[Beyond PlayStation] Five Dates Review
Can the interactive dating app in Five Dates earn a 5-star review? Or will it be a dud? Let’s find out in our Five Dates review!
2020 has changed a lot about how we socialize. Grabbing a cup of coffee, getting a quick bite with friends, or having a lovely dinner party. These things and others have had to drastically change in 2020. One of the aspects I personally hadn’t thought much about was dating. Enter Five Dates, a full-motion video adventure on the Nintendo Switch that covers this exact topic. Conceptualized and developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Five Dates comes to us from Wales Interactive and the director, producer, and developers of interactive sci-fi FMV thriller The Complex. Is it possible to replicate the “new normal” digital dating experience effectively in this interactive story?
Five Dates stars Vinny (Taheen Modak), a young professional who takes the plunge and signs up for a dating app during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in London. Supporting Vinny on this endeavor is Callum, his best friend and undoubtedly the star of this show, played by Demmy Ladipo. The two have a lot of fun banter between the dates Vinny goes on. The performances here are pretty spot-on, however stereotypical they may be. It is impressive that this game was conceptualized and delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic, however shallow the story may feel at times.
Each playthrough of Five Dates will have Vinny initially matched with three women. Each of the women in the story is presented as a cliché character, from the hipster vegan to the hot-shot lawyer and the social media influencer. You’ll go on first dates with them and answer their questions in the form of quick-time events. Choose your responses, see how the women respond… rinse and repeat. The second date narrows the field to two women whom Vinny then plays a game with – of their choosing. Never Have I Ever or a Tarot reading sound interesting to you? Yeah, me neither… One final dinner date gives Vinny the chance to “seal the deal” with one of them. This is going to be the gameplay loop for each of your runs with Five Dates.
The real crux of this is that the player really doesn’t know anything about Vinny. Is he close to his family? Distant? Somewhere in between? It doesn’t seem to matter, since you can choose whatever you want to either impress or distress your respective dates. Due to the game’s nature, I enlisted the assistance of my wife for this one. Neither of us has ever used a dating app, so we had a hoot laughing at the cringy scenarios and stereotypical responses. Having Vinny be a bit of a blank slate allowed us to craft whatever story we wanted for him, but it is a pretty straight-forward experience, with the variety coming from the different women you can date and the way said dates could go.
In the end, something that is very impressive about Five Dates is that it was conceived and delivered during the COVID-19 pandemic in which it is set. Starting any type of project during the pandemic and actually completing it is a huge ordeal, especially when having to direct actors remotely. If you’re a fan of FMV adventures and a fan of what Wales Interactive has been delivering on Nintendo Switch, then this is a good option, thanks to its $12.99 asking price.
This Five Dates review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Wales Interactive.