I know, I know. I’m a book reviewer, not a video game reviewer. But the fucking narrative in this thing, friends… I’m floored.
I played this thing almost non-stop from start to finish. It took me roughly ten hours, though there were breaks in between where I left it running while I got food or pestered my dogs and so on.
There’s so much cool shit in this game, okay? Starting right with the character creator, where you can make your character a trans dude who wears a binder (Damien, one of the romanceable dads, is trans too!). You can also be fat if you want to be. On top of that, there’s a huge variety of skin tones available.
And man buns, if that’s what you’re into.
The basics of this game are: you’re a single dad who has just moved to a new neighbourhood with your eighteen-year-old daughter, Amanda. The neighbourhood welcomes you with open arms and you are given seven dads to choose from. You can date all of them to a point, but can only go on the third and final date with one. There are multiple endings per dad (not all of which are romantic), and two endings for Amanda.
The biggest marketing draw for me before playing, and for most people, was the promise of a veritable fountain of dad jokes. I live for that shit. I was expecting a light-hearted, silly little game. And you know what? That was definitely there. I laughed A LOT. Screaming laughter that had my parents worried I was being murdered. I probably scared the family pets and possibly even deafened every dog in the neighbourhood. The game is uproariously funny at times. I love my puns, okay?
So, yeah. There’s a lot of silliness in this game, but there’s also something else that is absolutely central to this game…
Feels. The game is full of them. They will smack you in the face.
I am not fucking around here, okay?
YOU. WILL. PROBABLY. CRY.
I almost did, and I rarely cry over fictional characters. Ever. So take it from me: keep some tissues on hand because shit gets EMOTIONAL. The potency of feels will vary depending on the dad, but HOO BOY I PICKED THE CAPTAIN OF THE FEELS STARSHIP. I’ll talk about him in a sec.
There are two huge reasons why I loved this game so much. First of all, your character’s daughter, Amanda. She’s such a witty little shit. And a sweetheart. And occasionally a demon in human form. She is partially responsible for the emotional rollercoaster that is this game:
Second of all, and also partially responsible for my emotions, is my favourite dad and captain of my feels trip: Mat.
I mean, honestly. He’s perfect. Funny as anything, for starts. But he’s also awkward as fuck and so much of the shit that comes out of his mouth feels like it describes my capabilities when it comes to dealing with people. That is to say, I’m bad at people. He has a great deal of social anxiety, which will be endlessly relatable to so many people, including me.
I came to really, really like the other dads as well (Robert, or as the achievements call him, Knife Dad, is probably my second fave), but Mat was the first one I met and he wormed his way into my heart from the outset. He lives there now. I absolutely adored his story arc. I ended up getting the friend ending for him, so I guess I’ll just have to play with him as my chosen Daddy again. What a hardship that is not. (I played my first playthrough without a guide, but I’m thinking I’ll have to use one the next time around. Apparently there’s an ending with one of the dads where you can die? I don’t know, but I’m not taking chances next time. Update: I used a guide and romanced everyone. I love them all. Except Joseph.)
In short: I came for the dad jokes, stayed for the feels trip. Join me. It’s rad.
DREAM DADDY: A DAD DATING SIMULATOR is available on Steam.
PS: Check out my livetweet below. I had to limit what I tweeted because I didn’t want to get too spoilerific. There was an image of Mat near the end of his arc that I was dying to share but I could not, in good conscience, take the surprise away from the good folk who read my tweets.
This tweet is a thread. tl;dr I called him Cecil Snapdragon for no reason at all aside from the fact he looks like a Cecil. I cannot explain the Snapdragon part.
Love at first sight tbh:
I think my dadsona and Amanda were talking about my character’s previous husband here (sidenote: you can pick the gender of your former spouse) but I don’t remember exactly:
More Mat fangirling:
Speaks for itself:
I honestly thought I was getting a booty call when this happened lmao:
THIS FUCKER PRINTED OUT SMUTTY FANFIC AND BOUND IT INTO A BOOK
I’m glad my daughter wasn’t here to see this:
Why am I being called out like this:
This random supporting character was incredible:
We’ve all been there:
This is an emotional breakdown thread about Mat:
I’m still having a breakdown:
I stopped posting pics right at the end because I was worried about spoiling people but:
So, if my above review didn’t convince you to get on this game, maybe my raw unfiltered emotional breakdown over everything these characters do will convince you.
It’s an incredible game and I’m so glad I spent the $15 USD on it. I’m writing the bulk of this review painfully late at night (which I have now posted at a much more reasonable hour) and I have to keep stopping myself from opening the game to play again. I NEED TO GO TO BED.
PLAY THIS GAME. IT IS LOVE. IT IS LIFE.