Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly review | Worth your while

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Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly features a simple yet engrossing visual novel-esque story, nostalgic pixel arts, and chill Lo-Fi. Check out our review!


Ever had one of those days – the hectic, back-against-the-wall, rat race type of day? Pretty sure you have, right? After an exhausting day like that, don’t you just feel like kicking back at your favorite coffee shop and sip a latte or two to the tune of chill ambient background music – maybe even listen to a couple of stories from your fellow customers along the way? Well, what if there’s a video game equivalent of that kind of experience?


Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly is just such a game, featuring a simple yet engrossing gameplay mechanic supported by a visual novel-esque narrative, nostalgic pixel arts, and a soundtrack that embodies the very definition of Lo-Fi Chill music. In Coffee Talk, you play the role of a barista working the rainy late-night rounds at a hole-in-the-wall coffee shop in Seattle, Washington. As you work your shift, a number of customers enter and leave the shop, and as you work on their drink orders you get to talk to them and learn more about each individual’s unique story.

Sounds simple enough, right? Well, there are a couple more intricacies to the game. Each individual has their own drink preferences, and getting them just right does have a certain challenge to it. Sometimes the story also needs you to pick up and return items from the Lost and Found box, and doing so will… let’s just say, have an impact on how the narrative unfolds.

That being said, let’s take a closer look at the game’s aspects, shall we?



Coffee Talk is mostly a visual novel style of game, and as such the story and narrative comprises a huge part of the game. The concept focuses more on individual character stories rather than an encompassing arc, and the narratives are delivered in a relaxing and laid-back manner. Personally the style reminded me of old-school novels and DOS games.

Apart from the main story dialogue, Coffee Talk also provides insights into the characters’ personalities through the in-game social media app called “tomodachill” (I admit, you have to love the name). In the app, you can view characters’ posts and pictures and also add your likes to their uploads. Take note – reading these posts can add to your in-game Gallery and Achievements (more on that later).

Now, while the individual stories are quite interesting to go through, the narrative at times does have a tendency to drag and feel slow, especially with the ambient music that plays in the background. A cup of coffee while playing would be nice and truly thematic at the same time.





As an artist, a game’s art style has a large impact for me, and Coffee Talk’s feels right up my alley. The character designs’ nostalgic feel is enhanced by the slightly pixelated finish, resulting in an aesthetic that’s reminiscent of the old Carmen Sandiego games. The backgrounds also serve their purposes perfectly, with a palette of mostly warm browns and greens to add to the relaxing atmosphere.



Need I say that the thing I enjoyed the most about Coffee Talk is the music? The soundtrack features lots of lo-fi chill music which you can control through the in-game media app Shuffld. Songs blend perfectly with each other and you won’t even notice the tracks change as the game progresses. The playlist is just perfect for those evenings when you need to slow things down and sit back with a good book or, in this case, a good game.




Let’s talk about the actual gameplay for Coffee Talk. Apart from the visual novel aspect, Coffee Talk features a simple cafe simulation gameplay where you have to mix the drinks just right for the customers to enjoy. The system’s simple enough – choose your base, your primary and secondary ingredients, and you’re good to brew.



The tricky part, of course, is remembering which customer prefers which drink – fortunately, you can call up the in-game BrewPad app to help you out with recipes.

Apart from mixing the drinks, you can also make latte art. You can use the cursor to pour the milk and then etch designs onto the foam – but be warned, expect your first latte drawing to be a surreal piece of art instead of the Picasso you had in mind (I easily spent twenty minutes redoing mine until I had one I eventually accepted as passable).

The story mode plays shortly – you can easily finish it in one binging session over the weekend. So what can you do once you finish it? You can play Endless mode where people come and go continuously into the shop, and you can also work on completing the Gallery and Achievements. So don’t fret – the coffee shop sojourns don’t just end with the story completion.

That being said, Coffee Talk’s gameplay does feel repetitive after some time. Mixing drinks over and over again can get to be a chore, and at times guessing the right combination of ingredients can get really tough. At least you won’t have the same level of urgency and stress that other cafe simulation games bring to the table.



Overall 8.5/10

Long story short, Coffee Talk is a fairly fun game that promises a chill experience as you play it, from the music to the art and the gameplay. With an interesting character-based narrative and a music playlist that’s perfect for relaxing, it’s the type of game where you find all your worries melting away like the sugar cube you drop in your hot drink. Just be sure to prepare a cup of coffee before you play, as you will undoubtedly have a hankering for the stuff afterwards.



  • An extremely listenable soundtrack
  • Nostalgic art style
  • Character-based story narrative


  • Gameplay can be repetitive after some time
  • Dialogues can feel a bit slow


Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly is available on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox, and PC via Steam.


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