In recent times surreal humor has gained a place in society’s conscience. The mere mortals have finally tasted the pure gibberish that younger generations have been carefully hatching for months if not years. Between nuked memes and AAAAAAAA, the humor of the internet has evolved slightly, and because it is an ever-changing landscape it is hard to make a game that would work within this context. Thankfully, it seems that Dialtown: Phone Dating Sim might be getting there.
An SCP-worthy experience
It’s honestly a bit hard to write about Dialtown: Phone Dating Sim just because of the raw chaotic energy it oozes. The game starts with a waffle-eating dog (a god of this realm, it would seem) asking you to create a “character”. And I use quotation marks because what you create is a phone or typewriter-headed human/lizard monstrosity.
And you NEED to lay eggs somewhere nice, dank, and with food nearby. Obviously the best spot for it is a nearby fairground, there’s hotdogs and a lot of grease — but alas! Jerry the Ticket Guy wants TWO WHOLE DOLLARS for an entry. But there is a way: being a leech and using someone to pay for a Two-for-One type of deal for dates, since it’s Valentine’s Day. The objective is obvious.
And no, I couldn’t get Jerry to go on a date with me.
I’m having a breakdown about clowns not being real in the middle of downtown
This is where the actual game opened up — I was allowed to travel between locations while seeking a suitable mate. It took me a while. Between talking with random people on the street about unemployment, trying to open a bank account (which I failed to do) and knocking on random people’s doors there are a lot of interactions.
The game looks like a lot of other dating sims. Most of the time the players will be looking at a background with some characters, mostly reading text, and sometimes there will be some extra images. Normal stuff — but what isn’t normal is what’s on the images and in the text.
The fact that everyone has a weird head (be it a phone, a typewriter or a printer) mixed with the odd filters put on the backgrounds makes everything seem just a tiny bit eerie. The music adds to it — being well constructed (and some tracks even use phone and typewriter sounds) — the whole mix puts you on a very slight edge and never really lets go.
Please, let go.
Except when you let go to laugh. Either because of the sheer absurdity of the whole situation or a very poignant comment someone just made. Dialtown: Phone Dating Sim had me in stitches at a few points between slight chuckles and grabbing my head in disbelief about what kind of atrocities against god I was witnessing.
And there are a lot of those — you are a truly detestable… person? Cryptid? It’s hard to know for sure. Full of eggs, with scratches and stitches all over, and six nipples apparently. It’s not easy to find a mate like that, but there are a few options. I failed most of them and had to settle for Randy. We all know a Randy — and we all want to kick him, he knows what he did.
I don’t really know how to finish this, because once I managed to lay my eggs and finish that scene, the demo I got crashed. But maybe that was for the best. Maybe I need to be under a strong influence of something next time I try to enjoy this thing.
Dialtown: Phone Dating Sim has a demo on Steam, and will be coming out there as well. Let us hope it’s just contained there, I worry what could happen if it lays its eggs somewhere else.