Route 59 Studios announced that their cel-shaded visual novel Necrobarista is aiming for a 2019 release on PC, Switch, and PS4. Previously, Route 59 had aimed for a launch on the Switch and PC sometime in late 2017, before it got delayed. It will also come with a demo for PC players sometime before release. Originally announced back in January 2017, it will be the first game from the independent Australian developer. There's no specific date listed, but the Steam page does suggest we'll get to see Necrobarista sometime early next year.
Set in modern-day Melbourne, Australia, Necrobarista is the story of a normal cafe with some incredibly unusual visitors. Managed by resident necromancer Maddy, her cafe is a stopover for ghosts on their way to the afterlife. Ghosts are given one final day on Earth before departing entirely, and their human appearance naturally causes complications. Balancing serving drinks with pushing souls to move on has its challenges, and forms the basis for many of Necrobarista's episodes. Blending visual novel-style presentation with point-and-click adventure sequences, Necrobarista makes liberal use of a dynamic camera, making for more dramatic sequences and storytelling.
At the demo shown off at PAX West last year, we were enamored with its visual presentation, and a distinct lack of voice acting. Born out of frustration with the current state of anime, by making use of floating text and a 3D space to explore, Route 59 has taken great care to distinguish Necrobarista from other kinetic novels. Similarly, while the premise may sound similar to VA-11 HALL-A, the ability to explore the cafe between visual novel episodes does much to separate the two. With a colorful cast of undead plus a unique take on presentation and storytelling, Necrobarista looks set to be an original visual novel sometime next year.
What do you think of Necrobarista's visual style? Any other indie visual novels you're looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below!