Not everyone can meet Mr. Right without putting in any effort. Just like in forming friendships, you will have to make sure you’re put in situations where you get to socialize and meet potential love interests. If you’re still a bit too shy to do that in real life, then 7 Dates may just be the right game to play to kick off your real life dating adventure.
In 7 Dates, you step into the shoes of Jessica. As stated in the intro, she is an ordinary girl who is looking for love. She doesn’t really get to go out on many dates on her own. Thankfully Samantha, her matchmaker friend, has solved all that by setting her up on seventh date.
This is no otome game. Though there are a myriad of guys to choose from, there’s neither a solid story, nor other game play mechanics that allow you to explore branching romance paths. Instead of being the usual visual novel, 7 Dates is more of a simple, dating quiz game. The aim of the game is to win over the guys by choosing the correct answers to their questions. Of course, if you were to play this honestly, perhaps in a way that resembles real-life speed dating, you’ll surely end up with more failures than successes.
To get things started, you will need to pick a date. Other than judging their appearance, you will have no clue as to what the guys like or dislike. Fortunately, it’s generally easy enough to guess which stereotype they fall under. For instance, Richard von Furstenburg is your typical long-haired blonde gentleman. He wears a spiffy suit complete with a cravat and asks questions related to food and music. Of course, choosing answers which show that you are a cultured individual will reward you with a smile. On the other hand, choosing to reveal your fast food addiction or admitting that you have Bieber fever may just cut the date short.
Aside from Richard, there’s also the nerdy Ethan, Jayden the emo guy, cute skateboarder Dylan and three others. Part of the game is guessing which answers the guys want to hear, though that may not be such a good thing to pick up for real-life dating. Girls would surely scoff at the notion of conforming to fit into a certain mold. Just think about how Disney modernized the image of their princesses. However, we do give the game some points for offering variety. With so many guys to choose from, there may just be one, or two, that will pique your interest.
In terms of art, well, we’re not big fans of the illustrations. Sure, not everything has to look like Hakuoki (a multi-platform otome game) but one of the greatest rewards in virtual dating is being rewarded with gorgeous visuals. 7 Dates attempts to deliver anime illustrations but ends up with awkward proportions and stiff-looking poses. However, we do appreciate the artist’s choice of colors as well as the clean lines and subtle shading. It’s not bad but overall, it’s not that memorable either.
If you’re after a quiz title that will entertain you for a little over half an hour, then 7 Dates fits the bill. Dates last about 5 minutes each, with the only variable being the amount of time you spend per question. Don’t worry, you won’t be asked about the circumference of Earth or about the Periodic Table of Elements. Just lime in a real date, the guys will simply try to get to know you by asking about your preferences. Not being able to give the correct reply the first time will have the guys asking follow-up questions. This will be your chance to redeem yourself or insist on your initial choice. A date ends when a date has made up his mind to go out with you again or has been thoroughly dismayed. While it may not be good practice for actual dates, it’s a great way to discover if you tend to put your best foot forward or not.
Play 7 Dates it if you like quiz type games or if you think you’ll enjoy some simple guesswork. Pass on it if you’re looking for a sim with a lengthy story. If 7 Dates gets a sequel, we would love to see some mini games as well as varied settings for each of the guys. It would be nice to play through different scenarios and have branching paths as well. Perhaps, having the ability to unlock unexpected dates (such as twins or a long lost childhood friend) would keep players motivated to finish all seven initial dates.