Necrobarista: Walking to the Sky Review
Updated: Aug 25, 2021
This is an hour-long free bonus episode for Necrobarista, one of my favorite games of last year. It's the backstory of Tuan and Hannah, two essentially comic relief characters from the main game who showed up a few times but were totally irrelevant to the plot and not seriously developed in any way. Although this episode takes place largely in the same cafe as the rest of the game, no other named characters make an appearance. That was disappointing at first - the plot takes a little bit to get going, and until it does it's hard to wonder why you're following these randos instead of the characters you already like - but Tuan and Hannah come into their own after the introductory sequence.
In a clever twist, at the same time as it starts building up these characters who only got a cursory glance in the main story, the plot moves to physical locations that were treated the same way. By the end, it's built up these places and people enough that I kind of want a second game that's fully focused on them. And best of all, the themes of this episode dovetail perfectly with the main game. I won't spoil exactly how, but suffice to say that this episode meaningfully contributes to the main story's ideas despite hardly having anything to do with it.
I'd say this little free episode is an essential play for anyone who liked the main game. It might not seem like it for the first 15 minutes, but it delivers in the end.