There’s nothing like a cup of coffee, lo-fi music, and some time to relax and unwind. This is something I personally enjoy doing in the mornings, or at night except with no coffee. A game that puts all of this together in a rainy setting is Coffee Talk, an indie game I have had the pleasure to play on Nintendo Switch. The game touches on topics like racism, relationships, overcoming obstacles, and why conversations are so important.
You play as the bartender of a coffee shop that only opens its establishment at midnight. Several regulars come in, especially Freya, who likes to write her novel and tease you while drinking a strong cup of espresso. The concept is simple; you serve tea or coffee to the patrons and hear how their day is going or the issues they are dealing with. There are all kinds of fantastical races like Elves, Vampires, Werewolves, and aliens among others and each character has their own story that evolves as the days pass in-game. It can be difficult to keep up with sometimes, mainly if you are playing like I was where I would take a break from the game for several days or even a week and then forget the prior details of their character’s development.
While each character starts to chat with you, if another person is sitting by the bar next to them they often chime in and share some advice or they mind their own business. Just like in real life when you are chatting with someone and a stranger may jump in and give their 2 cents, the same happens here. What I enjoyed is that these are not simple problems to solve, but many times they are complex because of how the character lives their life. It can be a dad venting about his daughter’s new singing career and his fear of her being entangled with the wrong crowd, a couple trying to navigate their parents accepting their relationship because they are of a different race, or even a vampire who has a lot going on with his modeling career and having lived who knows how long. Don’t forget the werewolf who needs a specific drink to calm him down when he rages!
It’s nice to see all the variety Coffee Talk gives with it’s characters because that’s how most people’s lives are. Complicated, messy, and at times difficult, or they have it pretty easy, and they just coast. My own life hasn’t been the easiest though I’m sure others have had it much harder. I don’t have to look far and look at some of my family members who have had to deal with jail time for their bad decisions, divorces, division between siblings or parents not even talking to their own adult children. I’m sure if you take some time, your family may have their own faults as well. When I read the stories in Coffee Talk, it reminds me to have grace with the people I meet. Sometimes my mind starts putting people in “boxes” on how they act or speak, whereas I assume they are a certain way when in fact I barely know them.
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
The above verse is a reminder from Christ to love your neighbor as yourself. This can be difficult to follow, unless I have God’s help, because sometimes people aren’t easy to love and I honestly don’t want to. What if they are rude to me or my family, judge me for something I did wrong, or are just mad all the time for no reason? This is where the love of God comes into play, and again I remember Coffee Talk whereas the bartender you don’t always give the answer to the customer’s problem, but you are a listening ear or give some insight on what’s going on. The character often leaves the bar better than how they came in, for the most part.
I hope I too, like the bartender in Coffee Talk who I named Samuru (of course!), can share some wisdom or even be quiet and just be there with people while they are going through struggles.