VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is a strange cyberpunk visual novel game about working in a bar. The name is very odd which is why many people refer to the game as Valhalla which is the name of the bar you are working in. While it was released on PC a few years back, I have spent a fair bit of time with the more recent Nintendo Switch version of the game.
How to Download VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
To download the game from Steam, click on the Download button located at the end of the review. If you are into cyberpunk, check out also Cybpernuk 2077.
The Game Review
The setting of the game is a cyberpunk-inspired place called Glitch City. Glitch City is not a nice place, crime, and corruption run rampant here! You may think this will play into the game, but it does not. You play as Jill a bartender at Valhalla who just wants to do her shift and then get home to her cat.
The world that the game is set in is expanded when you are in Jill’s apartment, you can look at the news and see what is going on in the world. I really liked this, in many ways it makes Jill feel like a side character that is in another game! It is a very interesting way to tell a story and I liked it.
I would say that a visual novel is the best way to describe VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action, but it is not your typical visual novel. In the bar, you will interact with many different people, but instead of dialog options, you have to make them a drink. Sometimes they will flat out ask for a specific drink, other times they are vaguer and you have to figure it out.
The drink you give them will alter the conversation and even things that unfold later in the game. This is how a visual novel usually works, but the whole making drinks thing gives the game a very unique feel. You have a recipe book to look at and then on the right side of the screen are the ingredients.
Making drinks is a lot of fun. You need to select the ingredients to put into the mixer, give it a good mix and decide if it is going to be aged or on the rocks. If you give someone the wrong drink, it is not a game over. It just changes the way things will go moving forward. It can be a tad awkward to make drinks your first few tries, but you get used to it, and then it is a fun mechanic.
It was the visuals that drew me to VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action at first. It has a very retro style to it and it looks like a game that could have been on a PC in the late 80s or early 90s. The game also has a phenomenal soundtrack. What is great about the soundtrack is that there is a jukebox in this bar and you can decide what songs are played.
I thought that this was a very interesting take on the visual novel genre. I get that a game like VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is not going to be for everyone, but I thought it was great. I liked the setting; Jill was a cool character and the whole making drinks things is something I enjoyed.
- Glitch City is an interesting place
- I liked Jill as the main character
- This is a very interesting visual novel game
- Mixing drinks is pretty cool
- These types of game are not for everyone
- Not sure I would play this over and over again