As a ’90s kid, some of my earliest video game memories are of classic, arcade-style beat ’em ups for the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. Games like Final Fight and Streets of Rage were excellent titles to pick up and play, with players pounding on everyone they come across as they traverse a side-scrolling world. As video game graphics would evolve over the years, these kinds of games would fade into distant memory. However, one can easily strap into a time machine to revisit those days by playing Qubic Games’ and Mega Cat Studios’ Coffee Crisis.

Originally, Coffee Crisis was released as a brand new 16-bit game for the classic Sega Genesis and Mega Drive. The game was later ported to be playable on other consoles, including the Nintendo Switch. Because Nintendo offers many classic titles themselves on the company’s online service, the system is great for retro-style gaming, and a throwback title like Coffee Crisis is a perfect fit.

The plot focuses on a race of evil aliens known as Smurgliens invading planet Earth, with the goal of acquiring its cat videos, metal music, WiFi, and, of course, coffee. The owners of the Black Forge Coffee Shop, Nick and Ashley, face the threat head-on when their coffee shop is attacked by the Smurgliens. The two then embark on a mission to remove the menace, with 2-player co-op available for players to control both baristas. Oddly enough, the story was written by the real-life owners of the Black Forge Coffee Shop, also named Nick and Ashley, whose likenesses are used for the heroes of the game.

As you would expect from a game like this, the gameplay is rather simple. Progress from one screen to the next, while wiping out every enemy in your way. Where Coffee Crisis particularly shines is through its well-written humor, retro-style visuals, and an excellent soundtrack. Completing the game might take a couple of tries as you figure out the best way to fight and manage your power-ups, but it never gets too frustrating, and managed to keep me entertained from the beginning until completion.

If you enjoy early ’90s arcade style game, Coffee Crisis is well worth its modest price. In addition to being available for the Nintendo Switch, the game can also be found on Steam, and as a physical cartridge for the Sega Genesis.


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