Little Dragons Cafe is a game filled with strong personalities. While the player’s avatar and their sibling are rather mild mannered individuals, everyone around them has a much greater presence. While this can create moments where people seem like they have one note personalities and are defined by a specific trait, it also allows for other opportunities. By giving all of these people such a presence, it allows them to have a larger effect on their brief segment of the story and remain memorable, even though their event will only be one of many.
Little Dragons Cafe follows a pattern. After reaching certain plateaus, perhaps by getting certain reputations or raising the dragon, specific people will come to visit the cafe. Each one of them is having some sort of crisis. Every one of these people is also rather weird and notable. As a result, food becomes the answer. By making a specific item, you can end up solving all of their problems and making a lifelong friend in the process.
Editor’s note: Little Dragons Cafe spoilers will appear below.
Take Celis, for example. Her defining characteristic is that she is a surly witch who does not like humans. She considers them beneath her and can not stand their food, dating back to an incident where her Granny made her human food that repulsed her. Getting what you need for Country Style Eel makes all the difference. We recognized her obstinate nature throughout her event. She refuses to give humans, and by extension human food, a chance. That is, until the people at the cafe break through that bad trait with a meal.
Nostalgia dishes like Country Style Eel keep coming up and giving us to see these intense people grow. They might keep the better parts of their traits, like Celis’ determination, while overcoming prejudices or annoying elements of their personality. Maurice, the ghost is a bit of a jerk. He wants to annoy people and cause them trouble, even scaring away people during a normal service the first time he appears. But, he’s also a ghost who some people can see and interact with. Helping him involves learning about his past and creating a specific curry. Through his storyline, we come to understand that this ghost is grieving too. Comfort food helps him come to terms with his current state.
With Chou Chou the idol, her initial defining characteristic is sadness. When she comes to the cafe for the first time, she was practically inconsolable. Rumors have her doubting herself and her ability, making her wonder if someone who was a stray really deserves to be the lead singer of a group. Spending some time in the cafe, with its relaxed environment, gives her a chance to recharge and reevaluate. After having some Cat Food Over Rice, she realizes what is important and regains both her drive and her smile. The only way to get the dream she wants, to be with everyone, is to keep going.
Characters have a very brief amount of time to capture your attention in Little Dragons Cafe. Eventually, they will lose their time in the spotlight and be replaced by a new featured guest. By making sure each person is incredibly distinctive and leaning heavily into one or two characteristics, it becomes easier to remember people and see the change your food can inspire.
Little Dragons Cafe is available for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 in North America and Japan. It will come to Europe on September 21, 2018.