After wowing PC and iOS gamers with its deep yet humorous visual novel escapade back in 2020, Necrobarista: Final Pour has now made its way to the Nintendo Switch. This isn’t just a straight up port though, but instead one that brings with it bonus content including a Studio Mode that allows players to make their own scenes. Neat, right?
Check out a gallery of screenshots down below:
Given that it’s a visual novel, the narrative is the most important aspect of Necrobarista: Final Pour. It’s a good job that it’s unique and incredibly well-written then, with the game exploring death and the path humans take before they head to the afterlife. It sounds like it would make for a pretty heavy experience, but the fact that those final hours are spent in a coffee shop that is the stepping stone between life-and-death (known as The Terminal) getting served by some quirky baristas does soften the blow.
That’s not to say that the game won’t hit plenty of emotional notes for players, with the varied cast all coping with their impending death in their own ways whilst also questioning the lives they have led. Thankfully, baristas Maddy, Chay, and Ashley are there to help them out, with their unique personalities bringing something different to the fray.
Maddy is sweet but kinda sarcastic, Chay feels like the wise laidback one, whilst Ashley… well… she’s a bit of a wild card, but has a heart of gold. Seeing how the trio help the newly deceased pass over (or not… some might decide to stay a bit longer in The Terminal) is always sweet, with the emotional undertones making for a genuinely poignant experience.
It’s just a wonderfully unique narrative that’s strengthened by the effervescent main characters as well as the colourful supporting cast who each have their own tale to tell. It also has some genuinely funny moments too, so expect to have a regular smile on your face when playing – even during some of the more sombre moments, where a quick comical quip can soften the mood.
“Seeing how the trio help the newly deceased pass over (or not… some might decide to stay a bit longer in The Terminal) is always sweet, with the emotional undertones making for a genuinely poignant experience.”
One of the best things about Necrobarista: Final Pour is its presentation, with the game not adopting a traditional visual novel setup of static scenes but instead playing dialogue out across cinematic sequences. It’s a lot more stylish and is strengthened by the slick visuals, though the lack of voice acting does diminish some of the cinematic presence. At least the music is beautiful though, with each sequence of the game orchestrated by melodies that fit the vibe of the scene perfectly.
One thing that’s worth noting is that the tale can be pretty linear. Visual novels often bring with them a multitude of choices to make or branching story paths, but Necrobarista: Final Pour is set in stone. It’s not a bad thing, especially since the story is fantastic, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you were hoping for a bit more input in shaping it.
At least there are moments of exploration, with the player getting to explore The Terminal in first-person and uncover bonus scenes. These were hidden behind a word-based mini-game in the original release, so it’s nice that there’s no faffing about with keywords in order to see every detail of the narrative here.
“One of the best things about Necrobarista: Final Pour is its presentation, with the game not adopting a traditional visual novel setup of static scenes but instead playing dialogue out across cinematic sequences.“
Necrobarista: Final Pour brings with it some bonus content that wasn’t in the original release, including hours of additional story content as well as a Studio Mode which allows players to make their own scenes. It’s a surprisingly robust feature, with players able to finetune every little detail; it means it’s a bit complicated to use, but it’s cool that it’s included. It is something I’d rather play with using a keyboard and mouse, though.
I’d be remiss not to mention some of the issues of the game. Whilst there was nothing game-breaking, I did notice some frame rate hitches on occasions. I even had a hard crash at one point, though that was a one-off so it’s hard to complain too much.
Necrobarista: Final Pour Summary
Necrobarista: Final Pour’s stylish form of storytelling and engaging narrative make it a uniquely wonderful release in the genre. There are some technical hitches here and there, but they don’t stop the game from being a real treat to experience on the Nintendo Switch.
– Engaging and funny narrative
– Great characters who are genuinely likable
– Bonus content fleshes out the experience
– Studio Mode is incredibly robust
– No voice acting
– Some technical issues
Developer: Route 59
Publisher: Coconut Island Games
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch (Reviewed)