Dark Roast Cafè is an adorably satanic, cozy game where you employ quirky demons to help run your business

A demonic coffee shop
(Image credit: outstar)

I am a sucker when it comes to cosy cafe games. I find there's no better way to unwind than setting up a small nook and serving some loyal customers coffee and cute little snacks. Usually, I have a type: cute, pastel, and calm—think An Average Day at the Cat Cafè. But this time, I've found one that breaks that mould, and it's absolutely amazing. 

Dark Roast Cafè may be cosy, but it's also satanic. In this short itch.io demo, you open shop with a loan from an unforgiving demon. Then, you have seven days to hire staff, decorate your cafe, and earn enough money to pay off your debt. It's not massively complex, but to be fair, it was the developer's first solo game, which was made for the Ludum Dare 55 game jam in just 72 hours. 

This comfy game is pretty straightforward, but that doesn't mean you can just sail through managing your restaurant. The first time I started it up, I didn't quite understand the importance of hiring the right people (or, in this case, demons) for certain jobs. You'll need a greeter, a cashier, a cleaner, and, importantly, a barista. There's an option to summon three demons at a time, of which you can pick one to join your team; if you don't like anyone, then you can just wait for it to refresh after a minute. 

My first group of employees included a greeter with a "Fake ID, but an honest smile", a cashier who collected body parts, a cleaner who liked to steal condiments, and a barista who won't talk about their past. An odd group of demons to say the least. Unfortunately, these guys didn't really work out, they were too slow to keep up with the lunch rush, and I'm pretty sure the damage done by all the stolen condiments cost me a fair bit of money. This meant that I didn't pay my dues by the deadline, and I can only assume I got eaten by the demon I owed money to. 

The second time I tried to assemble my master crew, I was sure to pick positive assets for the team with lightning-fast reactions, good customer service skills, and at least some cognitive functions, and luckily it paid off. My team worked wonders and reached the quota within five days, so I had a bit of extra cash to get the stylish blood-red tables and deck out my cafe a bit more. 

Once you pay off the demon, you can just carry on going, changing staff and redecorating your cafe. But instead of trying to make bucket loads of cash, I wanted to leave it running just for the music. It's chill, calming, and a great Lofi beat to listen to when getting work done. The bonus is that by leaving it running in the background I've also made a hell of a lot of money. So far I'm at 157,128 demon coins and counting. 

So, if you're looking to broaden your horizons and want to play a not-so-cuddly cosy cafe game, then I'd definitely recommend giving Dark Roast Cafè a try—it's not extensive, but it's still a load of fun and a great way to relax and pass time. 

News Writer

Elie is a news writer with an unhealthy love of horror games—even though their greatest fear is being chased. When they're not screaming or hiding, there's a good chance you'll find them testing their metal in metroidvanias or just admiring their Pokemon TCG collection. Elie has previously worked at TechRadar Gaming as a staff writer and studied at JOMEC in International Journalism and Documentaries – spending their free time filming short docs about Smash Bros. or any indie game that crossed their path.