Scarlett Shiloh ’19 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Honestly, when I first heard the Game Grumps were making a game, I was assuming something about the adventures of co-hosts Dan Avidan and Arin Hanson through the internet, sort of like a retro platformer type game. Heck, I was expecting something full of internet memes and their usual sense of obscure humor. But this? This is not what I, and seemingly many others, had in mind.
I had to play it.
So I bought it.
And I immediately fell in love.
The Game Grumps have come out with Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator, a game that is funny, cute, heartwarming, and welcoming. Dream Daddy is all about romancing single dads as a single dad yourself, and the co-developers Vernon Shaw and Leighton Gray describe the experience as “full of way too many dad jokes.” Beyond that, however, the game is trans-inclusive, racially diverse, and overall a wholesome dating simulator.
First of all, the shining star of Dream Daddy is its incredible writing. The writers were spot-on; there are way too many dad jokes, and it’s pure gold. Your dadsona (by the way, did I mention you get to decide if your character is trans with the option to give them a binder?) consistently tries to impress his daughter, Amanda, through his lame puns, superior dad arms, inquiries about memes, and overall loving and caring dad nature. Your dadsona is a fantastic dad, as are all the other dads; there is no abuse or neglect used as drama or plot.
All of the dads are legitimately fantastic dads who only want the best for their children. One instance of this that sticks out to me is when Damien Bloodmarch, a Victorian era-obsessed “Goth Dad” has to pick his son, “low-budget Gerard Way” Lucien up from school for nearly killing another student, he doesn’t lash out. He gives him ideas for how to cope with stress and tells him he loves him. Another instance is when a giant dog breaks into the house of Hugo Vega, a serious, no-nonsense teacher at your daughter’s school. His son begs him to keep the dog and Hugo lets him because his son finally called him “dad.” It’s so heartwarming and lovely to see dads being good to their children.
One thing that definitely differentiates Dream Daddy from other dating simulators is its inclusion of minigames. Most dating sims nowadays are straightforward conversation-based games done in an engine specifically made for dating sims. Dream Daddy was developed in Unity, giving it a bit more freedom in how to win your way into your dream husband’s heart. For instance, you can try to get your way through a crowd of concert-goers to go back and find your date. You can stop penguins from escaping from an aquarium because a middle school student is trying to liberate them. You can put a statue back together after accidentally shattering it. And the best part is these games add an additional challenge to the game that involves strategy, and not just knowing what answers to pick.
You can’t really go wrong with a game that’s a refreshing experience from your normal bland dating simulator in terms of diversity, writing, and even gameplay. Even if you’re not a huge dating sim person, I’d recommend just playing it for the writing and gameplay alone, and the excessive amount of dad jokes.