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via The Wild Gentlemen

Zipp’s Café Review: Brewing Up a Storm in the World of Wilderness

Zipp's Cafe Hero
Zipp’s Café Score
Zipp’s Café is recommended for those who are looking for a game that's not just about serving coffee but also about serving up stories.
Excels in its narrative and character development
Unique art style and atmosphere
Offers a refreshing twist on the café management genre
The tasks of cooking, brewing, and dishwashing, while initially intriguing, become a bit monotonous
Limited replay value
Platform Reviewed: PC

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A PC code was provided to GamingPizza for this review. Undying is available now on PC via Steam.

At first glance, Zipp’s Café might just seem like another drop in the ocean of café simulators. However, this indie game, a brainchild of The Wild Gentlemen, is far more than your average brew.

Set in the intriguing World of Wilderness, Zipp’s Café not only prepares the ground for Chicken Police title but also serves up a unique blend of visual novel and cooking sim gameplay. It offers a distinct experience, although not without its imperfections.

The game places you in the paws of Zipp, a raccoon with a checkered past, now pouring his heart into his café in a land where societal norms blur. This setting is where Zipp’s Café starts to set itself apart. Unlike Coffee Talk, where the focus is more on the narrative, Zipp’s Café demands a more hands-on approach to meal and drink preparation. This is where the game shines and stumbles, with its engaging but sometimes unclear tutorials and repetitive tasks.

The interactions with customers, from the endearing Melinda to the conflicting Mick, offer a peek into a world that’s as rich as it is whimsical. The dialogue is a mix of charm and challenge, revealing the characters’ depths and Zipp’s own transformation.

Artistic Flair in Every Pixel

Zipp's Cafe Bar
via The Wild Gentlemen

Visually, Zipp’s Café is a treat. Its art style, reminiscent of a bygone era, meshes well with the noir-themed narrative, providing a sense of immersion in a world that’s both familiar and fantastical. However, the game’s VHS-like filter, while unique, can be a bit disorienting.

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The sound design deserves a mention too. The voice acting, though limited, adds personality to the characters, enhancing the game’s noir ambiance. However, the repetitive jazzy tunes, while initially charming and exactly what you’d expect to hear in this type of coffee shop, soon wear out their welcome.

Mixing Up the Gameplay: Not Always Smooth

Where Zipp’s Café starts to lose its steam is in the gameplay mechanics. The game introduces a variety of tasks, from brewing coffee to cooking and dishwashing. But these activities often feel more like routine chores than engaging gameplay, especially as the game progresses. The cooking and brewing mechanics, while initially intriguing, don’t evolve much and can lead to a sense of monotony.

In contrast to Coffee Talk, where the focus is more on the narrative and the simplicity of the brewing mechanics complements this, Zipp’s Café struggles to find a balance between its story and gameplay elements.

Zipp’s Café is not a long journey, but it is a sweet one. Clocking in at just two and a half hours, it’s a concise experience that some might find too brief. The game lacks an endless mode, which could have added significant replay value and given players a chance to explore the café management aspect further.

Brewing Originality in a Familiar Genre

Zipp's Cafe Dishes
via The Wild Gentlemen

When it comes to originality, Zipp’s Café has its moments. It takes the established café simulator genre and infuses it with a noir twist, setting it apart from games like Coffee Talk. This unique approach is one of the game’s strongest points, offering players a fresh experience in a familiar setting.

Zipp’s Café is a game with a lot of heart and some notable flaws. Its engaging story, unique characters, and beautiful art style make it a worthy addition to any gamer’s library, especially for those who enjoyed Chicken Police or are fans of the genre. However, its gameplay mechanics need refining, and the lack of depth in the café management aspect is a bit of a bummer.

At any rate, Zipp’s Café is recommended for those who are looking for a game that’s not just about serving coffee but also about serving up stories. It’s a game that will delight you with its charm, even if it doesn’t always keep you on your toes with its gameplay.

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