Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly review – Sit back and snuggle in

Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & ButterflyToge Productions

Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly is a narrative lead cozy experience filled with charming characters, delicious drinks, and loveable Lo-Fi. However, that narrative sometimes takes too much of the spotlight.

Cozy games are unlike any other. Rather than focusing on skill or ‘winning’ the game, they prioritize comfort, calmness, and well, coziness. Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly is no different with its chilled soundtrack and often touching storyline.

You work as a barista in a nighttime coffee shop who, as well as serving unique drinks, gets to know the regulars and bears witness to their highs, lows, and often life-changing decisions. Through the power of a good drink mysterious and magical stories develop, leaving you in the middle of a web of intrigue and friendship. But does this cozy game live up to the popularity of its predecessor?

Article continues after ad

Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly – Key Details

  • Price: £12.49 / $14.99
  • Developer: Toge Productions
  • Release Date: April 20, 2023
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4 & 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PC, Mac

Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly trailer

A superb sequel

At its heart, aside from the Lofi cozy coffee shop aesthetic, Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly is a sequel. It carries on from the beloved original, introducing a few new characters along the way and furthering the stories of those many have come to know and love.

Naturally, as is the nature of such a game, players are somewhat expected to understand the basic controls and design of Coffee Talk 2 with many previous drinks being used and well-known characters following directly on from their past storylines. While this can be a little confusing for some, it helps give context and truly made us feel like we were seeing returning friends rather than starting a brand new game.

Article continues after ad

Ultimately, as a sequel to the highly rated Coffee Talk, Episode 2 doesn’t disappoint. It compiles all the best bits from the cozy experience and further implores players to simply sit back and enjoy time with fleshed-out beloved characters, all while occasionally crafting adorable drinks.

Sit back, watch, and brew

Making a drink in Coffee Talk Episode 2Toge Productions
Craft adorable drinks and enjoy the story unfolding in front of you.

Cozy games take many forms, some have you farming and traveling around a little village, other games, like Coffee Talk Episode 2 are a little more hands-off, allowing players to simply sit back and enjoy the game in front of them

Article continues after ad

With the auto speech mode active, we felt like we were engaged in a mixture between a movie and a coffee shop with friends. The easy gameplay and involving storylines felt truly simplistic and thoughtless, often a perfect combination for a cozy game.

However, with over ten hours of gameplay in the main storyline, we couldn’t help but feel a little disconnected at times, often not touching the game for over 20 minutes as the dialogue ran itself. On top of this, typically you were instructed to make around three drinks per day, making the gameplay even more distanced from other styles.

Article continues after ad

The lack of coffee making and the distinct lack of choices or any particularly meaningful input was ideal for a low-stress game, but it also disengaged us from the title and left us feeling like more could have been done to further pull the player in.

A web of wonderful words

Toge Productions
Each character’s interaction with the barista and each other is seamless.

Despite the lack of any real game-changing choices, it’s hard to fault the storylines encompassing each character, as well as the Barista you play as.

Thanks to the incredible writing, each character feels personal, fleshed out, and unique, providing natural conversations and friendly jokes at the perfect times. So much so that as the story truly gets going, you feel like their friend, helping each person talk through their problems and watching as their lives develop, all behind their favorite warm drink.

Article continues after ad

Each story covers an alternative topic, whether it’s overcoming prejudice to follow your dreams, dealing with the stresses of love, struggling with immortality, or just contemplating the impact of life, death, and everything in between. Such topics feel imperative to the game which seamlessly weaves its discussions into simple gameplay and forces the player to think along with the characters.

Nevertheless, the story doesn’t stay serious for long, with beloved characters like Hyde or Lucas implementing a welcome amount of sarcasm and wit. That, combined with a few great cameos from other popular titles leaves a complex web of stories fully ingrained into your brain, allowing the end of each day to feel like another memorable night spent with friends.

Article continues after ad

Short and sweet

Coffee Talk Episode 2 Silver, AmandaToge Productions
Stop for a day or a week in Coffee Talk Episode 2.

Coffee Talk: Episode 2 isn’t the longest game ever, spanning 15 days with each day lasting anywhere between 30 – 45 minutes. However, it feels like the right length for the style of the story. Sure, some arcs weren’t as tied off as they could have been but the ending was satisfying, touching, and well-timed within the gameplay.

As for the length of the days themselves, they felt extremely versatile, often allowing us to either sit down for a half an hour session with a cup of tea and a blanket or letting us fully envelop ourselves into the storyline, often spending a good few hours listening to the characters and crafting adorable drinks.

Article continues after ad

Ultimately, while the game felt like it came to a natural end on day 14 rather than the 15th, it’s an ideal cozy experience for those who want a quick stress reliever or a full day’s worth of comfort.

The Verdict – 4/5

With a touching storyline, natural characters, and enough coziness to make you feel right at home, Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly is a calming experience. It takes all the stresses out of traditional gaming and implores the player to simply sit back and enjoy the story unfolding. However, with a surprisingly limited amount of drinks making and a lack of any defining choices, we were left impressed but wanting just a taste of something more.

Article continues after ad

Related Topics