I heard of a game called Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker, and I don’t remember how. All I can remember is that it had positive reviews, and I’m always here for more queer-positive games. It’s done by a drag queen (or at least she’s lent her name and voice talent to it), and the trailer looked like campy fun. It got positive reviews, and it was on sale last week because the sequel, Kitty Powers’ Love Life, was released on February 8th. Now, I’m not much into sims, especially not dating sims, but I was willing to give it a go.
From the start, it was slow-going. I had to fill out a questionnaire about myself so that my avatar could go on dates in other people’s games. The character creator is limited, but I really didn’t expect much from this quirky, obviously low budget game. Then, I was quickly shoved into the game, and we were off to the races.
The tutorial is minimal, and it’s not really representative of the game. It gives the best-case scenario, which rarely happens on the dates. The basic premise is you’re helping Kitty run a dating service. Clients come in, and you match them with potential dates. You send them to restaurants where you’ve installed hidden cameras (ew) and give them advice as the date continues.
From the beginning, the dick jokes fly fast and furious. The beginning restaurants are Jerk King (Jamaican), Route 69 (American), and The King’s Helmet (British). Kitty Powers is British, btw. Most of the comments she makes in the game are sexual innuendos, and they are limited in number.
My favorite thing about the game is that there are bisexual clients. You can have a female client looking for a woman, one who’s looking for a man, or one who’s looking for ‘anything’ (I’m sure that’s an ‘I’d fuck anything that moves’ bisexual joke). It sounds stupid, but as a bi person, being able to match someone with a person of any gender is refreshing. You match up your client with a potential date to your best ability, based on criteria such as astrological signs, interests, professions, types (sporty, hipster, geeky, etc.), and different personality traits.
I have issues because it’s not easy to tell what type of person the potential dates are. Supposedly, if you look at their interests and what they look like, you can tell, but it’s not always easy. The graphics are cute, but not really definitive. I can’t tell, say, sporty from hipster or hippie from geeky just by eyeballing the person. Plus, the makeup for the women isn’t all that distinctive except for the natural look. Frankly, it all looks like clown makeup to me.
Then, you have to pick the restaurant. Once that’s done, it’s off to the date. There are mini-games you have to play, and most of them range from annoying to tedious. In one, you have to help your client hold in their flatulence by…get this…playing higher/lower with cards. A card is shown, and you have to guess if the next card will be higher or lower. If it’s a one-star restaurant, you have to do this thrice (I think. Or more. I can’t be stuffed to remember). If it’s a two-star, it’s more times. Probably more for a three-star. That one is juvenile and annoying. The memorization ones are tedious, and the pachinko one is infuriating. There’s a math mini-game as well for figuring out tips, which just seems out of place.
The part where you have to see if their interests match is fine, but I don’t like that if they don’t line up exactly, you get a strike against you. For example. If your client is an introvert and the date reveals they are an extrovert, you can tell the truth which will be a strike against your client, or you can spin the wheel and see if your client will be able to get away with a lie.
Let me back up a minute. The restaurant thing is puzzling to me because sometimes, your client’s date will say that they hate the restaurant you picked. My hypothesis was that if the date had more stars than the restaurant, it would be a bad fit. But that didn’t always happen, which has left me unsure what makes the restaurant a bad fit. My best hypothesis now is that if your client’s date has more stars than the restaurant, there’s a chance they will not like the restaurant. Being a little more explicit with the instructions would be helpful.
That’s one of my complaints in general. I feel as if there is too much RNG in the game. Your client has to be satisfied and so does their date, but I’m still not sure what exactly are the metrics behind that calculation. At the end of the date, there are three possible things your client can say. How they feel about the date will decide which options will be available. The best basically asks the date to be their beloved. The middle is neutral and asks for another date. The third is a ‘let’s be friends’ and leads to a broken heart for your client, regardless of the fact that they were the ones not interested. To make it even more complicated, if you offer the neutral option and the date replies neutrally as well, you then have to choose whether you want to push it or not. At first, I kept making my clients say no because pride baby! But that always led to heartbreak, so I started saying yes, which meant having to go on another date.
The bottom line is to get everyone paired up, but if you have your client tell too many lies, then you get a letter saying they broke up, and you lose reputation points. If they stay together and they didn’t tell any lies, you gain reputation points.
I made it to level 13 or something, but felt I hadn’t played it optimally. I know, I know, it sounds silly to say about a game like this, but I really didn’t like how it was going, so I started over. I immediately ran into a snag with one of my clients.
The thing is, it’s not a great game, and yet, I find myself oddly compelled to play it. Or I did. I went through a date to take the screencaps for this piece, and I rolled my eyes all the way through. I want to like this game. I’m glad the bi option exists. It’s campy fun, but it just misses the mark for me. I may try the sequel, but I’ll probably wait until it’s on sale.