A ‘chill’ test of your coffee and conversation skills
It’s a cold and rainy night in near-future Seattle. You run the only late-night coffee shop in the neighbourhood, opening only after sundown, but it looks to be a slow and quiet night. As the rain falls outside the café, some of your regulars wander in after a long work day. Your regulars, Baileys and Lua, are busy discussing how their families disapprove of their relationship. In between serving drinks, you eavesdrop on their conversation. The politics of interspecies romance between an elf and a succubus is complicated to say the least.
This is the setting of Coffee Talk, a demo game by Toge Productions, an indie game developer and publisher based in Indonesia. In their alternative future, you’re a barista that serves orcs, elves, humans and succubi, listening to their problems as you concoct lattes and espressos with the ingredients that you have in stock. This is not your typical game though – the developers set out to create a game that simulates that calm and relaxing feeling of drinking a warm beverage on a cold winter’s night.
Quiet conversations in a coffee shop
Coffee Talk is not a game about racking up fatalities while avoiding your own. This is a narrative game that focuses on quiet conversations in a cozy coffee shop setting – ranging from an alien trying to understand humans’ lives, to a journalist who’s struggling to get her boss to let her write a novel. The main selling points are the story, 90s anime-inspired pixel art, and a lo-fi chill-hop soundtrack that will be downloadable on Steam, iTunes, and Spotify when the full game is released in 2019.
The game was the result of a Toge Productions annual game jam – two weeks of planning, designing and prototyping experimental new games, turning ideas and concepts into reality. For now, only the demo is available – a short 15 minutes of gameplay, available from itch.io at the fair price of ‘pay what you want’. Reviews have been extremely positive, with players raving about the stress relief of a relaxing gameplay experience and “chill” coffee shop vibe.
Sit back and relax
The game mechanics are not too complicated – you can craft almost any drink through trial-and-error. You simply pick a base of coffee or milk, and add ingredients. Sometimes the orders are specific, and other times you’re asked to experiment. The storyline branches from the drinks that you serve to your customers and interactions are dialogue-based.
Currently in demo, Coffee Talk is downloadable for Windows and macOS. Check it out here: Coffee Talk on Steam.