Run a relaxed Hookah lounge in upcoming Japanese VA-11 Hall-A-esque visual novel  

Aniplex announced the upcoming title Hookah Haze for the Nintendo Switch and PC (Steam). The official website and Steam store page launched on December 2 and the game is scheduled for release in 2024. 

Hookah Haze is a life/dating sim in which the protagonist, diagnosed with a terminal illness, becomes the rookie manager of a hookah lounge. The late-night conversations he has with clients while working at the lounge gradually begin to change him. 

The game takes place in Tokyo’s Akihabara district in the year 2XXX. The protagonist Toru Sumiki is only 25 years old but has lost the will to live due to his diagnosis. At Hookah Haze, he gets to know three unique women, who all carry their own problems and trauma. The choices you make when interacting with the characters will nudge the story in different directions. 

The female cast includes Amu Aigami, who works as a waitress in a themed cafe in Akihabara and claims to “absolutely love herself,” Kokoro Meigetsuin, a store clerk who hides past trauma behind a positive facade, and the doll-maker Kurumi Komori, who isn’t very skilled at communicating. Hookah Haze is a “human drama,” depicting the connections that form between the protagonist and the three women who are searching for a place to belong. 

Hookah Haze by Aniplex and Acquire
Hookah Haze by Aniplex and Acquire

Based on what can be seen in the screenshots and trailer, your role as the lounge’s manager will involve serving customers. This seems to include selecting tobacco flavors (including fruity, sweet, and spicy varieties) and the ideal amount of charcoal to meet each client’s needs. You will get to know more about the heroines as your interactions with them progress. The game features pixel art-style character and environment art.

Hookah Haze by Aniplex and Acquire
Hookah Haze by Aniplex and Acquire

Hookah Haze is being published by Aniplex and developed by Japanese video game company Acquire. Promotion for the game started back in June 2023, with the creation of an official “personal” X/Twitter account of the game’s character Amu Aigami. 

Hookah Haze is planned for release in 2024 for the Nintendo Switch and PC (Steam). 

Written by. Amber V based on the original Japanese article (original article’s publication date: 2023-12-02 23:00 JST)

Keiichi Yokoyama
Keiichi Yokoyama


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