Since I screwed up the day counts with my romance movie spotlights, I thought being Valentine’s Day today, I would do something special for the blog and try out this little romance themed game that I have seen floating around.
Developed and published by Stout Games, ‘Dinner Date’ places you in the unique role of the subconsciousness of Julian Luxemburg, a 27 year old man who has prepared a dinner for two at his place, and is waiting nervously for his dinner date to show.
The game has an unique and interesting premise, and was nominated for the Nuovo award (an award which “honors abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which advances the medium and the way we think about games”) at the Independent Game Festival 2011. It has been on my radar ever since it was released back in 2011, and somehow over time it had it had become all hyped up in my mind as some unique and epic love adventure.
Having installed and played through the actual game today however, I am sad to report that it is not so much a game, but rather a very limited interactive digital short story – and one which just wasn’t very good to be honest. The story lasts roughly 25 minutes long, with your character progressively getting more introspective, melancholy, and most of all, drunk, as it progresses. You have no control over the character, nothing happens in the duration, and the story basically went nowhere.
I have perhaps spoiled the ending for those who have yet to experienced this, but I have to say it was perhaps the most depressing game I have EVER played. Having said that, I am also overjoyed (kinda) to report that it was the PERFECT game for a single guy like myself to play, all alone on a Valentine’s Day. The game was just so- well, so damned depressing… and that, strangely was exactly what I needed. Call me weird, but I think it’s kinda refreshing. I usually spend Valentine’s Day mopping around and listening to depressing jazz music. It is kinda neat to finally be able to depress myself in a completely different way. Through a “game” no less! God I wanna go get drunk and cry now.