N1RV Ann-A Hands-On From PAX East 2020 – Cyberpunk Bartender Action
Cyberpunk Bartending Action is probably one of the more unexpected genres that I've come across in all my years of gaming. Originally just the one singular title of Va11 Hall-A, Sukeban Games has since expanded the worldbuilding with other games and crossovers. Now, four years after the bartending simulator-slash-visual novel was released, a new title is on the way and focused upon a new tender of social lubrication. Enter N1RV Ann-A, set in the false paradise of Saint Alicia.
While the drinks of Glitch City flowed cheaply and freely in Va11 Hall-A, there was but one major problem: they were all synthetic. In the more well-off region of Saint Alicia that serves as the backdrop of N1RV Ann-A, the drinks are made from real liquors and fruits. I did discover that Saint Alicia, much like the real world counterpart of Colombia, features green lemons and yellow limes, something I initially thought to be a glitch in N1RV Ann-A until one of the developers clarified it for me.
Despite the upgraded bar kit and lack of Adelhyde, N1RV Ann-A still plays a familiar role to the previous Cyberpunk Bartending Action title. You'll still be listening to people talk about their life stories and interject your own thoughts from time to time by choosing a mood in response. To really affect the story, it's up to the player-tender, in this case the pink haired Sam, to mix the perfect drink for the occasion. More alcohol could lead to a character opening up to Sam more or cause some problems later on in the story. As the sole source of spirits in the bar of N1RV Ann-A, those choices are where player agency come in.
This time around, players can replay missions in N1RV Ann-A to improve their social scores or explore a different dialogue path they might have missed around. Customers can tip Sam for her service which can then be spent on bills, decorations and taking care of her 8-year old son, Tony.
N1RV Ann-A will be available on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Steam for PC in English and Chinese in 2020.