Title: Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker
Platform: PC and Smartphones via iTunes/Google Play (PC version reviewed)
Developer: Magic Notion
Release date: April 22
Family Focus: Click here for more information.
Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is a fascinatingly unique game compared to others that are currently out there in the scene. I mean sure, you’ve got your dating sims that do things in their own way (i.e. Hatoful Boyfriend and even Catherine to an extent), but to memory I don’t believe there many games out there that tackle one of humanity’s most complex and tricksome puzzles.
Those early few dates
Thankfully, you’re not the one in the spotlight attempting to woo the person of interest. You are Kitty’s one and only employee in a brand new branch of her dating agency. Through use of selective matchmaking and careful advice via a hidden earpiece, your aim is to instruct your client through the many hurdles of the date in the hope of sealing the deal at the end.
To best explain the game, let’s take you on a journey of yours truly advising a client. Here I am!
Before you begin, you must create your in-game avatar, answering questions on your own preferences and setting up your looks. I named my avatar Eddie Nygma (easy reference!) and followed Kitty’s quiz through. One cool option available is the ability to share your (anonymised) avatar for insertion into other people’s games. Over time, the game will collect data on the successes of your avatar’s dates and will eventually create a profile for your ideal date! Pretty cool.
Now, fresh for a day at work, Eddie has to pick his first client for today.
If you read my preview earlier, you’ll read that I touched on the game’s openness to sexual preference. Clients could be interested in men, women or even both; regardless of whatever gender they might be, the options are all possible. This no-fuss method of presenting modern sexuality is really good to see. This single point could easily warrant an entire feature on games and sexuality, but I’ll summarise to say that things like this should be done a lot more.
Eddie’s decided to help out Elliot, who’s on the hunt for the next man in his life. At this point, you must assess your book of potential dates to figure out whether their interests and preferences line up. Of course, in dating nothing is perfect, so even just interests within a similar area will gel well. Here, Elliot likes frilly knickers whilst Faris likes Haute Couture. I may not be 100% on this, but my hunch is that Faris is glam-kinda guy like Elliot.
Kitty will regularly chime in with some useful tips, often with a wee pun that’ll surely make you chuckle. New to the PC version of the game compared to its smartphone predecessor is the provision of Kitty’s voice, along with some mumbles from the clients and dates. They add a lovely dash of charm to a game that is pretty hard to not giggle at.
Should you wish, you can pretty up your client to match your date’s tastes if you wish. The agency’s salon can be upgraded over time and with a wee bit of coin, can transform your client into the perfect date for the night ahead (assuming all goes to plan of course)
All sorted, it’s time to head to the restaurant. Following through the courses of the meal, mini-games and memory tests fill the date in order for you to deliver successful instructions to your client. Here, the ‘Love Handle is spun for a plethora of potential conversation topics.
Here, your memory has to be switched on! If you can’t remember what interests the date has, it could land you in hot water! If things don’t quite add up, you could always tell a wee bit of a lie to please your date, however as with real dating it’ll all go belly up if you’re found out!
Mini-games are plentiful during a date, which is one of the primary mechanics. They range from remembering the menu to telling a story by matching memory clouds up, like so!
If you do well, your date will be impressed with you. After all, showing positive qualities of yourself almost always scores big in the world of dating. On occasion, some mini-games will pop out of the blue and offer alternative challenges. Probably one of the most amusing ones I spotted was my client suffering from an incoming case of flatulence. Farting on a date is a big no-no, so your date must hold it in! Doing it Brucey’s Price Is Right style, a wee game of Higher or Lower ensues to figure out whether or not the date’s nostrils will flare up in disgust, or continue unaware of the trauma faced by your client.
Of course, all good dates must come to an end, leading to the most nervewracking question a singleton asks…
Pass or fail, a score is blessed on you which bestows you with tasty money to upgrade your agency and open it up to new dates in new locations. As you grow your agency and set up successful relationships, your reputation grows and allows you to take on more and more challenging dates. The money earned can also be spent to open up to new restaurants, offering fresh challenges within.
How did Eddie’s client get on? Thankfully, the pair really hit it off and are now in a happy relationship! Huzzah!
Packaging together a suite of fun mini-games to put a light-hearted spin on the complicated world of dating is certainly quite the tricky task. Here, I can say for certain that the game has definitely succeeded. Its style and charm is rather unique compared to most video games out there which might polarise some, however I would encourage everyone to have a look at this. Not many games have had me chuckling at the screen like this game has, and in a way I’m sticking around to see what that final profile for Eddie turns out to be. Perhaps it might be useful!
Aside – There was one particular question my client asked a date that really got me giggling for ages. When assessing the date’s spiciness, my client asked if his date would rather watch cute cat videos online or twerking videos. Fortunately, both of them are quite spicy and shared agreement for the twerking! I can now imagine their first wedding dance already…
What Rocks! :)
- Unique charm with plenty of giggles
- Approach to openness is extremely well done
- Voice-acting adds a great boost to the art style
- Mini-games sure to have you laughing. (Higher or lower, will your date pop a blower?)
What Sucks :(
- Not a main story present as such, however each date is a story in itself
Funnily enough, I’d actually recommend this to folks of many ages. Young or old, there’s plenty to have fun with here. Whilst there are mentions of spiciness when the subject is raised, for the most part there’s very little in terms of offending content. Plus, the minigames are suitable for folks of all ages. In a way, its approach to dating could perhaps be quite educational. especially when it comes to gaining appreciation that same-sex relationships can happen.