We recently got the chance to sit down with the next installment of the highly popular Coffee Talk, entitled Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly. Here’s what we thought of the upcoming cheerful title.
Cozy Games have a warm place in my heart. They’re calming, easy to play, and perfect for the end of a busy or stressful day, often requiring half the brain power of a fast-paced RPG. However, they can be hit or miss depending on the storyline, controls, music, and general message.
Thankfully, it was clear to see that Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly was a cozy game for the ages, even before being able to fully engross myself in the touching story of each character or the unbelievably calming LoFi soundtrack.
Cozy in the highest regard
That LoFi music mixed with the slight ambiance of a rainy street establishes that Coffee Talk Episode 2 prioritizes immersion with a slight hint of idealistic design. It all helps embody you fully into your dream evening coffee stop.
The combination of calming music, ambiance, and an auto-playable narrative allows players to sit back with a cozy blanket, their favorite hot drink, some ambient lighting, and enjoy what feels like a thrilling movie-style experience.
As it is with many cozy games, Coffee Talk Episode 2 has a sense of serenity supplemented with a dash of comedy. It often made us smile or even laugh out loud on occasion thanks to some well-placed character design, the introduction of a furry friend, or a subtle meme-laced newspaper.
An experience for the experienced
While the game undeniably prioritizes an easy and chilled experience, it is called Coffee Talk Episode 2 for a reason.
The game assumes you’ve played the first installment and doesn’t walk you through how to make certain drinks or navigate the mobile phone at the bottom of your screen. On top of this, the conversations and features of certain storylines pander more to players knowing the character from the previous game, meaning there are a few moments where new players will get confused.
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Nevertheless, with a few handy clues and a little perseverance, the pieces will slot themselves together and you’ll have all the knowledge you need.
Hands off, brain off
As previously mentioned, Coffee Talk Episode 2 has an auto-narrative function, allowing players to sit back and enjoy the story, only really needing to make three or four drinks a night. However, one of the most impactful elements of this preview was how simplistic the gameplay ended up being, even down to the drink-making.
Drinks do often pose a small challenge, with the player being tasked to create the right beverage for the right customer, but it doesn’t dramatically impede on the storyline when the player gets it a little wrong –rather they’ll comment on it but swiftly moves on with their narrative.
These easy-going gameplay elements allowed us to simply be engaged without much thought when playing. Coffee Talk Episode 2 manages to transport you into a world of calm and cozy, while still keeping the narrative exciting, funny, and memorable.
Impactful yet subtle narrative
Many cozy games, like Disney Dreamlight Valley, have a brief storyline but are primarily hands-off, allowing the player to pave their own journey and enjoy the title as they wish. However, Coffee Talk Episode 2 challenges this, placing players into a calming atmosphere while not being afraid to tangle with vital themes such as racism, the impact of social media, loneliness, love, and more.
These conversations felt natural in this setting. It allowed the experience to be both calm and meaningful while challenging perspectives subtly and cautiously – as if eavesdropping on another conversation in… well, a coffee shop.
Ultimately, Coffee Talk Episode 2 is a direct follow-on from the original and still manages to craft a cozy, calm, yet conscious experience. It left us both thrilled at the end of each session, and excited to see what it can bring in the future.