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Tavern Talk Kyle Rhea and Anwar
Screenshot by GameSkinny

Tavern Talk – Experience Life as a Fantasy Innkeeper

Tavern Talk makes you a side character in a fantasy adventure, and that's surprisingly fun!

It’s common to come across an innkeeper who gives you quests during your journey in an RPG, tabletop or otherwise. This time, you get to play the role of the innkeeper, making drinks and handing out quests to the adventurers who pay you a visit in Tavern Talk.

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Tavern Talk is a visual novel rather than your standard fantasy RPG, which it might seem like at first glance with the Dungeons & Dragons vibes felt throughout the game. Since I love reading, I enjoyed this format. However, if you are more interested in action rather than story elements, this probably isn’t the game for you.

Gameplay Mechanics of Tavern Talk

Even with the focus on dialogue and story, there’s still some gameplay beyond that in Tavern Talk. There are two primary jobs you fulfill regularly as the innkeeper. First, you need to serve drinks that boost the stats of your customers. Second, you put together quests based on rumors that you hear.

For making drinks, you have a recipe book to help you. You can even draw the recipe on the chalkboard, which helps guide you with how much of which item to add. And if you make a mistake, you feed the drink to Andu and start over. The game starts you off slow with just a handful of recipes. However, your customers will start requesting drinks that lead to new recipes, give you recipes, and give you ingredients to use for infusions, which also affect your drinks and how they’re made.

In the beginning, customers order a drink by name or by the stat they want increased. Then, there are times when you make the choice for your customers based on the quest they’re about to go on. This is where your decisions have an effect since they will change how the character approaches their quest. Because of this, it’s important to listen to the quest details and the character’s plan for each approach before you pick a drink for them.

The other mechanic of putting together quests is much easier. When you have three related rumors, the game automatically takes you to the screen to form a quest. Each note is a rumor, and they all have a design on them. Rumors with the same design are related. So, put those on the quest paper and choose the feather to create a quest for your job board. Then, characters will accept quests when they come into your tavern.

Colorful Characters of Tavern Talk

Tavern Talk has an array of characters who come to your tavern, and the variety feels like it hits all the stereotypical characters that might pop up in a Dungeons & Dragons campaign. One of them even believes that you’re not a real person and just a pre-programmed NPC. I found that there was a nice mix of characters and personalities included. A few of them even made me laugh, like the typical loner rogue and the vampire named Kyle, who constantly forgets that the sun is deadly to him.

The characters who enter the inn play an important role since they’re your biggest source of information about what’s happening in the world around you. You also get to see their character development, along with the formation of unexpected friendships. With the slower pace of this game, I understand that it could be boring to wait and learn about events without being part of them. But with some patience and a love of both reading and fantasy settings, I felt that sticking through the beginning and getting into the later parts was worthwhile.

The Story of Tavern Talk

Of course, I won’t spoil anything. However, if you’re like me, you’ll be wondering what sort of story you’ll encounter in a visual novel like this. Especially since you’re a simple innkeeper. However, I was surprised when events started happening, like the stars falling out of the sky, because it started to weave a more intricate story than just hearing about some random rumors and putting together what felt like side quests.

Downsides of Tavern Talk

While I have a lot of praise for this game, I can admit that it’s not perfect and that it won’t suit everybody’s taste in games. If you like Dungeons & Dragons and visual novels, then I’d recommend it. But if you want to be in the middle of the action, or you don’t like a lot of reading, then I’d suggest picking a different game. It’s slow. There’s a lot of dialogue, and I felt some of it could be skipped. On the other hand, it felt very D&D to have characters give you too much information.

There were also a few times that I encountered what I assumed were bugs. For example, even though you chose your pronouns at the beginning, there was some dialogue where the game put [their/her/his] instead of just the one I chose. While I didn’t think it was a big deal, I did find it a bit odd, and it affected immersion.

Tavern Talk — The Bottom Line


  • Interesting characters and development.
  • Mechanics that make it feel more active than a visual novel.
  • Classic fantasy setting.


  • Slow pace.
  • Mostly reading, if you aren’t a fan of reading.

Overall, I enjoyed my time spent in Tavern Talk. I found it slow, but I went into it knowing that it was more of a visual novel, so that was expected. The characters made up for the pace, and they got a few laughs out of me. Additionally, it’s heart-warming to see them interact with each other and build relationships. I could definitely see a tabletop campaign starting like this. And if these sound interesting to you, then I suggest giving Tavern Talk a try.

Gameplay tested on PC. Code provided by Gentle Troll.

Tavern Talk – Experience Life as a Fantasy Innkeeper
Tavern Talk makes you a side character in a fantasy adventure, and that's surprisingly fun!

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Melissa Sarnowski
Melissa Sarnowski has been working as a gaming writer professionally for two years, having been at GameSkinny for over a year now as a horror beat writer. She has an English degree from University of Wisconsin - Madison. While she focuses on all things horror, she also enjoys cozy games, MMOs like FFXIV and WoW, and any and everything in between.