During the dates, Vinny will have to answer questions that the women ask in order to see if they are a good match. Players will be able to choose Vinny’s answers based on the information that the date provides. The only issue is, the player has no idea whether or not they are telling the truth as they know nothing about Vinny, and unlike actual dating, it seems that Vinny’s identity simply changes to match the answers that are given. For instance, the player can choose whether Vinny is a vegetarian, vegan, or meat-eater, and his similarities to the date will give him a better chance of getting another date.
In between dates, the player can listen in on video chats Vinny has with his friend Callum. This adds a transition period between the dates, but the video adds very little to the story except giving the player a lengthy recap of the dates, and giving Vinny time to peruse his date’s social media profiles. Again, this interaction doesn’t seem to give any clues as to what the right decision is with a given date. After recapping, players will be able to choose two women to have a follow up date with. Choosing the right answers during dates will increase their chances of saying yes. The same repetitive formula continues, until finally there is one woman remaining, and the game ends.
Once the player has chosen the final woman and exchanged numbers, it ends very anticlimactically. Vinny will simply continue talking to them, and players are left wondering whether or not they have made the “right” decision, or they missed something. It’s almost as if the goal of the game was simply choosing the most agreeable answers so that he has a large number of dates to choose from, and not choosing the best match for Vinny. This confusion and lack of motivation causes Five Dates to fall short of the excitement and entertainment other dating simulations like I Love You Colonel Sanders!
The stale acting viewed in cutscenes and low-level interactivity may have been overlooked if the game was better thought-out. With deeper explanation that clarifies the goal of the game and implementation of important clues directing players to the “right” choice, players could have tested their memory and attention to detail, as well as their decision-making skills. In Five Dates, the player is simply asked to randomly pick the most entertaining girl to date, creating the most agreeable boyfriend to match her. It may be amusing to see how many choices can be changed to create different outcomes, but Five Dates doesn’t live up to the potential its premise provides, and its too-malleable lead sees it land in no man’s land instead.
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Five Dates is available on Play Station 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. Screen Rant was provided with a Steam code for the purposes of this review.