“A lot of times with dating sims it’s a matter of getting a read on the character’s personality and telling them exactly what they want to hear,” Gray says.
“That's a really frustrating way to play a game.”, though, encourages players not to think about romance as a game at all.
You meet six other dads who just happen to live in the same suburban cul-de-sac, and with a little help from a Facebook analogue called Dadbook, the dating begins.
You can try to impress the music nerd or the academic with knowledge you don't have, but chances are your fakery will fall flat.
You might think that the best way to win points with a standoffish dad is through sarcasm; once you learn his backstory, however, you find that what he really wants is kindness.
It’s a subversion of dating sims that is not just the best dating sim I’ve ever played but also one of the best games of the year.
At first glance, the game's romantic roster looks like a who’s who of sexy stereotypes: the bad boy, the jock, the sensitive artist, the clean-cut hunk.
The game casts you in the role of a single father who has just moved to a new town with his teenage daughter.
Although the two of you have been on your own for a while, the death of your spouse—you can specify if they were male or female—clearly still weighs on your mind.
“You’re not going to be sleeping on a mattress surrounded by empty bottles of Mountain Dew. A daddy who has their life together enough to take care of another person is probably more emotionally mature than a twentysomething dude might be.”If ’s hit status suggests any one thing, though, it's that entrenched ideas about what kind of games can be successful and who wants to play them have less to do with reality and more to do with the self-fulfilling prophecy that the industry has become.
“The argument ‘oh, I don’t know if it’s going to sell’ isn’t going to fly anymore," Gray says.
But Gray sees something very different in the passionate response from fans: an audience that has gone dismally underserved by an industry that has failed to either see it or acknowledge it, and one that is ready to show up in force when offered a full-course meal rather than just scraps.
She points to game franchises like , both of which have amassed huge followings in part because of the in-depth (and gender-inclusive) romances they offer in between their battles.
They simply follow their hearts, and any obstacles they face are a result of emotional and personal complications, not struggles with their identities.