The Pax East demo had me serving up drinks for Parka, who quickly began to open up about some of their writing troubles after a few carefully-made drinks. The conversation grew serious in a hurry, and was honestly quite intriguing considering I’d only just met this character. The folks at Sukeban Games do a great job at finding character hooks fast, and that ability seems to have only gotten stronger.
It’s not just the character hooks that work well. The game also does a great job of conveying that unique conversational style where you unveil just a little bit too much to a perfect stranger. One who just happens to be offering a kind ear to listen, resulting in this open, intimate look into someone’s personal life when you barely know one another. In a game where you’re just meeting characters out of the blue, the result is a conversation that feels natural and instantly compelling.
You’re not just chatting throughout N1RV Ann-A, as you’ve got to keep making drinks for your customers to keep the talk flowing. Mixing drinks had me fiddling through several menus, following recipes and reading descriptions to suit what the customer was asking for. As an inexperienced bartender, following the recipes and seeing which descriptions felt suited to what Parka was asking for was challenging, but felt more involved and personal over choosing dialogue options. It felt more like reading a mood than trying to figure out the right thing to say.
While this kind of recipe-following felt a little slow at first, I’m sure, as you get to know your drinks and the layout of your ingredients, it becomes second nature. The bar is a place you find yourself getting to know as well, developing a connection with it as you learn your drinks, the moods they suit, and how to play around with them as you explore the game. Which is a bit beyond what a demo can convey.
Due to my inexperience, I did kind of set Parka off (and maybe got her a little too loaded by accident), but I hope she finds a solution to her writing issues. That kind of hope had me feeling excited to see where N1RV Ann-A‘s narrative would head next, and very curious to see how this sequel continues to use this drinking-mixing conversation to tell its new stories.
N1RV Ann-A is currently in development, but in the meantime, you can add it to your Steam Wishlist.