Hipster Café Preview: Home Of The Bacon Bourbon

If it's trending, it'll be on sale at the Hipster Café - an upcoming management game on PC, that was one of the highlights of Steam Next Fest.

Finally, a planned Steam Next Fest download: Hipster Café. I was genuinely looking forward to this game from Useful Slug, and it didn’t disappoint in the slightest.

As we all know, hipsters are easily bored, so you have to stay ahead of them. Whatever’s trending today is old news – we need to focus on the future. Serving food on a plate? Pfft! Skinny lattes? Ha! Make your own food and drink menus, then decorate the place with swordfish, neon and vintage signs. Because you’re worth it.

So, Hipster Café is a management game, with its tongue firmly in its cheek. As mentioned in the initial news piece, the devs have done a lot of research, or this game mirrors their lives. It’s essentially interactive observational comedy as you shape the store and the clientele who frequent it.

Hipster Cafe Preview - Phwoar
Phwoar! Source: Screen capture

Initially, that means meeting demands. Two ‘categories’ of hipsters will show up, and you’ll need to cater the menu to their tastes. Make a coffee stronger, draw a traffic signal in the froth using graphic sliders, or my signature: make an all-day breakfast that fuses bacon and bourbon biscuits in a chip-based bun topped with asparagus. Lush.

But nobody wants to go to a café, pick up their order and go; they want to play some arcade games, a spot of pool or how about playing on some DJ decks? Like The Sims, customers will head into the establishment and clarify what they like and don’t like as a thought bubble appears indicating they want a bitcoin ATM or in-house barbershop.

If you really have the business acumen, you won’t just pay attention to the crowds in the shop but also online via Tooter. I’m not sure where they got this idea from, but you can share your trivial thoughts, likes and dislikes with strangers via a social media platform. Punters will post snaps of their latte, bourbon stack and more, adding hashtags that may or may not increase your followers: the more followers, the more customers, the likelihood of expansion? That’s optimistic as this was only a demo, but fingers crossed.

As expected, you can customise the facilities – a splash of paint on the walls, rustic flooring or unsightly tiles, tyre seats, golf simulators, and recording booths. Oh, and perhaps more importantly, kitchen appliances and ingredients can be researched, thus adding to your repertoire.

I’m a big fan of these sorts of games, such as Festival Tycoon, but the added humour and gorgeous visuals (watch that fried egg wobble when it lands on the plate!) make Hipster Café a delight to play. It’s a bit hard to do it any justice in a few hundred words, and on the verge of getting carpal tunnel again, so let’s conclude.

Hipster Café was one of my favourite games during the festival, and if you too are a fan of management titles and know where your funny bone is, add this to your wishlist asap.