Review: Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly (Nintendo Switch)
Coffee Talk 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly is a visual novel adventure game developed by Toge Productions and published by Chorus Worldwide Games. This sequel to Coffee Talk has been long awaited, and it was certainly worth it.
This title is set in Seattle, 2023. The themes within the story are true to life with a fantasy twist. For example, this game explores racism between succubus and elves, immigration with aliens, and more. Yet, these heavy topics are explored in an excellent manner, all within the walls of your late-night, calm coffee shop.
You play as the sole barista and owner of a late-night coffee shop called Coffee Talk. Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly takes place three years after the previous game, so there are plenty of familiar faces popping into the cafe to catch up with, as well as new faces.
Each night, a set of characters comes and goes into the coffee shop for a late-night break to catch up with friends or get advice. Your patrons will interact with one another and get close to each other, depending on your choices.
This title is as chill as they come. About 90% of the game is reading, and the other 10% is making drinks. Making drinks is simple enough. Each one uses three ingredients. However, sometimes the patrons will tell you straight up what they want, or they’ll be a bit more vague. For instance, they may say they want a warm drink that’s sweet. Then, it’s up to you to put some ingredients together and hope for the best. Luckily, there’s an app on your character’s phone that keeps track of all the drinks you’ve made once you figure out the recipe.
This gameplay is the same as the first outing. However, Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly adds two more elements. First, in addition to giving drinks, you can also hand your patrons items. Sometimes, your customers will leave something behind or will ask you to give something to another patron. It’s up to you to remember which item to give to the customer the next time they come in for a drink. If you miss your opportunity, the item will get “misplaced,” and you’ll lose your chance.
There weren’t as many opportunities to hand items to people as I thought there would be. However, the story takes place over the course of 15 in-game days, and not every patron comes every night. Regardless, giving the customers the correct drink and/or item will boost your friendship with them, which you can see on a social media app on your phone.
This social media app is the other new mechanic. While you could see your friendship status in the first game, this time, the characters also have status updates. You can see the characters interact with one another online, and sometimes their statuses will give subtle hints about their likes and dislikes.
Having high friendships will give you their best endings. Yes, there are multiple endings to the game, so you won’t want to mess up the drink orders too often. Luckily, there’s no real consequence if you do.
That’s what Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly is all about: the characters and the story. The characters are amazing and the perfect mix of werewolves, vampires, humans, banshees, satyrs, and more. All their stories intertwine with one another. The new characters were fun to learn about, and it was great to revisit the old characters and see how they’ve grown since the previous game. While I don’t think you’ll need to play the first Coffee Talk to enjoy this one, I feel like they should be played in order so you understand the characters and their stories better.
If you enjoy visual novels and low-key gameplay, then this will be right up your alley. If you enjoyed the first game, then you’ll certainly love this one. Overall, Coffee Talk Episode 2: Hibiscus & Butterfly was amazing to play after a long day of work. I could kick back and read a lovely story with fun, relatable characters, with the chill, soothing ambient sounds of a coffee shop.