Have you ever been playing Coffee Talk and thought, “this is pretty chill but where’s the game?” For many people, myself included, a video game requires winning and losing, being given objectives that you either complete or don’t, often dying along the way. For those who enjoyed the laidback nature of Coffee Talk but perhaps would like a little higher stakes gamification, there’s Affogato. Taking some cues from Coffee Talk, Affogato injects role-playing games (RPG) and reverse-tower defense elements into the world of cafe management.
Created by Shanghai-based BeFun Studio and published by indie game publisher Spiral Up Games, Affogato follows the titular character, “a sorceress managing a cafe in a new town,” per the Steam description. There she gets to meet and interact with customers, similar to that of Coffee Talk, but that’s about where the similarities end. Being both a sorceress and empathetic cafe owner, Affogato travels into the minds of her customers in order to “defeat their inner demons.”
Barista as emotional labor: now in game form!
Once inside the minds of the customers, the game takes on a more traditional reverse-tower defense schema. Using some deck-building-like mechanisms, you as Affogato build your team of minions to take through the level, slaying cute little inner demons along the way.
But the mind-hopping is just one part of the gameplay. When not getting all intrusive with people’s brains, Affogato can also “explore the 3D world of Arorua,” make friends with its denizens, and figure out how to pay off the debt owed on the coffee shop. (This game is starting to get too real.) It also features a “realistic coffee-making simulation” that you can use to help win over your customers.
With a full release expected sometime in 2023, PC Steam users can play a demo version of Affogato right now completely free. The gameplay includes a bit of everything: Affogato’s first week in Arorua, some of the reverse-tower defense battles, and even the coffee-making sim.
So if you need a little coffee action to pair with your coffee talk, then maybe check out Affogato. Because if you’re going to be expected to solve all the customers’ problems, you should at least be allowed to use a little magic.