The Game: The Game
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A new dating sim highlights the pickup artist’s ugly game of seduction

The dating sim has been experiencing something of a reexamining of late, finding itself in the broader public eye as iterations upon its core tenants are warped, distorted, and pushed past their typical use cases. Whereas dating sims were once predominantly focused around a male protagonist trying to date—and eventually have sex with—beautiful women, the modern dating sim is unbounded. It rejects the notion that a potential partner is hetrosexual (Kindred Spirits on the Roof and Don’t Take It Personally, Babe, It Just Ain’t Your Story), “perfect” (Katawa Shoujo), or a human at all (Hatoful Boyfriend and Hot Date). The…

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A videogame for anyone who’s felt uncomfortable on the dance floor

Team Lazerbeam, the folks behind Snow Cones and Wrestling With Emotions, started their latest game Dress To Express Dancing Success—a dancing and dating simulator—with the intention of creating their least sensible and least complicated game. And they kind of failed. “Before that we’d been on a pretty bad run of jamming, being really excited, getting super carried away, and having only random bits of our game done by the time the jam was over,” Team Lazerbeam’s Ben Rausch told me. “This disturbing trend started with Snow Cones.” Snow Cones took months rather than the allotted days. Wrestling With Emotions took…

The Rock and The Rock
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Here’s a dating sim about The Rock falling in love with a boulder

“What the hell did I just play?” I pause the game after it’s finished and lean back in my chair, utterly confused. The Rock and The Rock promised five minutes of entertainment and it certainly delivered, although it’s taking longer to process what exactly took place. Created by Kevin Roark Jr., The Rock and The Rock is labeled as a small game/interactive film aimed at telling the story of the inevitable and natural attraction of two rocks. You’re given the option of switching back and forth between the perspective of former WWE wrestler and well-loved actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson,…

Wrestling With Emotions
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Speed dating sim lets you find the burly wrestler of your dreams

Before the dating app Tinder swept the modern dating scene, one of the only examples of gamified wooing was the absurd activity of speed dating. In speed dating, you’re given a limited amount of time to get to know another person, before a klaxon sounds and the next desperate individual shuffles in for your judgement. Instead of genuinely getting to know someone you’re left with asking the same cookie cutter questions, over and over, until one person kind of clicks. The South African Team Lazerbeam poke fun at this old past time in their latest charming dating sim, Wrestling With Emotions. Big…

Tectr
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Play a dating sim about hooking up with erotic architecture

It’s very likely that I fucked a building last night. Now, hold up, I don’t know if I did. We hooked up and then I’m not sure what happened. Unfortunately, the erotic architecture dating sim Tectr doesn’t go beyond depicting your conversation with hot local masonry on a Tinder-style app, and into the awkward realm of human-building coitus. That is an idea for a sequel, though… What this means is I told a horny panopticon that I would push my naked body against a dirty suburb window so it could watch, it then accepted, and I opened “Maps” to find the…