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Necrobarista blends visual storytelling with the dead

Studio: Route 59 Games
Platform: PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Release date: 8 August 2019 (PC), 2020 (PS4, Switch)

If you have a love of coffee and visual novels, you need to know about Route 59 Games’ upcoming Necrobarista. We’re heading to The Terminal, a magical café run by a necromancer in Australia, and a place where the studio is “combining their love of anime and visual novels to innovate and rejuvenate the genre”. This includes serving coffee to the dead.

As one of the more niche cafes in Australia, both the living and the dead can relax with a hot drink here. The deceased can return for one final day, and it’s your job to serve them and learn their stories.

Necrobarista shares these stories in an eye-catching, cel-shaded 3D style that isn’t that common for visual novels. Route 59 Games is aiming to “provide a distinct cinematic aesthetic and supply the narrative’s branching scenarios with depth and nuance”, but this 3D aspect isn’t just a visual choice; it’s also a gameplay decision.

Giving Necrobarista a 3D style allows players more opportunity to explore the coffee shop and its patrons, learning more about who they are and how you can help them resolve “unfinished business”. Players will switch to a first-person view to walk around the café and interact with items and people, similar to point-and-click games.

Necrobarista is the distillation of our deep passion for anime, video games, and storytelling,” said Kevin Chen, lead designer, Route 59 Games. “We set out to pay homage to our influences while also creating something completely new and inventive.”

In addition, there’s an original soundtrack from Kevin Penkin, an award-winning composer responsible for the scores found in Made in Abyss, Florence, Under the Dog, Norn9, and more. Since music can make or break a café – and add real depth to a game – this can only be good news.

Think this caffeine injection to the visual novel genre feels like your kind of thing? Necrobarista will be coming out on Steam for $14.99 on 8 August 2019 on PC, followed by a console release on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch in 2020. I’ll be stopping by for a coconut latte – that’s my drink, FYI – when I review the PC release soon. Find out more on Necrobarista’s website or follow Route 59 Games on Twitter or Facebook.

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About The Author
Ryan Noble
Staff Reviewer
If Ryan isn't watching, reading or playing some form of horror, he's probably writing about it. He used to be an Editor at Indie Game Magazine so he has a soft spot for independent creators, especially when they're creating fear. Whether you're one such creator, or a fellow horror fan, let's speak about spooks on Twitter or email.
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