain objects can then be interacted with, triggering a memory of a past customer or experience. Newcomers to the genre will find that there is some pleasant kind of interactivity outside of reading. Its even a little comforting to think that maybe when people all shuffle off this mortal coil, a part of them still lingers around for any random person to experience.

If you like your anime, the visual style of Necrobarista: Final Pour is also going to appeal. If you asked any casual fan to draw a gothy, hip, young woman, they wouldn't be far off the design of Maddy. The coffee shop itself however is a real visual delight, falling somewhere between Barts Treehouse and a Waterstones. Although short, the sections given to explore are always a delight and far more time than was needed was spent heading up to the balcony to admire the ethereal tree around which the whole building is built.

The Switch version also comes with a wholly new feature in the form of its studio mode. Here assets from the game can be used to create new cutscenes and interactions. Characters, locations and even expressions can be altered, given a wealth of customisation to players with far more creativity in their brains than this reviewer.

Screenshot for Necrobarista - Final Pour - on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Necrobarista: Final Pour is a going to bring a lot of new fans to the visual novel genre once it's fascinating concept is made known to the mainstream. If this is a first experience, it's a great introduction and one that will set the benchmark for others. The story is engaging and looks great on the Switch, and any chance to explore is rewarded with world building insights that frame the main plot. Don't expect any earth-shattering revelations, but instead cosy up for a very human tale with a relaxing narrative and engaging characters. Except Ashley. She sucks.

Developer

Coconut Island Games

Publisher

Coconut Island Games

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   

Comments

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Dragon0085, Flynnie, lukezeppo, Ofisil

There are 4 members online at the moment.