‘Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while.’
― William Goldman, The Princess Bride
Ahh, love. Nothing like it in the whole world. There is also nothing like the lengths some people will go to to find love. Bars, clubs, dating apps, blind dates, reality television shows… anything for a chance to mate. There is an entire industry built around helping people find the farmer/doctor/clown/ one-night stand/forever partner of their dreams. But what do you do when you’re an apparition who’s single and ready to mingle?
You go speed dating, of course!
Speed Dating for Ghosts is a text-based dating sim with branching dialog from Copychaser Games, here to help lonely souls find the love of their afterlife.
Ben Gelinas — formerly of BioWare — has made an incredibly charming RPG dating sim that won me over not only with its quirky premise but also with its deeper-than-expected story elements.
You play as a ghost — a ghost who is looking for a heart to haunt. Thankfully, Fran (our Ghostest with the Mostest) has three rooms full of potential suitors. Will you choose the hunky Riley, super-sweet Hattie or maybe Gary? You have nine spirits to choose from, or ten if you play your cards just right. Each one of them has their own story to tell.
Stories are actually where this game excels. I have dated all manner of characters in my time with dating sims and the stories in this game are some the best I have come across. There is so much to discover as the bell rings and you meet ghost after ghost. You can help them, too! Every character has something different they care about or need. I especially loved Hattie’s date. I won’t spoil it, but I will warn you to be prepared for some feelings.
The gameplay mechanics are the standard for most dating sim games. You move through dialog until you can select a choice; simple, clean, point and click. You do have the choice between mouse or keyboard or a combination of both and the game runs very smoothly, with no issues to report.
This game is gorgeous. The art is wonderfully drawn in a style that fits Speed Dating for Ghosts to a tee. It is eerie without being grotesque and scary without being gross. In fact, the character designs are what first attracted me to this title.
The music in the game was written by Mikey Hamm and, just like the art style, it is perfectly suited to the mood of Speed Dating for Ghosts. It is quirky in all the right ways.
In terms of genre innovation, I can’t accuse Speed Dating of turning the world of dating sims on its ear. That’s fine by me — it fits perfectly on the list with some of my very favorite dating simulators. This is a story-rich, well-written gem of a game and it didn’t need to reinvent the wheel to be amazing.
This game can be and should be played more than once or even twice. The branching dialog choices net you some very different results and you may even want to erase your data and start over a few times to be able to date all of the otherworldly romance options. Some of your choices can get you completely rejected by certain spectres, so restarting your files is actually a necessary function if you want a shot at eternal bliss with them.
Speed Dating for Ghosts is available on Steam and is compatible with Windows and Mac. It features Steam achievements and they also offer the soundtrack, either as part of a bundle with the game or separately, if you happen to want it that way.
I can definitely recommend this game. Whether you just love dating games, love ghosts or love all of the above, Speed Dating for Ghosts is well worth your time and attention. The love of your afterlife is waiting for you — go out there and meet them!