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Game Review: Dream Daddy

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Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator is the newest indie dating game that has stolen hearts of its players.

 

At first, Dream Daddy was perceived to be just another interesting take on the ever-popular dating sim. You know how they work – a single character, a bunch of attractive would-be lovers and you must learn what they like to get their affection and cement your love. Not to say that you don’t have to learn about the characters to complete a romance but that isn’t the only thing that this game has to offer.

The story follows your customisable dadsona and your daughter as you back up and moves to a new part of town. You meet the other dads of the cul-de-sac and as you fight your crippling social anxiety to make friends, you might also find love and might even be a good dad to your child.

The characters that have been created are unique and wonderfully endearing. Whoever your favourite dad, you grow attached to all of them. Their stories are different – Mat takes you out to concerts whilst Hugo buys you cheese boards and Craig wants your dadsona to get off their backside and run a little. Each has their own benefits and quirks and, like real life dating, you might mess up without even knowing.

Good endings and bad endings are a thing here people.

Then you have your daughter – Amanda. The relationship between your dadsona and Amanda is definitely an important part of the game, arguably more important than any of the dad romances on offer. She’s quirky and charming and your character naturally worries about her, wants to be a good parent especially because she’s getting older and it’s almost time for her to go to university. You start the game by reminiscing about her childhood and you finish the game preparing to send her off into the world – it’s a very sweet story about letting your child go and be grown but never not loving them.

Of course, there is the option of completely ruining it with Amanda, which I only found out about because of the achievement ‘World’s Okayest Dad’. But really, who wants to ruin the relationship with their daughter?

Games like this rely a lot on dialogue and it doesn’t disappoint. Each character has their own style but each follows the same kind of quirky, humorous and daddiest speech. More than one I found myself laughing to myself because there was just too much wit and that’s definitely a plus point.

Stupid fish puns and dad jokes are rife in this one – you have been warned!

It’s not just straight speech with a future bae though – the stories have mini-games that adjust the pace of the story, including a Pokemon inspired ‘my daughter is better than your daughter’ bragging game and a mini golf game that was more difficult than it previously looked. They’ve innovated and interesting, definitely fun to play – although controls aren’t explained before you begin and that does mean that for the first few seconds you’re floundering, blind and trying to unravel the mysteries of a fishing game.

There are flaws in the length of the game – you wanted there to be more from the individual stories, but it is understood that anything longer would drag and might dampen the impact as a whole. Also, the lack of approval meter is too much like real life. It would be nice to know whether your hot dad is going to kiss you under the sunset or tell you that they just want to be friends.

Dream Daddy is visually gorgeous with brilliantly skilled dialogue and an emotive story, that will draw you in and make you want to replay so that you can try out every avenue on offer.

Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator was released July 20th and available on Steam.

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