Pixel Cafe Review

Pixel Cafe has a smooth lo-fi vibe with some of the best music I’ve heard this year. Released early October, we finally got a chance to sit down with what can be considered revolutionary in its own genre. You’ve got gorgeous pixel-art style beats, a soundtrack that kicks off from the start and doesn’t stop and a hypnotic gameplay loop that’s as mediative or brow-sweating as you want it to be.

Quick note: The developers have been active in updating the game. A mid-December 2023 update introduced difficulty modes, giving the game more depth from the challenging kitchen manager that it was to a zen like rhythm game to the challenging kitchen manager that many loved as is.

Let’s dig into what separates this game from others.

Running the Pixel Cafe

The game starts off with a cup and a coffee machine and simple instructions. The game’s complexities slowly unveil themselves to you from here, including the as early as minute one ability to drop a cup in the trash and waste a dollar. You’ll soon serve food with the next order and from there move into a rhythmic vibe of fulfilling orders.

You make money throughout the day, which can be spent on upgrades (via investing in your grandmother’s house) or by going into the cafe to increase efficiency. You’ll need to be keenly aware of your investments to best match your playstyle.

As each day moves along, you’ll be more pressed to move through everything quicker (on the harder difficulties). There’s a good comparison to Cook, Serve, Delicious!?! in Pixel Cafe, just without the menu selection process involved.

Pixel Cafe’s Difficulty & Controller Vibes

The game can be difficult, I had to backout and turn the gamemode down to the more vibe easy mode. Though the difficulty can be fun for those seeking a deeper challenge.

The keyboard and mouse work and they don’t. The game recommends a controller and that’s really kinda true here. In say CSD, KB/Mouse can work well but here you’re doing a lot of the same motions. So it’s more muscle memory / rhythem game.

Outside of that I don’t have much to complain about!.

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If you like any kind of kitchen management game, then Pixel Cafe is going to be really satisfying. It’s a highly polished buttoned up kitchen manager with amazing vibes and a fantastic soundtrack. This is one of those games where I really want a vinyl of the music.

This is a definite recommend.

We did receive a key from the developer.

David Piner, an accomplished video game journalist since 2001, excels in developing comprehensive guides and engaging content to enrich the gaming experience. As the esteemed former Managing Editor at TTH (as David "Xerin" Piner) for over a decade, David established a strong reputation for his perceptive analysis, captivating content, and streamlined guides. Having led skilled teams of writers and editors, David has been instrumental in producing an extensive collection of articles, reviews, and guides tailored to both casual and hardcore gamers aiming to enhance their skills. Dedicated to player-centric content, David meticulously crafts guides and articles with the players' interests in mind. He is a proud member of OUT Georgia and fervently champions equity and equality across all spheres.