Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is arriving on Steam in a couple of days! The game began as an App for iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire. The Steam version features voiceovers from Kitty herself. It’s developed by UK-based Magic Notion and published by Mastertronic. Watch the trailer:
“Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is a hilarious dating simulator with a difference. Manage your own matchmaking agency with the guidance of your fabulous boss, drag queen diva Kitty Powers! Match an endless parade of desperate clients with candidates from Kitty’s little black book and guide them through awkward conversations and dozens of perilous dating dilemmas. As your reputation grows, you’ll unlock new date venues, more demanding clientele and upgrades for your agency. Send your hopefuls out with the right look and perfect gift to maximize their chance of finding love. Are you ready to bring romance to the world? Or will you leave a sea of broken hearts in your wake?”
That’s all you need to know, really! The plot takes a backseat to the gameplay, with your personal role in the story only affecting the reputation of your agency. As you create successful matches, you’ll rise through the ranks, leveling yourself and your business up. You’ll also get grateful (or not so much!) feedback from your clients, which is a really nice touch.
Graphics and Sound
This is a SUPER colorful game, which makes it really fun to look at. All of the characters are pretty varied; there are a lot of customization options for your own character, which are all available for the dating pool characters/customers. This results in a super-diverse clientele – awesome. I love that the pointer is Kitty’s hand; you don’t often see a nail-polished cursor! The interface is super easy to understand without being too cluttered. The sound can, unfortunately, be quite repetitive. There’s not a lot of variation in the soundtrack, and the unintelligible mumblings of your clients and the waiters can be a bit irritating. Kitty herself is great; I wish there was more of her voice!
When the game begins, you create your character for your license; you can also send your avatar out into the dating pool for everyone playing the game if you choose to! I thought this was a neat feature. Your real name won’t be provided when “you” go out on dates, which is nice privacy-wise. There are a TON of customization options, including lots of different skin colors, hair colors, and hair styles. After this, Kitty will take you through a tutorial that shows you the ropes of the dating process. You’ll also pick the first place you want to start catering to; I picked the comic shop.
After that, your clients will start rolling in. You’ll get a list of potential matches and try to pair up your client with the person who they’ll get along with the most. You can compare their interests and preferred hair and eye color to set them up right! Also, you’re going to get straight, gay, lesbian, and bisexual clients, which is awesome. Once you’ve picked a suitable match, they’re off. The conceit is that you’re piped into your client’s ear in order to help them on their date, and there are hidden cameras in the restaurants you send them to. When you first start out, there are three restaurants, and as you level up, you can unlock more.
There are three courses on the date, and about ten mini-games that cycle through; most of these test your memory. You also need to navigate conversation, but don’t bring up the same topic to your date twice or they’ll get bored! This is oddly true even if you’re going on a second or third date; I think you should be able to bring something up twice across two separate dates. A minor quibble is that you can’t change the currency; at least in the review copy I played, I only had GBP available to me. Something else I found odd was not knowing what influenced either persons’ hair and clothing preferences on other people. Otherwise, going on dates is fun, and it better be since it’s the bulk of the game. Playing a whole BUNCH in a row can get repetitive, so I would recommend playing in short bursts.
After the date, you get to find out how the pair is feeling about one another, and you get paid based on how well it went. You might also get level up points if you did a really good job, and your reputation will change if it’s a really good date or a really bad date. Then you begin the cycle over again! All of your clients and their dates are procedurally generated. You also have the option of opening your dating service to the avatars of other real life players; matching them up will give you bonus coins at the end of dates. Money lets you upgrade your services, unlocking new restaurants, a salon, and a gift shop.
There are 35 achievements and no trading cards at this time.
Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is a fun, cute, utterly charming game. Lots of bonus points for the level of representation!
Get the game on Steam on April 22nd. Visit the official website, Facebook, and Twitter. You can follow Kitty herself on Facebook and Twitter too! You can also get the game on iOS, Google Play, and Kindle Fire.
[Disclaimers: Mastertronic also published The Charnel House Trilogy, which I did voice acting for. A review code was provided for me to review this game.]