Availability: Free, Download
Format: Visual Novel
Genre: Waste of Time
Found at Itch.io
My Scores (Out of 5):
I'm going to forgo my usual template and just come right out with one question: What is so offensively awful about wanting to play a dating sim, that someone out there feels compelled to release a Hate Letter about it?
This “game” is a waste of time. It even gloats that it is a waste of time, and it chides you for wasting your time playing games instead of achieving important things in life. Well, I have news for this author and anyone else with the same mentality: Playing a dating sim is not the same thing as wasting your entire life. Sometimes people come home from a long day at either work or school and want to veg out, either with a movie, book, or—yes, even a dating sim. It's natural; it's healthy. Do you know what happens to people who constantly work with no rest? They burn out. They're the people who die at age forty with a pile of wealth and no friends. They're the people who spend all their hard-earned cash on therapists because they can't be satisfied with all they've achieved in life. You should never be vilified for just wanting some entertainment.
Not only is it important to take a break, no matter what your routine or goals in life, but it's especially important to experience something positive, like a funny story or a smile from a loved one. Date Almost Anything Sim presented itself as something positive, both intentionally and possibly unintentionally. Intentionally, it presented itself as a dating sim, which usually allows players to experience a work of fiction with a happy ending (or at least a satisfying catharsis, in the case of tragedies). Personally, I expected a surreal comedy based on the idea of literally dating anything, from mermaids to muffins. Comedy causes laughter, which improves health and raises life expectancy. Furthermore, experiencing something creative can help improve your own mind, which is why literature, art, and music are vitally important to any school's curriculum. When I see something that is outside of my usual experiences, by however much, my mind expands and I become enriched as a person, able to consider more possibilities and adapt quicker to new ideas.
Fiction is valid. Fiction is important. It doesn't matter if that fiction is a horror novel, a cartoon about ponies, or a computer dating sim. Whenever an author shares their work with you, they are sharing their knowledge and experiences, however indirectly. When Hans Christian Andersen wrote The Little Mermaid, he shared not just a fantasy story, but the pain of unrequited love and a warning about throwing everything away on someone who may not even return your feelings. Uncle Tom's Cabin helped the Abolitionist movement by forcing many to see Black people as characters instead of props for the first time. Mad Max: Fury Road caused a backlash in the MRA because it supposedly lured male audience members in with cars and explosions only to subject them to feminist ideas. Are you seeing the pattern, here? Sharing a work of fiction is as much an exchange of ideas as debating with someone face to face, even if the idea is that there is no order to the universe (look up Dada, for example).
So, yes, I was hoping to spend a little time, out of my busy life, playing a dating sim. Is this a waste of my time? Only if the author, like here, deliberately makes it so. Even then, I won't call this a waste, since it directly led to me putting into words something that I've long believed and that I think others should know, especially anyone out there who needs to feel validated about their hobby. This means that Date Almost Anything Sim has failed on every front:
- The writing is stupid, and one should never use emoticons in dialog for these games since, A) nobody is hearing the words semi-colon, letter u, semi-colon, and B) Facial expressions are what the art is for.
- The artwork is lazy, using photographed backgrounds and outright fading to black for some segments.
- The game is boring, giving me flashbacks to my first job, and the Options and About sections of the menu are poorly coded.
- The author wanted to waste my time and then make me feel bad about it. See the above essay. I rest my case.