Availability: Free, Online/Browser
Format: Dress-Up Game
Genre: Modern Romance
My Scores: (Writing: 2, Art: 3, Gameplay: 3)
In Perfect Date, you are expecting a gentleman caller to come over for dinner. Everything about this evening must be arranged perfectly in order to win his love.
I hate the premise of this game. Let me just make that clear from the get-go. I concede a 2 to the writing score, because it has an adequately written plot (for a dress-up game) and synopses for the datable guys, but as a modern woman with feminist leanings, I am angered by the ideas this game puts forward and would like to simply give it a 0.
As a hopeless romantic, I can understand the desire to dress up all pretty and make dinner for a guy you like. I can understand wanting everything to be "just so". I get that. But the game makes it clear that failure to do these things will not only sway whether the relationship advances, but whether he realizes that you're even interested in him in the first place!
Men, if a woman invited you to her house for a candle-lit dinner, would you spend the evening wondering if she was interested in you romantically? Would you assume that, because she didn't wear your favorite color that night, that she must be completely repulsed by you? True, men have a reputation for being dense (particularly where matters of the heart are concerned), but this is just stupid.
It suggests an extreme level of shallowness, which is what I find frightening. It suggests that a girl has to be "on" all the time---not even: it suggests that a woman has to cater to her man's every whim and fancy just to be noticed. Is that not a dangerous message to send to young girls? "Do everything he likes, the way he likes it, or he won't love you."
...And who wallpapers their house for a dinner date?!
The art is so-so. It's definitely Western in design, and sort of reminds me of those E-Surance commercials. It seems to be of a professional quality--smooth, clean, okay proportions, etc.-- although it doesn't really seem to have a lot of life in it. Also, the girl and her dates seem to be drawn in two different styles, which is a bit odd. Overall, I give it a resounding "Meh."
Most dress-up games are more like toys than games. Perfect Date does get points for actually having win/lose conditions. There isn't much challenge once you take into account the little red bar that fills up further when you choose a correct item, and some levels have more than one "correct" selection, which gives you a little more choice. There is also a little mini-game involving heating up dinner in the microwave; but be careful not to burn it, Ladies, since no man wants a girlfriend who can't cook!
Admittedly, this game has a lot more substance than most dress-up games do; it has a plot, some flavor text for the guys, and winnability. It's not just a paper doll. Unfortunately, the insane shallowness in the premise makes me lose all respect for this game, and I find myself wondering what is wrong with Western society that this is the only girl-oriented dating game I could find that isn't based on something Japanese.
But then, this is just my opinion. Maybe you'll think I'm over-reacting, and that I shouldn't get so worked up over a light piece of fluff. Or maybe you'll want to see this game tossed into the deepest, darkest pits of the internet. Feel free to speak your mind in the comments.