Visual novels are far from an uncommon sight on Steam, but it is rare to find one that looks this good. After two years, Route 59 Games has put out a new trailer for their new title, Necrobarista. Players will serve up coffee to the dead and living alike while helping wayward spirits deal with their unfinished business so they can move on to the afterlife. You see, the dead have 24 hours on the border of the mortal world and the spirit realm to resolve their affairs and your cafe hosts them during that time.

Last call

‘The Terminal’ serves as the fictional, Melbourn-based magical cafe that the game is set in. It must be doing something right, as it attracts a cast of hipsters, thugs, necromancers, and spirits who are all visually memorable at a glance. Who are all these colorful characters? What happens if a ghost doesn’t settle their debts by the end of their 24 hours? Does this location have that new, limited-edition latte?

These are all questions that will likely play out over the course of Necrobarista‘s story. It’s an enticing enough premise to attract attention on those grounds alone. If you ever wished that the anime Mushishi and the cafe segments from Persona 5 had a baby, then this might be for you.

Visions of spirits

If the game’s premise doesn’t pull you in, the visuals likely will. Necrobarista features some gorgeous 3D cel-shaded character designs. While the model animation looks to be fairly limited, what is shown in the first trailer really impresses. It’s definitely anime inspired, but instead of static character images conveying text, Necrobarista uses more dynamic film like camera movements and blocking.

On top of that, the inspired UI design seems quite reminiscent of the Persona series. The menus and text both shift and swing away, with each press leading you to a new option. The visuals are, dare I say… haunting. This game bleeds style.

The gameplay itself follows a fairly typical visual novel format. You interact with characters through branching dialog trees that may or may not affect how each person’s story ends up. The wrinkle that Route 59 Games adds is the ability to explore ‘The Terminal’ and the surrounding areas in first-person. It’s a small change from the usual format, but one that will likely result in a more realized, fleshed-out world.

Necrobarista is currently slated to release on Steam on August 8 for $14.99.

Stefan Bahruth
A PC gamer ever since he first laid eyes on Civilization II. World's worst Rainbow Six Siege player. Ametuer Professional Scientist. Ranker of all things.

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