Five Dates (PC Game Review)


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Five Dates (released in 2020) is yet another Full Motion Video choose your own adventure style games from Wales Interactive. I'm on a bit of a splurge with these games at the moment... they are short in playtime, don't take too much brainpower to play (I'm a bit exhausted from travelling at the moment...), and take a up stupidly large amount of storage space from the videos! So, short play time, low brainpower, and the desire to finish and free up SSD space.... all worthy goals!

The Setup

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Five Dates is set during the Coronavirus pandemic lockdowns in London. You play the character of Vinny, a guy who has just been introduced to a dating app that is trying to connect the singles of London during this difficult period with video dating.

The first thing that you will do is to set up your dating profile with a number of broad interests and star signs and all the rest of that sort of thing.

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... honestly, I've never used a dating app in my life (I know my brother has...), and all of it was quite weird and odd to me. In some ways, it felt like you were filling out a job application or something... listing all your interests and details. Strange...

The Game

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... but when you are done, you jump straight in the game. The tutorial involves talking with your friend... this introduces you to the basic timed branching question mechanic that is the staple game mechanic for all of these Wales Interactive choose your own adventure style games. A bit of light "bro" moments, and then you are off to try and find the online love of your life...

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So, the dating app returns five (hmmm... that might have something to do with the title of the game?) matches to your profile... and because you are a tight-arse, or perhaps due to the mechanics of a game... you are restricted to choosing only three girls to meet in a video first date.

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... and thankfully, all three accept.

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Each date is a short 5-10 minute story played out in a branching conversation between Vinny and the date... after each date "round", you are invited to drop one of the contestants (sorry, dates) until you are left with a single date in the last and third round. These conversations have different characters and flows depending on the girl and the responses that you provide as Vinny.

What does keep the game interesting is that each relationship will have its own particular and unique "hurdle" to overcome and reconcile between the characters. One of the characters has panic attacks, another seemed to drink way way way too much, and another seemed to be a habitual liar/embellisher...

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Ultimately, you do reach the end of the dating rounds... the above graphic shows the extent of content that I managed to explore on a single run of the game. Interestingly enough, the dates that I chose not to pursue logged as failed dates... weird! As you can see, there is quite a great deal of content that I didn't manage to explore...

Visuals, Sound and Performance

The game is beautifully shot and the acting is pretty good... other Wales Interactive games in the past have not been that great from the point of view of acting, often feeling a bit hammy and overacted. But the characters of Five Dates were endearing, and quite relatable.. I really actually quite enjoyed watching the dialogues play out! The only exception being the male friend of Vinny... but I think that I just don't really get into the "bro" culture at all...

Performance-wise, this should pretty much run on anything that play a video...

My Thoughts

Five Dates has been one of the more enjoyable video choose your own adventure games that I have played... the acting has really been a step above all the rest so far, and that is essentially what makes or breaks these games. After all, you are essentially watching a short video series with minimal gaming choice breaks for interaction.

The down side to these games... well, I just don't have the emotional or interest investment or curiosity to want to try and capture all or even a few more of the 766 total scenes... So, a nice short game, but the replayability hook just isn't there.

Review Specs

Played at 1080p (144Hz) on:

XMG Fusion 15

CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H
RAM: 16 GB
Storage: SSD (SATA/Nvme)
GPU: Nvidia GTX 2070 Max-Q

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I was wondering what the reply hook would be, I think a lot of games fail in trying to get that replay hook down.


Yeah, I often find that there is really little to entice me to play again... plus, I need to clear the backlog!