Games of the Year

Five Dates

Five Dates Screenshot 1
Five Dates Screenshot 3
Five Dates Screenshot 5
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Vinny, a millennial from London, joins a dating app for the first time while living in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic. With five potential female matches, Vinny must pluck up courage to video date with wildly different personalities, starring Mandip Gill (Doctor Who) and Georgia Hirst (Vikings).

The viewer’s choices will define Vinny’s interactions with each date and their interest in seeing him again. Amidst a branching, multi-directional chain of conversation topics and deep-dive questions, Vinny is faced with digital game dates, awkward scenarios and unexpected truths.

Five Dates is an exploration of the unpredictable modern dating experience, which follows an average single man as he navigates the world of digital dating. Through his journey, the decisions the viewer makes for him will challenge their own conceptions of attraction and compatibility.

From the publishing studio that brought you The Complex, The Bunker and The Shapeshifting Detective.

Throughout the game, your choices and your interactions will either strengthen or weaken your relationship with your date. The relationship scores are calculated from the start right through to the very end and will affect certain scenarios as well as having consequences in the concluding scenes.

Features

  • A completely live-action romantic comedy, directed by Paul Raschid (The Complex)

  • Entirely conceptualized, filmed and developed during lockdown

  • Over 7 hours of filmed footage, the most amount of FMV footage in any game

  • Real-time Relationship Status Tracking that influences the story as you play

  • Multi-optional storytelling with 10 different outcomes

  • Starring Mandip Gill (Doctor Who), Georgia Hirst (Vikings), Sinead Harnett (singer) and Taheen Modak (Two Weeks To Live)
Promote for 50G

Game Discussion

Review by Anonymous
Review from Steam

Cool, just like real life. Almost all the girls i match hate me, only my homie stands by my side. But i don't have to pay 39.99$ a month for it.
I'll take this as a win.

Review from Steam

I ended up with no one. It's super realistic! :D 10/10

Review from Steam

Summary:
Five Dates is a ‘safe for work’ dating game that lets you play as Vinny, a somewhat customisable character who has just joined a dating app during those happy (not) days of COVID lockdowns, which saw an explosion in the trend of ‘video dating’. With some moderately funny, and some moderately sad scenes, this game does a good job at capturing the online dating scene during the lockdowns, and is perfect for the lonely introverts that enjoy the idea of staying up late talking to a romantic interest, but who have no idea where to start.
Reasons to Avoid:
- Panic scene may distress some viewers.
- You can’t pick all five dates to start with, and the app forces eliminations.
Reasons to Buy:
- Fair replay value.
- Easy to 100% achievements.
- Interesting diversity of characters among cast.
- Acting was very good.
- Atmosphere of dating from home captured well.
- Choices felt fairly meaningful.
Graphics:
Video:
The graphics in this game come down to the quality of the video footage. Some scenes look a little grainier than others, but this is an appreciated detail since we’re supposed to be video calling characters using laptops and phones, and people have different quality hardware. Some scenes are also shot in low light, for those evening dates, and this affects video quality too.
Five Dates is not shot like a movie with cinematic shots – it is a camera pointed at someone’s face, like any video call. There’s nothing flashy to look at but it sets the scene well, and some date scenes actually had a lot of atmosphere despite this. It really was like getting a realistic glimpse into someone’s home – oftentimes cosy and intimate. I enjoyed it.
HUD:
User Interface elements were pleasingly minimal, only really appearing when in app menus, a progress tracking screen, or when you’re given a choice. The interface of the dating app looks professional and convincing, too. Some FMVs have quite awkward UI, but Five Dates felt well-done in this regard.
Gameplay:
If you’ve played these types of games before, it’s more of the same, but for those new to FMVs, they play out like movies that, at certain intervals, offer you interactive choices that ultimately give you control over which way the movie plays out. You don’t move characters like in normal videogames – the pre-recorded scenes have actors act out the choices you make.
It’s probably quite a liberal use of the word ‘gameplay’, but it does have you interact with what’s happening on screen, which I’m very fond of. I often find movies can be a bit of a challenge precisely because they’re so passive – there’s little room for imagination unlike with books and there’s no room for interaction unlike with games. Well, FMVs are the answer to that second issue, if it’s one you resonate with.
Five Dates presents choices quite nicely, I think. They don’t feel too fast and so you have time to think about your decision. Sometimes, characters will comment on/during the time it takes you to decide which I liked as an immersive way to allow you more time to think, without having to awkwardly freeze the video, or, like in other FMVs, force a choice for you so it can move to the next scene.
The fact there are choices at several intervals also gives the game good replay value, to both collect missed achievements (you cannot get them all in one playthrough) and to further explore the characters of the dates.
Story:
Note: There is a mild panic scene where a character suffers from anxiety. More sensitive viewers may find this distressing.
Structure:
The story of this game is told in stages and as you move through each, a dating candidate is eliminated. You start by picking three dates and have your first call with each, then you pick two, then one. This in-game is explained as being the way the app works but it’s perhaps my biggest criticism of the game. Firstly, it necessitates more replays than are strictly necessary meaning that 100% completing the game takes longer, but somewhat artificially. Secondly, because it meant forcefully eliminating someone who you might have preferred to date. Sometimes you’re getting on well with two characters and it would be nice to be able to keep them both rather than just cut off someone who you were fond of. It feels a little bit cold – after all, it’s not like one of them couldn’t have remained a friend.
You:
You can choose what sort of character you are, which affects your chances with the dates. Vinny can either be new to dating or have previous experience. You can pick his interests, zodiac, and career (broadly). Each of these corresponds better to some dates than others.
Dates:
Dates respond differently to you depending on your choices too, which I liked as it gave them an authentic sense of weight, but very occasionally I’d make a choice and not expect a date to respond the way they did. One character particularly took me a few attempts to pass the first date with, and I’m not entirely sure why. We didn’t ‘click’, but I didn’t do anything ‘wrong’, either.
This wasn’t a massively complex system and particularly where your interests, career, and zodiac are concerned, it never seemed to matter more than your choices which I was glad for. They had a soft effect on your compatibility but didn’t lock you out of any part of the game in my experience playing.
There are some moderately awkward scenes that while in no way offensive, do feel a bit cheesy, such as one where a video date must go to ‘clap for the NHS’ (something the UK started doing after Italy decided to honour their healthcare workers) which did feel a bit forced to me, but some might argue it was just an attempt to make the lockdown setting feel a bit more immersive.
Most scenes were well-acted and convincing, though, and the story was enjoyable. Each date has quite a remarkably different character, and they’re played very well by their actresses. Even the characters I didn’t personally like were interesting, and I enjoyed replaying to see what they were like when you made it to the third date – how much of the thing(s) I disliked were really their nature, and how much was just a guard? I think for most, there is at least one character you’ll like, though it is interesting looking at the forums to see that my favourite is hardly mentioned by other users. If you find a character you click with, you can’t help but smile all the way through as you are invited to explore more of the character’s life and interests.
Audio:
The game audio was good. Some scenes sound like they were recorded on a phone in a kitchen because they are recorded on a phone in a kitchen and that’s fine. It’s immersive in this game, in the context of video dates. It is subtle, but those who have careers more tech-orientated noticeably have better quality audio and video. I liked this small detail.
Conclusion:
Overall, Five Dates was an enjoyable FMV with fair replay value and easy enough achievements to 100% taking me about 7 hours. The characters were interesting, though not always likeable, but I feel there is someone there for most people, and when you find someone you like it elevates the game quite significantly.
Small, immersive details like varying sound and video quality set the scene well but apart from the occasional mention of lockdown/NHS clap, you actually wouldn’t know this was set in the pandemic, so if you’re put off because you don’t want to be reminded of those bad years… I wouldn’t be. It’s not something you’re constantly reminded of. I’d recommend this game, particularly on sale – it’s good value against what you’d pay for a typical film.
Thanks for reading! Please leave a like if it was helpful, and if you have any questions, you’re welcome to leave a comment. Follow my Curator for more!

Review from Steam

---{Graphics}---
☑ Lmao it's real life
☐ You forget what reality is
☐ Beautiful
☐ Good
☐ Decent
☐ Bad
☐ Don‘t look too long at it
☐ MS-DOS
---{Gameplay}---
☐ Very good
☐ Good
☑ It‘s just gameplay
☐ Mehh
☐ Watch paint dry instead
☐ Just don't
---{Audio}---
☐ Eargasm
☐ Very good
☑ Good (mild soundtrack and audio ques playing in dramatic moments)
☐ Not too bad
☐ Bad
☐ I'm now deaf
---{Audience}---
☐ Kids
☑ Teens
☑ Adults
☐ All
---{PC Requirements}---
☐ Check if you can run paint
☑ Potato
☐ Decent
☐ Fast
☐ Rich boi
☐ Ask NASA if they have a spare computer
---{Difficulity}---
☑ Just press 'W'
☐ Easy
☐ Significant brain usage
☐ Easy to learn / Hard to master
☐ Difficult
☐ Dark Souls
---{Grind}---
☑ Nothing to grind
☐ Only if u care about leaderboards/ranks
☑ Isn't necessary to progress, only for achievements/seeing other paths
☐ Average grind level
☐ Too much grind
☐ You‘ll need a second live for grinding
---{Story}---
☐ No Story
☐ Some lore
☐ Average
☐ Good
☑ Lovely
☐ It‘ll replace your life
---{Game Time}---
☐ Long enough for a cup of coffee
☐ Short
☑ Average (6 hrs)
☐ Long
☐ To infinity and beyond
---{Price}---
☐ It’s free!
☑ Worth the price
☐ If u have some spare money left
☐ Not recommended
☐ You could also just burn your money
---{Bugs}---
☐ Never heard of
☑ Minor bugs
☐ Can get annoying
☐ ARK: Survival Evolved
☐ The game itself is a big terrarium for bugs
Well, I believe this game owes a fair bit of its high user score to the context of the story and how relatable it is/was when it launched. It's about a guy named Vinny who wants to date ladies in a dating app, during the pandemic.
I didn't have a good opinion about FMV games and I went it with my expectations set to low. And while I wasn't blown away by what I saw, it was definitely largely above my expectations, and it felt engaging enough for me. I guess with a larger budget, FMVs can be fairly competitive to traditional games.
Do be advised though, there might be a few bugs here and there where a few video parts may play twice. It's fairly immersion breaking but nothing game breaking. Also, I found the acting to be really good, especially Vinny's actor did a fantastic job in my opinion; but the script could have been written better in certain parts as well.

Review from Steam

I don't even care about the dates. Turk and J.D. just being BFFs is fun enough

Review from Steam

> Do you ever want kids?
> Never
> You seem so sure about that. Would you consider having kids if it was with the right person?
> No, children are disgusting and a waste of time, energy, and money

Review from Steam

Five dates is FMV launched during the lockdown and COVID time - No one wants to remember those days. The story is about digital dating since no one can leave home. The main character, Vinny signed up on this digital dating system. You'll have to choose three dates out of five, and each day you'll reduce them until you end up with one date, the last date with the 'right one'
In the beginning, you'll have to choose your hobbies and zodiac sign, along with other traits. Whatever you'll choose will change the conversation between you and your date, for example, if you pick Fitness, you'll show that you are an athlete and so on.
After you beat the game once, you'll be able to skip the previously seen conversation by pressing 'Tab' but I've noticed that it also chooses the first option as a response which ruined my second playthrough, I didn't like that.
Pros:
+FMV game.
+Dating story.
+Choices and consequences.
+Choices are timed by default but there is an option to pause them.
+Characters relationships meter (Depends on your choices)
+Multiple endings.
+Steam achievements.
Cons:
-In the second playthrough you can skip the previously seen scenes by pressing 'TAB' but it will automatically pick the first choice in any choices.
-No manual save.
-Short
The concept is nice, and the acting is good, but I found myself bored midway and could never see myself going through those dates again.
Other reviews:
The Bunker Review
Late Shift Review
The Shapeshifting Detective
Dark Nights with Poe and Munro
The Complex Review
I Saw Black Clouds Review
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