Game Review: Date (Almost) Anything Sim

Alright, so as a hopelessly single fellow who enjoys odd games [1], I downloaded this freeware game that serves as an odd simulation, and I have to say that it irritated me on several levels.  The gameplay itself is pretty rudimentary.  You play as a young woman who is having her first day on the job as a barista at a coffee shop just slightly misnamed to avoid a lawsuit, a job you owe to a longtime friend.  The first three customers come in, and you take their orders, and then there are some time skips and the choices you make determine who it is you end up dating.  While the beginning part of it does not change at all in that the sample order and three customer orders do not change, the decisions you make about where to take your break matter a great deal, as it leads you to have interactions that shape your future romantic destiny in rather painful ways.

The game does, at least, offer at least somewhat of a decision tree.  In playing the game several times I ended up with all of the first three customers, one of whom is a bisexual writer with a tragic romantic history, one of whom is a mtf transgender, and the other of whom is a socially awkward person.  In addition, I ended up alone after a supremely awkward interaction with Sheldon, the socially awkward one, and ended up dating a woman who was on the other side of the room.  Apparently you can also date your friend/co-worker and also end up getting a 30 minute math lecture, but I was unable to find those particular endings in the game’s decision tree.  Suffice it to say that there are endings where you end up with a wide variety of possible people, but the game is not very satisfying as a dating simulation, since the boring part is what takes so much time and the aspects of dating and romance are brushed over rather quickly.

It is at this point that the game gets really irritating.  No matter which decisions you make, the game goes in frustrating directions.  If you choose to tell people that you want to be friends, the characters reply that they thought they already were friends and can’t believe that you would tell them that, and that moreover you did not play this game looking for friends.  But if you pick romance instead of friendship, the game lectures to you about not knowing people well enough to go out with them despite the fact that there are numerous times listed where the customers come in regularly and strike up conversation and even get into embarrassing oversharing.  Then the programmer steps into the picture to lecture the player of the game about spending time getting to know real people rather than wasting it on games.  So, let us recount how the game is frustrating.  The beginning part of the gameplay is utterly monotonous with very little enjoyment after the first gameplay, the romance is unappealing for a crowd that is not decadent and immoral, and the game itself is immensely preachy in the worst way.  This is not a good combination for a game, and if you end up paying anything because you think the game is worthwhile, you are probably paying too much.  This is the sort of game that needs to pay you for wasting your time on it, rather than receiving money from those people who get suckered into wasting more than a few minutes on it.  In short, this is the sort of game that can safely be skipped.

[1] See, for example:

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2017/01/06/game-review-the-oregon-trail-card-game/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/08/09/game-review-town-of-salem/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/07/20/game-review-punderdome/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2016/06/13/game-review-the-aetherlight-chronicles-of-the-resistance/

https://edgeinducedcohesion.blog/2015/03/31/game-review-crusader-kingdoms-ii/

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About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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