In Coffee Talk, a visual novel from Toge Productions, you’re the proprietor of a Seattle cafe in an alternate universe where vampires, succubi, and all manner of fantasy races inhabit our world. They drop into your late-night coffee shop and talk things out. Regular problems. Relationship troubles, job struggles, all that stuff. Over time though, a theme becomes clear. A lot of Coffee Talk’s cast touch on the issue of overwork and the marketing of passions. None encapsulate this more than your first ever patron and one of the only human characters you meet – Freya.
Who is Freya? She’s a struggling writer, working day-to-day on whatever will pay her bills. There are some lovely short stories on her outlet’s website, often based on the other customers who pop up throughout the course of the Coffee Talk. After work, though, she’ll drop by as the sun starts to set and work on her original fiction. You’re there, serving her espressos and chatting about her attempts fulfil her dream of publishing a book.
Freya’s not okay. Her life is a tangle of various stresses, from the realisation that her daily job just isn’t as inspiring anymore, to the ever-encroaching creative burnout that comes with monetising your passions.