Coffee Talk is coming back in 2023. The ethereal video game based less on winning and more on relaxing and conversating is returning for a sequel, Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly. Previously just on Steam, the latest installment will also be released to Nintendo Switch, and a brand-new announcement trailer has just dropped showing some of the gameplay.
Released back in early 2020 by Indonesian indie game developer Toge Productions, the original Coffee Talk was a sort of right-place-right-time hit in the specialty coffee world. The COVID-19 pandemic had many sheltering in place, with little to no means of accessing the communal nature cafes often provide. Coffee Talk, with its low stakes gameplay and focus on conversation (with some fun drink-making elements thrown in), was a balm for the listless spirit.
Episode Two takes place in 2023, three years after the original, in an alternate reality Seattle filled with orcs, vampires, sea creatures, elves, werewolves, demons, nekomimi, and all manner of fantastical being living side-by-side with humans. You play as the owner of a late-night coffee shop, where you engage in deep conversations with the folks who frequent you cafe and have to figure out their favorite drinks based upon hints from the guests and an ever-growing list of ingredients.
Based on the minute-long announcement trailer from Nintendo, some old faces are expected to return for the sequel. Lua, Aqua, Policeman Jorgi, and Freya, the human journalist that was the cafe’s most frequent customer, all make some level of appearance. Of course, the latte art mechanic is back. And based on some of the preview images, it may be somewhat improved; the quality of the latte art in Episode 2 seems like a step up from the original.
Originally announced earlier this year via a demo release for Toge’s anniversary sale, Coffee Talk Episode 2 made our list of Coffee Games to Watch Out For in 2022 when it was going to be a Steam-only game. But with news of a Nintendo Switch release, the hype for the game has only grown stronger. Both the Steam and Switch versions have a scheduled release date of Spring 2023, more than enough time to play (or re-play) the original and get familiar with the cast of characters.
Even though cafes have reopened, it’s hard to imitate the all-hours, late ’90s vibes this game evokes. Coffee after dark is just a different experience, and I for one can’t wait to dive back in (bonus points for not having to actually consume any coffee at night, thus keeping my old and overly sensitive body awake for far too long).
For more information, visit Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly’s official website.