Many of us have dreams of owning a coffee shop of our very own, falling prey to romantic notions of a cafe full of always-happy newbies and regulars alike, an effortless workflow, a well-paid staff, and a healthy profit margin. It’s so easy on paper, I just don’t see what the big deal is. For those of us unwilling to take the plunge and open a real-life brick and mortar, Espresso Tycoon has been the business simulation game of choice to help scratch that itch. And now they are offering a plunge of a different sort, down to the depths of the Pacific Ocean, with Espresso Tycoon Prologue: Underwater, where all your cafe dreams have sunk to the bottom of the ocean.

As we’ve previously reported, Dreamway Games’ Espresso Tycoon is not for the faint of heart. It’s a hardcore tycoon-style business sim, where you have to make pretty much every decision and they will ultimately affect the success—or not—of your coffee shop. Menu, coffee style and origin, location, décor, staff, prices, media campaigns, even the design of your cafe’s latte art (created with the game’s “3D coffee editor”), it’s all in your hands and it all matters.

espresso tycoon prologue underwater latte art

advert but first coffee cookbook now available


With the new standalone game, Espresso Tycoon has added an entirely new coffee shop setting: “in the depths of the Pacific Ocean” in an “underwater cafe in Sydney.” The new location was voted on by the players from a list of six total options, beating out the likes of “subway station” and “5-star hotel,” per the press release. But don’t be fooled by the serenity of enjoying a cuppa surrounded by ocean life, the same cafe sim is at play and you’re going to have to do a lot of the dirty work building a successful brand to keep your coffee shop afloat… or not. (Is it a sunk coffee if you want it to be at the bottom of the ocean? I guess we’ll have to play the game to find out.)

Our goal is to show the players that Espresso Tycoon Prologue: Underwater is the future of tycoon games. It will be a world full of hardcore management, challenges, and picky customers—all of that in the surroundings of deep blue ocean and different sea creatures (like sharks or jellyfish).

Scheduled for an October 2022 release date, Espresso Tycoon Prologue: Underwater is completely free to play and will be available on Steam. And for those already building their empire in the full version of Espresso Tycoon, Dreamway Games says that the underwater cafe as well as the other five options folks were able to vote on (and potentially even more new settings) will be integrated into the game.

espresso tycoon prologue underwater noticing the shark
Somebody is gonna get sued by Blue Bottle for stealing their Tokyo cafe vibe.

And before you go poo-pooing Espresso Tycoon for having such a fantastical location in a business sim, is it any more unrealistic than opening a cafe in New York City or Los Angeles and expecting coffee to pay the rent? I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’.

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.

All media via Dreamway Games.