The original iteration of Necrobarista of introduced me to the Terminal Cafe, where I met a host of interesting folks. Set in a magical Melbourne, this cafe has great coffee — and its patrons aren’t necessarily on the plane of the living. We play as Maddy, a budding hot-headed necromancer who infuses magic into the coffee for that extra kick.
If you haven’t played the first game, here’s a quick rundown: The story is about Maddy’s literal race against time — she must collect enough hours for an illicit experiment, and manage the cafe with the Council breathing down her neck over debts unpaid.
Here, Chay — the former cafe owner and Maddy’s mentor — and Ashley, a robot-obsessed young girl do their best to help out. It is coloured further by the arrival of newly-deceased soul Kishan, a nervous mechanic and Ned, the Council member whose past is shared with both Chay and Maddy.
With Necrobarista: Final Pour, the graphics overhaul is the first thing that catches my attention. Crisp, rendered graphics with every step I take into this magical world. The memories that one can unlock in the Terminal hub level had a wonderful overhaul. I didn’t have to worry about selecting the needed words to unlock said memory, which was present in the first game as a word cloud that would reward symbols to be exchanged. That said, each unlocked memory also unlocked pieces in the Gallery — concept art, animation sequences, and more!
That said, it fuses the scattered words hovering around it, which is a nice touch and calls back to the word cloud mechanic in the original game. The Terminal has added a few new characters — Maddy allows you to continue the game in lieu of a dinner plate in the original iteration.
Select Ashley to unlock Doodle Mode (decorate the robotic Ashlings!), and Kishan to unlock Studio Mode (take photos with backgrounds and characters from the game!), plus two new DLCs — Devil’s Den and Walking to the Sky.
The former was a touch gritter, though it stayed true to its noir roots. Without giving away the story, Samantha is a badass — and the surprises just keep coming throughout. Be prepared! Walking to the Sky was my personal favourite of the two — it tells the backstory of Tuan and Hannah. I cried a lot, especially when the story hit its climax. The sharp, wry writing (say that three times fast) colours both characters — Tuan’s understated obsession with random facts, and Hannah’s girl-next-door cheerful bravado hides a much darker secret.
The UI also got an overhaul — one only needed to press RT (on Switch) to view extra explanations to certain words. This often came with a touching, wry explanation — and it often connected back to the characters present. My only gripe was that certain parts were rendered in white text against a rather bright background, which made the words pretty hard to see. It did not take away much from the story, though it would be nice to have a darker element juxtaposed behind for easier viewing.
Doodle Mode allowed me to draw cute, happy faces on all three Ashlings which made their sequences a lot funnier to watch. Studio Mode’s versatility had me experimenting with both the creation and editing of my scenes. It was a nice touch for players, given how lovely Necrobarista’s visuals are.
I had an absolute blast playing Necrobarista: Final Pour. An amazing soundtrack simply is the cherry on top. This is a story that explores the themes of death and Australian culture. Looking forward to more from its devs, Route 59 — and I hope you know that Soft Science’s intro music has always, and will always blow my mind.