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The year is 2020; the fantasy races have stopped warring with each other and instead have come together to eke out whatever existence they can. You run a coffee shop in a cozy corner of Seattle, the only one open past midnight. Between the regulars and the new faces, you’re able to stay afloat and do what you love. Life is good.

Thus begins the incredibly chill and absolutely delightful Coffee Talk, a charming little title all about listening to the qualms and quandaries of everyday elves, orcs, dwarves, and humans living in the 21st century. Developed and published by Toge Productions, the team promises players will enjoy an “experience to make you think, feel, and rest both your body and your soul”.

The premise of Coffee Talk is simple — you play as a coffee shop owner and barista who tends to the needs of customers. Some, like perky novelist Freya, are regulars who treat your establishment as a second home; others, such as ill-fated lovers Lua and Baileys, are newcomers who bring their worries and woes along with their need for a warm drink.

Naturally, there’s more to coffee shops than just coffee — green tea, hot chocolate, and, of course, latte art are all part of a busy barista’s day. You’ll need to make sure you help a customer get exactly what they need that delights both the palate and the soul, soothing the weary workers after a long day at the office.

To appease your customers, fulfill orders with your fancy-looking coffee maker; if you forget how to make something, Freya lovingly reminds you that you can always check your phone for recipes. With that, she asks for a triple shot, and you warmly acquiesce. As time passes, Lua and Baileys enter the shop — starcross’d lovers whose family situation plays out like a fantasy-meets-modern-day Romeo and Juliet. You can’t help but listen quietly to this sad scenario, and you’re not the only one — Freya perks up her ears as well, and realizes there’s a story brewing in your cafe; it appears she’ll be the one to serve it to her loyal readers.

It’s not just the story that makes Coffee Talk great, of course. The art is immediately reminiscent of all the pixel art gifs you’d see back in the day on Tumblr or Twitter. It’s absolute eye candy and pairs well with the soothing sounds of the lofi/chillhop soundtrack. If I didn’t have that infamous YouTube channel memorized by this point, I’d say the music was taken straight from that source; however, its freshness indicates an original soundtrack that so perfectly captures extreme coziness. It’s worth it just to leave the game running simply to allow the music playing in the background. It’s quite literally healing.

Coffee Talk made its way to my Steam wishlist after randomly searching for coffee games on Steam, and this was more or less the exact game I was hoping for. The storyline — a rich, smooth flavor that gently warms players — is coupled well with the sweet visuals and an OST like warm milk. The three components are brewed to perfection, and the playable demo was the perfect first sip to wet my beak. I can’t wait until I can gulp down the rest.

Coffee Talk is slated to release on PC, Switch, PS4, and Xbox One early 2020; quench your thirst with a playable demo.

 

Heather Johnson
Born at a very young age; self-made thousandaire. Recommended by 4 out of 5 people that recommend things. Covered in cat hair. Probably the best sleeper in the world. Still haven't completed the civil war quest in Skyrim but I'm kind of okay with that. Too rad to be sad.
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