The world may be a cyberpunk dystopia outside, but inside the walls of VA-11 Hall-A bartender Jill provides her patrons with an oasis and sounding board. The drinks she serves helps her find out more about them, while hopefully letting her scrape together enough cash to keep her own head above water.
VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartending Action is a visual novel where instead of dialogue options, the player mixes drinks. Characters will show up at the bar and place an order, which you then blend from a standard list of ingredients. Sometimes they ask for a particular cocktail, and sometimes they'll give you a vague descriptor, like "girly" or "sweet" drink. You may then choose a cocktail from the list to serve. The drink served and the amount of alcohol in it varies the dialogue for each customer, altering the story and taking it in various directions.
At the end of the day Jill's totals are calculated and she is paid based on how expensive the drinks were and the quality of service. The player can use the money to go shopping for Jill's apartment, which keeps Jill focused at work (making it easier for the player to mix drinks). But it's also important to leave Jill enough money to pay her bills, like electricity and rent.
Over the course of the game Jill's own personal story will also unfold, with characters from her past appearing as well as interludes where she bonds with her boss at home.