On my first playthrough, I went with Ryan, who is brought unawares to a speed dating event by Misha

On my first playthrough, I went with Ryan, who is brought unawares to a speed dating event by Misha

Billed as “an interactive rom-com,” Ten Dates is an FMV game where you can choose from a male or female lead and pursue a number of different potential relationships. With hundreds of scenes to unlock, there’s definitely a lot to see here, if you’re so inclined, and the two leads are played well enough to keep the proceedings interesting. Where Ten Dates stumbles a bit is in its lack of diversity and some frustrating gameplay issues.

After starting a new game, you choose between red-head Misha and boyish Ryan, two millennials who are reentering the dating scene after the isolation of the global pandemic

That Ten Dates doesn’t shy away from some challenging political and social topics is admirable for sure, even if the conversations available don’t go too in depth. After some initial protestation about participating, Ryan eventually agrees and ends up meeting four women, each of whom seems to (at least at first) fit into a fairly clear archetype: the Ph.D. student who never leaves the library or the soccer player who eats, drinks, and breathes sports. Misha’s options include a bookish teacher, a jokey frat boy type, and an introverted software engineer. Overall, the cast is played well, and it was easy to find favorites among them whom I wanted to get to know better.

During the speed dating event, which is considered the first date, each pair makes chit chat and occasionally broaches a more serious subject, albeit briefly. During these five-minute or so interactions, you’ll be given a handful of multiple-choice prompts to respond to, such as answering a question, shutting down a particular discussion, or providing a reaction. Given how little of a description you get for some of the choices, it’s not always clear how Misha or Ryan will act based on your choice. It was frustrating in spots to select one prompt and then have the character react in an unexpected way. Another issue is that the dialogue choices are timed, which makes Ten Dates difficult to play with a partner Besök vÃ¥r webbplats. I know that having a time limit is meant to simulate real life, but it would have been nice to have an option, especially during repeat playthroughs, to turn off the timer and reflect a bit more on the dialogue choices available. Finally, although the R button is assigned to skip dialogue/cutscenes and even the end credits that play once you’ve completed one path, I found that it only worked sporadically, which made multiple playthroughs a real drag.

Highlighting the cast themselves, the acting is definitely believable and the cutscenes are filled with moments that felt genuine. There’s an interesting blend of humor, emotion, and awkwardness that carries through the narratives of Misha and Ryan. While most of the dates are between heterosexual partners, there are a couple of same-sex pairings, too. Where Ten Dates could improve, though, is in terms of the overall diversity of its cast, especially given the ethnic makeup of the game’s setting (London).

As the title suggests, however, the focus is on dating, and so each pairing only ever goes as far as a third date

While it might not beat getting proposed to on Valentine’s Day, Ten Dates has more than enough substance to justify a second glance at the bar. It could definitely use more variety in terms of bachelors, bachelorettes, and even venues–with most dates taking place at some type of bar or similar establishment. Nonetheless, there are many, many scenes to unlock and fun conversations to have with the cast as is, and there’s even a menu that indicates how much you’ve seen from what’s available for each potential mate. It may not be love at first sight, but Ten Dates does offer an enjoyable way to pass an evening or two as you try to play matchmaker for Ryan and Misha.

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