VA-11 HALL-A serves solid bartender banter


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Sit down and grab a drink. Ysbrd Games’ VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action for Sony Corp.’s PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Co., Ltd.’s Nintendo Switch is a solid simulation title that lets users mix drinks, listen to customer rants, and collect tips in a cyberpunk dystopia.

Developed by Sukeban Games, VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is a digital novel that tells the story of Gillian, a bartender who works in the seedy establishment VA-11 Hall-A (dubbed Valhalla) frequented by questionable patrons. As customers enter the bar, Gillian mixes drinks at their request which in turn keeps the lively dialogue flowing.

Users can mix a total of six different ingredients, and add Ice and Age in order to concoct a variety of drinks. Finally, users can choose to mix or blend drinks to create the final product.

The title includes a branching story that can change depending on the drinks prepared for customers. At times patrons will ask for something sweet or a drink with little alcohol to provide some discretion to the player.

Dialogue can wind through a variety of topics including relationships, discrimination, work strife, paranoia, and weak quality of life. Many conversations between Gillian, her coworkers, and the patrons are blunt, fun, and entertaining.

The graphics engine, which utilizes pixilated artwork, is a thoughtful love letter to PC-9800 Japanese adventure titles. The music engine is stellar, with a range of melodically synthesized tracks that can be customized between shifts.

VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action sells at $14.99.

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