Metascore
84

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
Buy On
  1. 100
    It is impossible to put down.
  2. May 1, 2019
    100
    There are some really hard-hitting and beautiful moments in this game, as well as a lot of funny ones, and the more I learned about Jill the more I liked her. The world and all of the characters of VA-11 HALL-A are so damn interesting, and I found myself eager to return to the game after every play session. If you’re a fan of visual novels, this is a must play.
  3. May 1, 2019
    100
    One of my favourite games of all time.
  4. May 6, 2019
    95
    VA-11 HALL-A demonstrates its ability to create a unique world filled with diverse characters without even setting foot outside of a rundown dive bar.
  5. May 1, 2019
    95
    Endlessly stylish, emotionally gripping and deceptively addictive, VA-11 HALL-A is the pure essence of a visual novel: a digital page-turner filled with unforgettable characters and set in an infectious cyberpunk noir that will live in your head for weeks after you’ve put the game down.
  6. May 22, 2019
    90
    VA-11 HALL-A is one of the coziest experiences I've had in a video game.
  7. 90
    VA-11 HALL-A is a game I think everyone should try out. Its interesting characters, compelling stories, and flawless soundtrack help it stand out in the visual novel genre. It’s simply a must play on the Nintendo Switch.
  8. 90
    VA-11 HALL-A is so much more than just chatting up clients and making drinks. It's the kind of game that makes you think, and it can be silly, serious, soul-crushing, and light-hearted, all at the same time. Its cyberpunk/anime flair is just the garnish on top of the cocktail.
  9. May 3, 2019
    90
    When it comes to visual novels, VA-11 Hall-A is king. Never before have I seen such a perfect balance of sharp writing, gorgeous visuals and downright delicious music that also manages to pack in hours of engagement without ever overstaying it's welcome. Furthermore, the combination of drink-mixing action and visual novel storytelling creates an addictive gameplay loop that makes the game even harder to put down once you pick it up. VA-11 Hall-A is a gem of creativity from the most unlikely of places, and I can't wait to see what the team has up their sleeve next.
  10. NF Magazine
    Feb 27, 2020
    85
    If you want to settle back with a drink and a snack and enjoy a story that's equal parts salacious and introspective, this is one title I would highly recommend. [Issue #40 – July/August 2019, p. 27]
  11. Jun 25, 2019
    85
    VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is a unique experience that’s literally a book in game form. Mixing drinks and changing lives proves to be a blast as you interact with many interesting characters. There’s loads of reading to do here but as long as you’re ready to read a novel while you play, this is one book, er, game that you won’t want to put down.
  12. 85
    Overall, VA-11 HALL-A on the Switch is a marvelous port that works far better than I ever expected it to. The new controls may take some getting used to, but after a few minutes tinkering with them I found they came pretty naturally, and overall the game has kept the charm and likeability that drew me to it back in 2016. Gameplay may get a bit stale after long sessions of play, but for small relaxing wind-down sessions at the end of the night, you’ll find no better place to be than in Jill’s head during yet another shift at the bar.
  13. Jul 8, 2019
    80
    If you like great stories and immersive world building, with little to no gameplay, this is a game for you.
  14. May 20, 2019
    80
    VA-11 HALL-A might not quite fulfil your bartending dreams in terms of concocting your own drinks, but if the social side of being a bartender without leaving the house is more your thing, then this is the game for you.
  15. May 18, 2019
    80
    VA-11 HALL-A is a variegated and long visual novel, interesting from a narrative point of view.
  16. May 7, 2019
    80
    The mix of bartender simulator, interesting characters and clever writing makes VA-11 HALL-A a little gem, especially if you like games that are not your typical an have a lot to say. It is best savored in a smooth way... Like a whiskey on the rocks in a bar.
  17. May 2, 2019
    80
    For all my minor grievances, I’m enamored with this little bar. The larger narrative is pieced together by countless conversations with just as many people. None of them are alike, and all of them add something new to the mosaic. Even the apocryphal bits end up worth it in the end. Chat logs, history lessons, job descriptions, alibis, and cryptic orders all build what feels like a real place. More than ray tracing or 4K textures ever could, these collected story bits have swept up into a smoky dive that I’ll continually revisit, long after the tale is told. For a glimpse into something genuine, fascinating, and truly memorable, absolutely check out VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action.
  18. May 1, 2019
    80
    Photorealistic graphics are great but there’s something really nice and comforting about the retro-inspired visual aesthetic. The portable nature of the Nintendo Switch is absolutely perfect for this kind of game. Like the title screen suggests, pull the Switch off the dock, pour yourself a drink, grab some salty pretzels, and make yourself comfortable.
  19. May 1, 2019
    80
    VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action is a perfect example of the fact that a whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. Mixing drinks isn’t mechanically interesting, and it fumbles around with social commentary in questionable ways at times. However, those moments between Jill and Alma were enough to elevate the whole game for me. It truly does feel like you’re sat at the barstools with your friends, chugging some brewskis, shooting the shit, and (mostly) having a good time. You might be making out with a toilet come morning, but hey, in life there’s no reward without risk. So if you’ve yet to play VA-11 HALL-A, or if you just want to revisit it, prep your finest glass cleaning rag, because it’s time to mix drinks and change lives.
  20. May 2, 2019
    75
    I really like a lot of what VA-11 HALL-A is doing. I think changing up the choice mechanic, taking control away from you, and putting the focus merely on dialogue and not one character's story are all fantastic, but a lot of the ideas sound better on paper to me. Glitch City is a fascinating world, and Sukeban Games have created something truly unique that has inspired many. VA-11 HALL-A deserves its large fan following, but it's not mixed quite right for me to love everything on offer.
User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 59
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 59
  3. Negative: 8 out of 59
  1. Oct 2, 2020
    8
    VA-11 HALL-A, aka Valhalla, is a cyberpunk retro-styled bartender simulator. But don't think the main point is mixing drinks, the main focusVA-11 HALL-A, aka Valhalla, is a cyberpunk retro-styled bartender simulator. But don't think the main point is mixing drinks, the main focus is definitely the stories your clients tell you. If you know exactly what you're getting before buying this game you'll definitely not get disappointed. For one I knew it was mainly a Visual Novel and I'm not really a fan of Visual Novels. I either watch anime or play video games. A playable anime isn't just doesn't cut it for me, but Valhalla has a very chill atmosphere and engaging characters that even a person like me could appreciate it.

    Definitely worth checking if you're looking for an original Visual Novel with a bit of gameplay and choices to be made. The atmosphere is great and the stories your clients tell you are super entertaining. Even if you don't like the genre you should give it a chance just like I did.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 2, 2020
    10
    I read a couple of poor reviews, inspiring me to finally finish this game because I knew I'd be sad it was over. I actually bought this gameI read a couple of poor reviews, inspiring me to finally finish this game because I knew I'd be sad it was over. I actually bought this game sometime in late 2019 on an absolute whim, it was on sale for like $8 in the eShop. I tend to scope out other reviews just so I can verify I'm not buying some random pos, & this game seemed to have mostly good ratings. I was completely blown away! I love visual novels, & VA-11 HALL-A essentially plays out as such. If you're one of those morons that doesn't like games where interactivity is limited & likes to complain about that, I suggest playing a different game genre (like, I dunno, any other game). This is one of the most mature, relatable stories I've ever seen in my life. I was blown away by almost every character, becoming more & more interested in all their stories, all for it to come to a satisfying, bittersweet conclusion. The graphics are a clear shout-out to older games, probably 90's PC games. Mostly well rendered, the art appears as very cohesive pixels that are quite charming. In my opinion, even though everything else about this game is pretty excellent, one other thing stands out: the music. Clearly Michael Kelly (aka Garoad) played the demos or early access to this title, because he 100% nails the soundtrack. I actually felt like the music in the jukebox for VA-11 HALL-A could've really been music I'd hear at a bar in 50 years. It may seem silly saying it loud, but the music was just that spot on for me. I even listen to the ost's in my free time! I can't recommend this game enough, it's fantastic. Full Review »
  3. Jun 27, 2020
    9
    An amazing, completely underrated game. I am not a fan of most visual novel games, but this one is so much more accessible than others. TheAn amazing, completely underrated game. I am not a fan of most visual novel games, but this one is so much more accessible than others. The gameplay consists of an addicting loop where you bartend each day, and speak with patrons. You can make certain drinks to be double strength, making the patrons drunker and say more ridiculous and funny things.

    What makes this so accessible is the loop of speaking with a few patrons per day. My problem with VNs is that certain conversations and sections really drag out, but here no conversation is too long. The characters and writing are both excellent, I think that they are really creative here with the stories that the tell and building the sci-fi world around them.

    My only gripe is that there are some ridiculous and overly detailed sexual conversations that you have with some characters, but this is a minor issue.

    This game is a must play for any fan of story and dialogue driven games, one of my favorite indie titles of this generation.
    Full Review »