Did someone order a second chapter of Coffee Talk? Yes, we did, and now it’s finally here. Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly carries on our life as a barista in a cosy cafe in a visual novel-flavoured talking simulator package. Indulge in drink-making minigames and deep conversations for hours on end in Episode 2.
Though it takes place in Seattle in 2023, it’s an alternate time where mythical beings mingle in society but must overcome their own societal issues and strive to fit in with everyday life. Coffee Talk Episode 2 takes place three years after the first game and has plenty of returning friends, with a whole host of new ones, too.
Coffee Talk is the name of our cafe where we work each night and provide a listening ear to weary souls that come in for respite. As a barista, it’s our job to hear them out and help solve their problems as we build friendships, all while serving tasty cups of each person’s preferred drink.
Upon starting the game, a familiar sight welcomes you – a daily newspaper rounding up the headlines in Seattle and a piping hot cup of coffee to get us ready for the night. From there, you’re in our usual spot behind the bar, looking out at a slightly tweaked cafe location. There’s some different trinkets on the wall and a new drawer function for you to keep any lost and found items in. This does feature as the story progresses, so don’t forget to check it once in a while (or else you’ll disappoint people by forgetting to pass things on as I learned the hard way, oops).
Your phone is filled with notifications from a newly updated Tomodachill app, now with an added stories section to see what everyone is up to, kind of like a mini-Twitter. Each day there are new posts there and it’s fun to see what each character talks about in their spare time.
No cafe is complete without a welcoming and tasty menu, so let’s review the latest additions. The two new standout items are Hibiscus and Butterfly Pea teas, as the episode name suggests, and they can be made with different flavours to suit a variety of tastes. Toge Productions has refreshed the latte art screen a little, too, finishing off with a brand-spanking new screen to show off your creations before handing it to your customers.
Most of the characters are back in Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly. Unfortunately, your first friend Freya has gone away for work, but there are plenty more people to keep us occupied, including a new banshee, Riona, and a satyr social media influencer, Lucas. Their stories showcase their personalities and show that people from every walk of life come against issues.
Riona and Lucas’ trials and tribulations are to do with their careers and their mythical roots. Lucas is trying his best to differentiate his content but is coming up against roadblocks like audience approval. Meanwhile, Riona has faced backlash and bullying due to her being a banshee, which means her dream career is just out of reach. Of course, as a welcoming and eager-to-advise barista, you’re going to help them as much as you can and encourage everyone to follow their own path and live their life to the fullest.
The best new character, however, has to be Amanda. She appears in a space suit and while she has no facial expressions to show, is one of the most emotive characters in Coffee Talk. She’s here to connect to her brother Silver, and in doing so, research us earthlings (and sample some warm beverages). According to her, “Earthlings have very busy feelings”. Yes, Amanda, yes we do.
Coffee Talk 2 isn’t all brewing coffees and chatting to people, there’s also an endless mode where you can test out that recipe that’s been evading you, and work out just what combination of honey, milk, and tea people actually want. This is especially helpful for me as I’m terrible at figuring out the recipes and end up googling them… If that isn’t fast-paced enough, there’s even a challenge mode to put your barista skills to the test! Just don’t spill anything.
Interestingly, Coffee Talk 2 has an achievements menu, which is something that more Switch games should have, given that there’s still no achievements on the system. It’s now my life’s mission to complete every single one. Speaking of the Switch, playing Coffee Talk 2 in handheld mode is lovely. I played the first game on PC and while it was easier to draw silly latte art (Joy-Cons aren’t the best for intricate milk designs), being able to curl up in bed and put the conversations on autoplay is lovely.
Episode 2, Hibiscus and Butterfly, is a refill of the same quali-tea vibes as Coffee Talk. If that’s what you’re after, then perfect – it carries on smoothly from the first game and allows you to continue brewing and bantering with the locals. If, on the other hand, you were expecting something wildly different, then this may be a little bit of a disappointment as it truly is just another chapter. But hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Overall the game is a delightful time and I very much enjoy getting to know all the characters, helping them out, and filling out my coffee shop menu. Now, excuse me while I go and make a cuppa.
Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus and Butterfly review
Coffee Talk Episode 2 brings us back to our familiar haunt in stormy Seattle, where friends both old and new need an ear to hear out their problems and a warm drink to soothe their souls. There are new teas on the menu to compliment the changing tastes of your mythical mates.