The worst dates in games

Façade is an interactive drama where characters respond in real-time to your typed text. You play a guest who’s been invited to spend an evening with your old friends Trip and Grace.

The voice acting and reactions of Trip and Grace are eerily realistic, and you’ll quickly realize that the two are trapped in an incredibly unhealthy marriage. Depending on how you react, scandalous details about the rocky status of their relationship are revealed as their dirty laundry is hung out to dry.

Façade is a lot like a train wreck. You know you should look away. But as you witness Trip and Grace’s marriage fall apart right before your eyes, you can’t help staring. It’s also tough to resist doing everything in your power to egg on the two in order to further escalate their arguments. You can download and play the game for free by following the links at theofficial website. In the meantime, here are some of our favorite quotes from the game.

Trip: Why don’t I make us one of my new drink inventions? I call it Grace’s inner soul. It’s a mixture of chardonnay bitters and lots of ice.

Grace: You know that flirting with me is only going to make me wish I married you instead of Trip.

For the most part, we love Persona 4. But near the end of the game, a thick poisonous fog envelopes the town, which makes most of the populace sick. If you haven’t flirted your way into the heart of every schoolgirl with a crush on you by this point, it’s likely that the object of your affections will confess her love for you during this crisis.

Above: Opening your heart in the middle of a poisonous fog is dangerous and weird

For many Persona fans, that girl was Naoto, the androgynous girl detective you meet near the end of the game. When Naoto finally falls for you, it’s not creepy because of her deep James Earl Jones-like voice or her fetish for manly clothing. It’s not even the fact that we’d be jailed for life if we ever tried luring a teenage high school girl into our bedroom (we overcame that phobia a long time ago in order to enjoy Persona 3). It’s the fog that ruins the moment, the thick cloud of poison that’s filled with moving bacteria-like organisms and covering every inch of the screen.

Above: There. That’s better. This should protect Naoto from those noxious fumes

First dates can be awkward. Sometimes it’s tough to make conversation, to find common points of interest, and to not screw everything up during that tenuous getting-to-know-all-about-you phase.

But nothing is as awkward and uncomfortable as the vapid, boring, and superficial dates in your average Japanese dating sim. It’s ironic that the one game genre dedicated to recreating the whole dating experience is the best example of how awful dates in games are.

Above: A club in a dating sim. This is where the magic happens

If you haven’t played one, the goal is to win the love of your dream girl in a limited amount of turns. You’ll have to budget your turns by making time for irritating minigame jobs that’ll boost your stats so that you’ll be able to successfully flirt it up is a staple of the genre.

But how well your date goes is often determined by your skill at remembering asinine details like the object of your desire’s birthday or blood type. If you can remember what your dream girl’s favorite band is and bought her lots of fancy shoes, a horribly animated love scene is almost guaranteed.

Above: Don’t be fooled by their innocent eyes or sweet smiles. Dating sim skanks make Paris Hilton look like Mother Teresa

If you’re looking for cheap visual stimulation, then playing a dating sim only adds a lot of unnecessary clicks between you and bad porn. Avoid wasting hours on navigating through dialogue trees and playing bad minigames for hand-drawn softcore porn at all costs.

Feb 13, 2009

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