"I've got a surprise for you," says Vinny to his friend Callum over a video call: "I've joined a dating app!" Callum reacts with such glee, one would be forgiven for thinking that Vinny had just announced the reformation of The Beatles.
Surely everyone uses dating apps in 2020? Who wants to awkwardly wander up to someone in a bar and try and make small talk? Just download an app, swipe yes if they're interested in ToeJam & Earl, swipe no if they've got a Marilyn Monroe quote in their profile. Easy.
Anyway, that's the set-up for Five Dates, an interactive romantic comedy (their words) in which your job is to guide Vinny through a series of cringe-inducing online video dates with a handful of mostly appalling people.
And they are appalling. The girls are — generally speaking — dreadful stereotypes, and if you knew any of them in real life and you spied them from a distance in your local pub, you'd pray to your God that they hadn't already seen you and just go home to drink gin in the dark. There's a hipster with pink hair who's vegan and is totally quirky, guys. There's a high-flying lawyer who refers to herself as "extra". There's an Internet celebrity... let's just leave it at that.
It's not all bad, though. As we were playing the game, this author's (real life) girlfriend was occasionally chiming in with advice, and within an hour she'd stopped what she was doing and was fully invested. If you treat the game as a romantic comedy it fails on both counts, but if you treat it like you would an episode of car-crash television that you have control over then it's actually really entertaining.
We played it three times over a couple of bottles of wine, cringing together, laughing at the awkward conversations, and rolling our eyes in unison when one girl announced she was "an influencer". So if you've got a big bottle of claret and someone to play this with we'd recommend it. If you're on your own and after a romantic comedy, we'd probably go for The Wedding Singer.
The pun underneath your headline might just be better than the game.
Maybe the saddest thing is that this is not to far from the truth when it comes to modern dating for young un's.
I kinda wanna try this out just to see how cringe it gets.
maybe when it's on sale on the PSN/Nintendo Eshop for like £1-2 and can try out for a silly afternoon.
"swipe yes if they're interested in ToeJam & Earl, swipe no if they've got a Marilyn Monroe quote in their profile. Easy"
I can't believe this got 5/10 that is much higher than I was expecting
@Cowboyfromhll69 You should see the scores it's getting elsewhere.
@johncalmc I have not seen them, if this is getting better reviews elsewhere I'll be gobsmacked
This is awfully amazing.
@Cowboyfromhll69 Prepare your gob for smacking.
@darksoul77 Yeah, I’m young and this literally is nothing like online dating. This is online dating as written by a bunch of people focus testing every little decision. The people are way too outgoing, Tinder’s mostly awkward af, especially with Covid and no way of meeting people. Grindr on the other hand is basically like an art gallery, except you replace the art with unwanted d**k pics.
I really wanna play this 😂
"No option to release wolves into the dates' rooms" got a laugh out of me that I hadn't experienced in a while. Easily the highlight of this review
I’ll wait for this to come on PS5.
This review did enough to get my interest. ISee also Disaster Report 4 - seems like I still haven't learned my lesson)
But there's nothing much of the gameplay. I read elsewhere that there are quick time events, but there is an option to disable them that crashes the game.
How much of this is timed? Is there much text to read or is it all voiced? I can't read text without having to stop and zoom-in, which doesn't work too well if there's a timer, and would be quite annoying if playing with another person.
John needs to write all the reviews on this site.
So they dropped gamergirl for this i was more interested in that one cringe or not.
@ApostateMage This is ultimately what we're working toward.
@mrgrieves Funny, I reviewed Disaster Report 4 too.
Anyway, gameplay is you make choices. That's literally it. You can actually change the settings for the choices so that the decisions aren't timed. It didn't crash on me but I only tried it out briefly.
The whole game is voiced. There's basically no reading except when setting up your profile. All dates are fully voiced. Same with the other random conversations between dates. It's basically a movie with choices.
The only real reading is when looking at the choices you're making and I don't think the writing was small but obviously it might be different for you.
@johncalmc - great, thank you, that's very useful. I could definitely be tempted then. If it is as bad as you say it could be very entertaining to play with my other half. Worst case I'll leave her to it.
@johncalmc @ApostateMage I concur.
Maybe they'll patch the wolves in if there's enough demand?
So it'll be a Plus game?
Interesting to compare sister site NintendoLife's mini review of this game ( https://www.nintendolife.com/reviews/switch-eshop/five_dates) with PushSquare's. One goes into controls, game flow, length, and acting quality (admittedly a subjective judgement), while the other is basically framed throughout as a monologue unabashedly roasting the game for its characters and writing.
@ShogunRok okay I'm gonna need to draw up my list of demands and then we're good to go
@Fath One is also from a website that's having to cover a console launch and a frankly ridiculous November release schedule.
With the greatest of respect to Five Dates, we have bigger fish to fry. And I imagine @johncalmc has better games to play, going by this review.
@ShogunRok also monologues is what I'm here for
Who wears earpods on a date?
@Xiovanni I've been on dates before where I would have loved a pair of earphones.
I really enjoyed Five Dates. I played through it by myself a few times. On one occasion, my wife overheard it and chimed in from the other room. And, I just did a SharePlay with a friend and let him run the controls. In all instances, I was thoroughly entertained. I had a goofy-ass grin throughout much of the game, and if that’s not the express goal of a video game like this, I don’t know what is!
I enjoyed listening to my friend analyze the gals’ previous responses, their backgrounds, their likes/dislikes, and both what he what he thought should choose if he were Vinny…along with what he thought he would choose if he were actually on the date. It was a good time.
Yes, some of the dialogue was cringe-inducing. Yes, some of the characters were stock, hackneyed, clichés. Yes, some things were completely absurd. Yet, it was a good time.
My only gripe was that there weren’t more choices and branching paths. My friend’s biggest gripe was that it was too easy to get a second and third date. My wife’s gripe: The way the Grenada gal spoke reminded her too much of her loudmouth sister-in-law from Columbia.
I’ve paid $10 or more for many stupid, inane things throughout my life, but at no point did feel my $10 spent on Five Dates was a waste. I have no buyer’s remorse, and that’s more than I can say for many of the games in my collection. I’m glad I got Five Dates, and I’m sure I’ll play through it again. After all, I’ve only gotten through the final dates with three of the five gals. I still have two more lonely hearts to win! Five Dates is a solid 7.5 out of 10.
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