Hookah Haze Preview – Hookah Has Never Been Cooler

Exploring Emotional Narratives in Hookah Haze: A New Entry by Acquire

Games like VA-11 Hall-A and Coffee Talk showed how emotionally charged and fun narrative-driven adventure games can be. While they borrow the lengthy conversations of a visual novel, they also contain a level of interaction with the narrative that extends beyond simply making choice replies that dictate which story branch you’re on. Developer Acquire is entering this space with Hookah Haze. This game has some pretty emotional undertones and some of the cute pixelated character designs we’ve seen recently.

Meeting Toru Sumiki: A Life Defined by a Fatal Diagnosis

Hookah Haze 2

Hookah Haze intricately weaves emotional depth into the narrative adventure genre, setting a new standard for storytelling.

I was able to play Hookah Haze during PAX East 2024. During the brief demo, I was introduced to the Toru Sumiki, who has just been diagnosed with a fatal illness and will likely die in 2 weeks. To make things easier on him, the doctor supplied him with enough pain pills to last 14 days and also set him up with his hookah lounge to manage. If you think that sounds silly, it is, but the boy’s dying wish is to chill, smoke hookah, and look at fish, so don’t dim his sparkle. Anyway, the demo only introduces one of three girls, Amu Aigami. It just so happens that she was being chased by a stranger when she ended up in the hookah lounge. After the meeting, we get a quick look at the gameplay portion of the game.

Crafting the Perfect Hookah: Gameplay and Character Interactions

You’re in charge of figuring out the perfect hookah for the character, which could fit the occasion or the guest’s preference. For instance, Aigami doesn’t like Spice, so keep that in mind for all her future visits. By remembering characters’ likes and following their plot devices, you’ll eventually grow closer to them and learn more about their daily lives.

The unique premise of managing a hookah lounge in Hookah Haze offers a fresh twist on narrative-driven gameplay, blending choice and consequence beautifully.

However, the story seems to pack an emotional punch as it teases dramatic twists. I’m interested to see how the story and characters unfold, but in this early demo, I was adding coals to the hookah and left wanting to play more.

Visual Appeal and Atmospheric Design in Hookah Haze

Hookah Haze is a beautiful game with excellent backgrounds and character designs. The animations of the characters smoking hookah are a nice touch on the entire experience. Still, the developers also added appealing transitions and a unique HUD for creating hookah blends. The color scheme seems like a topa le theme that expresses this lo-fi vibe to the entire experience.

I’m looking forward to seeing the other characters’ introduction and understanding their circumstances.

Looking Forward: The Promise of Hookah Haze

Hookah Haze 1

Hookah Haze is a visually appealing experience that borrows elements of other narrative adventures but adds an adult twist to the presentation. The promise of dramatic twists in the later part of the game has me at the edge of my seat to see how Toru will navigate his fate and what impact he can have on these characters with his little time. While the character designs drew me in, I will likely stay for what’s to come. If you haven’t already, stay on the lookout for Hookah Haze. I know we’ll be following its updates.

Hookah Haze is in development for PC via Steam.

This post may contain Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate Noisy Pixel earns from qualifying purchases.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments