Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Gayme of the Week: A Tavern for Tea

Our first Gayme of the Week is a game that was developed by npckc, who players may recognize from their other games, Spring Leaves no Flowers and One Night Hot Springs. In this game, a Tavern for Tea, you play as a mysterious bartender at a tavern where the only thing you sell is tea.

Npckc’ games often look deeper into the characters you meet and play as rather than focus entirely on a lengthy narrative, and it makes for a very fun time in getting to know these characters.

A Tavern for Tea is no different, as there are only three characters in this game. The bartender, the Adventurer and a demon lord known solely as Horns. As the bartender, it’s your job to read these two individuals and use the power of tea to help them interact and open up – with yourself and with each other.

A Tavern for Tea isn’t explicitly gay, which may turn a few people away, but there are more than enough hints and implications that this isn’t a story where two heterosexual men are at the center of it.

For example, the tavern itself is designed in a way where anonymity is key, where people can exist outside of the expectations that are placed on them. For the Adventurer, that’s being someone who doesn’t have to save the princess all the time and then settle down and marry her. To him, that’s not his happy ending. It’s implied in his conversation with the bartender that this may be because he’s gay, but it is never truly confirmed.

The introduction of the character Horns is another indicator of the Adventurer’s sexuality, especially as the two end up leaving together if you perform the right choices. The dialogue itself isn’t romantic, but the awkwardness of wanting to get to know someone is portrayed in such a way that secondhand embarrassment is easily felt.

A Tavern for Tea

More importantly, a Tavern for Tea digs into how living the way society expects you to can affect you negatively. It’s something that the LGBT community knows too well, and the way this game handles that is both respectful and heartwarming.

If you’re interested in playing A Tavern for Tea for yourself, we recommend downloading it over at itch.io. You are able to download it for free, but if you’re able to purchase it or spend even as little as a dollar, we encourage you to do so!

Did you enjoy our first Gayme of the Week, or do you have any other recommendations of games that you’d like to hear us talk about? Then let us know by commenting or emailing us at hello@gaymingmag.com!

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