REVIEW: Speed Dating For Ghosts - Nintendo Switch
Updated: Jun 8, 2020
Do You Believe in Love After Life?
Speed Dating for Ghosts lets players experience speed dating, with a twist. First of all, everyone you meet is a ghost, second of all, you too are a ghost. Developed by Copy Chaser Games - an independent video game developer run by Ben Gelinas and friends - Speed Dating For Ghosts is a visual novel game with players selecting dialogue options to delve deeper into the ghosts' backstories with the aim to take one out on a date at the end of the event.
There are 10 ghosts to meet and 3 rooms to encounter them in. At the start of the game players are asked to choose 1 of 3 rooms; Room of Palms, Room of Lyres and Room of Black. Once inside each room, players are presented with a ghost who tells you why they are there, how they died and what their life was like - if you dive deep enough. If you don't like the ghost at first glance though, there are more blunt dialogue options available that cause the conversation to draw to an end. At the sound of a bell, the ghosts move on and you are presented with your next talking partner and so on. This happens 3 times, after this round the same ghosts are then reintroduced to you and you have the opportunity to get to know them better. The third and final round sees players deciding which ghost they liked the best and so the two of you go on a date. It is here that we learn more of the ghost's backstory and eventually the game comes to a close.
The beauty of this game is it's replayability, although the first play through is only 30 or so minutes in length, you are able to start again in another room immediately after. Once you have played all 3 rooms, gone back and been on a date with all 9 of the first contestants, there is a special 10th dateable character who you meet earlier in the game. If this still isn't enough, there was an expansion pack released in December last year where players encounter 3 new ghosts as well as a new ending where you can revisit and mingle with all the ghosts you've met so far! Once you've done all of this the 'Graveyard' will be complete and you will be able to find out more about your favourite ghosts by looking at their now completed profile; as well as replay the date you had with them. All of these optional extras make the game worth playing through to unlock all the characters, hear all their stories and experience all of their dates.
Speed Dating For Ghosts is a unique experience that does so much with so little; all characters designs look effortless utilising only black and white colouring with thin lines, vivid coloured backgrounds and a soft handwritten style font that is both aesthetically pleasing and easy on the eyes. The only controls needed to master the game include the analogue stick/D-pad to hover over your chosen reply and A to select it (talking exclusively about the Switch version here). This game can also be played using the Switch's touch screen to easily select the options laid out in front of you. I originally played this game docked, connected to the TV however, I believe it feels like more of a personal experience playing handheld as if you were reading a book to yourself. Which tends to be the case with visual novel games.
Although at face value, Speed Dating For Ghosts looks like a basic game that doesn't allow players to interact very much it is its charm, sentimentality and comedy that sets it apart from other visual novel games on the market. With highlights including; visiting ghosts' alive relatives to help them understand what happened to their loved ones and certain ghosts being bolder and asking you to assist them in a bank heist or simply telling you that they are interested in "BoOooOoooOoobies". Not a pun, a real quote from the game. Each ghost you encounter has their own coloured background, own personality and even own musical score - with some appearing sweeter and others a little more menacing.
Although short, Speed Dating For Ghosts is a delightful game full of wit and charisma. I was intrigued to learn about all the ghosts I encountered, some of which may have even made me feel existential at times. Despite feeling a tad repetitive, the story was engaging enough to pull me through the monotonous controls and left me wanting more ghosts to date. It was the perfect game to get me through self isolation and I recommend it to anyone who is already a fan of visual novels, wants a slower paced escape from reality or is just interested in dating ghosts.
Speed Dating For Ghosts is available on Steam, Nintendo Switch and iOS/Android now.
For more reviews from me, see what other video games I have reviewed on Nerd Out Word Out as well as my own blog hopeelizab.co.uk