VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
VA-11 HALL-A is another title that takes an inventive approach to the traditional visual novel. Describing itself as a booze em’ up about waifus, technology, and post-dystopia life, it throws players into a dystopian future, where corporations reign, and the downtrodden masses are kept in check by malevolent forces. However, this is no Deus-Ex. Governments will not fall, and futures will not be changed. You will be too busy mixing a Bad Touch.VA-11 HALL-A focuses on the activities of the Valhalla bar, telling stories through its colorful clientele. Androids, cat people, and internet celebrities are just some of the customers you can expect at the bar. As a dystopian bartender, it is your job to keep your customers well lubricated using the game’s own bartending mechanic. Cyberpunk concoctions are mixed using a fairly straightforward drag and drop system that creates the very drinks that impact the course of your story.
While conventional visual novels use dialogue to influence narrative flow, VA-11 HALL-A dispenses with this and characters react to the drinks you prepare for them. The bartending system is an interesting replacement for character dialogue and seems to fit the offbeat nature of the game extremely well. Writing in VA-11 HALL-A is uniquely sharp and the adventures of Streaming-chan were a highlight of my hands on.
VA-11 HALL-A is a colorful, irreverent take on a somber genre that defied my initial expectations. Fantastic writing and a fresh approach to this visual novel make it worth a visit.
You can find out more about this title, developed by Sukeban games, at the official website.
About the Author
Edward "Screenager" Orr