Hookah Haze by Tenchu Developer Mixes Visual Novel Storytelling and Adorable Pixel Art

Do you love visual novels, adorable pixel art, and Hookah? Acquire, known for the Tenchu series and many more games, announced Hookah Haze, which includes all these elements, published by Aniplex.


Published: December 4, 2023 3:43 AM /

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The key artwork of Hookah Haze portraying its characters

Japanese developer  Acquire and publisher Aniplex revealed a brand new upcoming visual novel titled Hookah Haze. 

The game is inspired by the Hookah lounges (or Shisha lounges) that are rather popular in Japan, and it's coming in 2024 for PC and Nintendo Switch. It features a lovely retro 2D pixel art style.

The Steam listing is already available for your wishlisting pleasure.

Screenshot of Hookah Haze portraying Amu Aigami

The game is set in the outskirts of Akihabara (which happens to be where Acquire's offices are located), as a young man named Toru Sumiki finds out he has a terminal illness. His doctor recommends he makes the most of the time he has left, so he decides to take on a job as a manager at a local Hookah lounge.

There he meets three eccentric girls who appear cheerful at first sight, but deep inside, are fighting against past traumas. As they start opening up to him, they connect through their shared interest for Hookah. 

It's certainly an interesting and unique concept for a visual novel, and it'll be interesting to see where it goes. 

The announcement was accompanied with a trailer providing a glimpse of gameplay and the three heroines, Amu Aigami, Meigetsuin Kokoro, and Kurumi Komori. 

If you're unfamiliar with Acquire, it's a veteran studio based in Akihabara, Tokyo. It's mostly known in the West for having developed Tenchu and Tenchu 2. The studio also developed the Shinobido series, the Way of the Samurai series, the Akiba's Trip/Beat series, and lately worked on Katana Kami: A Way of the Samurai Story and Octopath Traveler II for Square Enix.   

If you're interested in more visual novel news, recently the Steam port of the legendary game Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien passed its crowdfunding goal. If you'd like to read more, you can enjoy our interview with the project leader. 

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News Editor at TechRaptor since January 2023 following over 20 years of professional experience in gaming journalism both on print media and on the web.… More about Giuseppe