A trip to the coffee shop remains a coveted thing here as we hopefully beginning winding down this damn pandemic (especially in my home state of Texas, where we are trying to make the last leg as difficult and deadly as possible). For many, the best approximation is a simulation, with a host of video games providing some form of caffeinated outlet. Folks could go on a coffee crawl and visit all the user-created cafes in Animal Crossing, or they could take in some idle chit chat with Coffee Talk, or even run their own cafe (sort of) in the time sink that is Pokémon Café Mix.

But if you’re looking for less cutesy and more cutthroat in your gaming, there is Espresso Tycoon, a new Steam game that will allow you to build your cafe empire.

Created by DreamWay Games, Espresso Tycoon follows a typical tycoon game format (also known as a business simulation game), where the title tries to emulate real life as much as possible, with the player’s end goal of building a business empire in their respective field. For Espresso Tycoon, that’s coffee shops.

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espresso tycoon 2
via DreamWay Games

In the game, you’ll have to choose the location for your cafe, the build-out, hire baristas, manage the day-to-day, and do your own PR, including being active on in-game social media and inviting influencers to boost your profile.

But the primary focus, according to DreamWay, is the coffee itself. Making the best coffee is the key to success in Espresso Tycoon (which isn’t really all that realistic but ok). To that end, players are tasked with choosing the coffee they will serve, including Arabica or Robusta, country of origin, and even acidity level. And how the coffee will be served—and at what price—is completely customizable. Will you do espresso only? What are your alternative milk options, if any? Will there be latte art? These are the decisions you must make and they will affect the overall success or failure of your coffee business.

The announcement trailer for Espresso Tycoon was released on Wednesday and gives a good introduction of the many choices players will have to make for their fledgling cafe. Unfortunately, those looking to experience the gameplay for themselves are going to have to wait. DreamWay states the full version won’t be out until the end of 2022, but a free demo will be released on Steam some time later this year.

So if you’re a little gun shy at starting the real life cafe of dreams because of all this [waves hands], then Espresso Tycoon may just be the digital escape you are looking for. For more information, visit the DreamWay Games official website.

Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.

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