Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Spooky Love

I had a few ideas for what to review this week, and was all set to go with one title in particular from our good friends at Games2Win. But when I logged onto their website to get the screenshots for that game (which I'll almost certainly review next week) I came across Spooky Love. It's a Halloween game, and though we're now a month gone from that holiday, I couldn't help but notice the blank, face of the main character on the title screen. It reminded me far too much of a certain series of vampire "romance" "novels" written by a Mormon woman with a deep understanding of male homosexuality. With the movie adaptation of New Moon released last week, and Twilight mania taking over the entire internet, I figure that this is the closest I'm going to get to a Twilight themed game. I give credit to the producers of the movies, because to my knowledge there aren't any actual Twilight games, which would probably involve playing a shallow, selfish, spoilt little harpy who stares blandly into the face of a pale emoboy with the expression of someone who's painfully constipated.

But I digress. Spooky Love is a kind of dress-up game, kind of date sim that has you spin a wheel at random to determine who your date for Halloween will be. And what do ya know, here's Julian Fang, which might be the worst vampire name I've heard since Dr. Acula.

Once you've picked the boy of your dreams (or nightmares) you have to choose a costume that fits his - because, hey, who cares what your opinion is, right? All that matters is pleasing him, after all.

You know, I'm getting pretty peeved about how almost every form of media these days seems to be telling girls that the key to true love is to fall for an emotionally cold brute and descend into a co-dependent relationship built on physical and/or psychological abuse. If I wasn't an asshole on the internet, I'd probably be really offended and do something about it!

So, anyway, you pick your date, costume and venue (though I didn't realise anyone other than goths thought graveyards were romantic) and then set about having the perfect date. This is achieved by finding five spots that, when clicked, cause something scary to happen. Your character then screams and at the end you both kiss.

Yeah, I don't really understand it either. How exactly does that make for a wonderful date? Has it got something to do with the idea of fear as an aphrodisiac? Am I giving the developer of this game too much credit? I think it's because your date is secretly a violent misogynist who gets off on the screams of young woman, but that concept probably wouldn't sit well with the game's core demographic.

You click on the five spots, none of which will be hard to find as they're usually so obvious, the guy and the girl kiss, and then the game ends. That's it. That's all there is to this game. Click on five things and you win. I wish I could say there was more to it than that, but there isn't. I'm actually insulted by how ridiculously simple Spooky Love is. The only game I can think of that asks less of you is You Have To Burn The Rope, and it had an awesome song at the end. This just has ads for other crappy games.

I guess you could play it again and change things up a bit, but why bother? Nothing's really different. Stuff happens, she screams, he sweats for some inexplicable reason, they kiss and that's it. Looking back on it, I'm not sure why I thought reviewing this game would be a good idea, because there's nothing to review! What was I thinking?

Oh, I know. I was thinking that someone sat down and actually wasted time making this. Someone took time out of their lives to present a game so stupidly simple, so bland, so visually and technically uninspired that I actually feel cheated. I feel like this game owes me money, as well as the precious minutes I spent playing it. And I use the word "playing" loosely, because all I really did was click the mouse a few times. I could have done the same thing checking my e-mails and have made better use of the time.

The reason I find Spooky Love and the Twilight series so similar is because they're both ridiculously unoriginal and incredibly boring. There's as much going on here as there is in any of Stephenie Meyer's books. The only good thing is that Spooky Love probably won't inspire countless megabytes of slash fan fiction involving gay werewolves. Every cloud, huh?

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