Five Dates

The selection of FMV games seem to have increased substantially in recent years. Now with Netflix exploring the gaming space and experimenting with choose your own adventure style films we might see these games act as a gateway to gaming for non-gamers. FMV games no longer require long loading screens or jarring gameplay, as the choices you make can seamlessly flow during the videos as they play. Five Dates feels less like a game and more like a movie you are in control of.

Five Dates is a game where you take control of Vinny’s choices as he signs up for digital dating during the pandemic. The first choice is Vinny’s profession, and then you choose three activities you like, with the final choice being Vinny’s star sign. Next you choose three of five women to go on a date with. Each woman has their own quirks, profession, and star signs that will affect the selections you gave Vinny. They will all accept the first date, but you will have to work harder for the second and third final date. After you’ve gone on the first three dates, you choose which two girls you would like to see again. If those two dates go successful you may choose one of those two for the finale.

Playing through the game twice I saw two hundred of the nearly eight hundred scenes. On my first playthrough I didn’t get accepted for a third date with my choices. So I played through again and this time had each woman accept the next date. I also chose the two women I hadn’t selected to see the variety in the characters. Pleasantly, all the characters were not at all stereotypical and the ones that seemed to be at first glance were deeper the more you got to know them. The second dates reveal many details about your dates as you play games like “Truth or Dare” with them. The third date is a dinner date where you both lay everything out. Vinny as your conduit though every choice plays the part well whether he is agreeable, or argumentative. At the end of each date Vinny debriefs with his best friend about how the date went. These interactions sell Vinny’s character depth to the player because you are seeing the side of him that is unabashedly truthful because he can’t hide it from his friend.

The pandemic is a brilliant device for keeping the characters from meeting up in real life, and plays a major part in the game. It’s amazing how well produced the game feels considering it was released during the pandemic too. It feels like they actually had the actors shoot their scenes from their own home. They are all wearing the same headphones, and I imagine they were just sent a camera, a microphone, and a light source as well. The actors are all unknowns, yet they make the scenes flow and bring the right emotion with the right level of volume as if they recorded the scenes together. All these things make the scenes string together better than any FMV game I’ve ever played making every choice feel real.

In the FMV space Five Dates is great. The developer Wales Interactive has figured out the formula for making memorable choose your own adventure games. This is a fun one to play with your friends or significant other and choose the choices together. If you want more gameplay than selecting a choice this game won’t be for you. You can finish this within an hour, and when replaying you can skip the scenes you’ve already completed allowing you to see what could have been. Ten Dates, the spiritual sequel is out tomorrow and promises a bigger budget, with characters dating in person. If it’s anything like this it’ll be another enjoyable experience.

Available on PS4, XboxOne, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac.

Robert Ring


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Robert Ring

Follow me at There I talk about MOVIES, TV, and GAMES!

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