Dinner Date PC

User Score
3.1

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 42
  2. Negative: 28 out of 42

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  1. May 23, 2012
    7
    This is a good new experience, not like other games you have played before. You only control some of the movements by the Subconscious of the character in this game, so, don't expect a great interactive story. The graphics are not too good, but you can try them in low spec PCs. A short game, but with a new concept, an expermiental quasi-game that lots of people gonna like and lots ofThis is a good new experience, not like other games you have played before. You only control some of the movements by the Subconscious of the character in this game, so, don't expect a great interactive story. The graphics are not too good, but you can try them in low spec PCs. A short game, but with a new concept, an expermiental quasi-game that lots of people gonna like and lots of people gonna hate. Is not a masterpiece, but it doesn't deserve zero as rating. Maybe I liked the game a lot because of the way the character link his thoughts while making other things. If you like experimental gameplays, then you should give it a try. Expand
  2. Sep 25, 2012
    6
    Dinner Date is an indie game produced by Stout Games and is available on Steam. It is one of the 2011 Independent Games Festival winners.

    The premise of the game is pretty simple. You play as the subconsciousness of Julian Luxemburg as you await his date, a young Japanese girl named Meiko. As you sit there, you can use different keyboard buttons to control what he is looking at, what
    Dinner Date is an indie game produced by Stout Games and is available on Steam. It is one of the 2011 Independent Games Festival winners.

    The premise of the game is pretty simple. You play as the subconsciousness of Julian Luxemburg as you await his date, a young Japanese girl named Meiko. As you sit there, you can use different keyboard buttons to control what he is looking at, what his hands are doing and so on.

    Lets start out with the positives. If you are a budding game designer or a student, this game is a great study in game theory and design choices. You will learn about atmosphere, dialogue, action queues and all of that other fun game design stuff.

    The music is quite nice. It is an original score by Than van Nispen tot Pannerden (now THAT is a Dutch name!) which flows nicely through the game. It does a good job of pushing the anticipation and frantic drive of the narrative. The voice acting has its moments, but it comes out quite stiff and oftentimes hard to decipher. Luckily, there is a subtitles option.

    There were scenes where the music would swell to a fever pitch and the narrator would be trying to convey a sense of fevered anticipation but it tended to come out a bit flat, like watching a college freshman give their first speech in their communications class.

    Another problem was the graphics. I know this was an independent game, but the game takes place in one room. While the room itself is nicely detailed, the interactive objects are abysmal. You can only see the main characters hands, yet they look like something straight from the early PSOne era.

    The most glaring problem for me was the story itself. While listening to Julian's monologue was engaging at times, it also came across as highly unrealistic. He sat in his chair for virtual hours and couldn't take the 5 minutes to get up from his self loathing and call his date to find out where she was? You could argue that he was too neurotic to even consider that, but the story isn't deep enough to even indicate his personality. Just get on the horn and call her!

    Experimental games are a good thing, don't get me wrong. But while trying something new should be encouraged, so should solid game play. The controls were erratic, with buttons all over the keyboard representing different actions. Furthermore, even if you were quick on the keyboard, all of those movements were irrelevant because after each scene only one button would become available to make the story move forward.

    One of the most basic game design principles is the idea that actions should lead to a payoff or reward. Why even bother with a multitude of buttons to press when none of them actually have meaning? It seems to me that the game creator tried to do too much with the controls just for the sake of having a lot of controls.

    Overall, this game had moments, but it was just not enough. I do think that the company has a firm foundation to work with on their next project if they decide to do more interactive story telling.
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  3. Mar 27, 2012
    6
    A game with a genuinely unique premise but turns out to be super short, not terribly interactive and a little dry. With a play time of 20 minutes, I recommend it to anyone looking to try something different and if you don't like it (fairly likely!) then you're not really out anything!
  4. Mar 8, 2012
    7
    Everything is so beautiful, although I do not recommend the purchase or play this game, because not everyone can experience the game the beauty of the game a short span of 10 minutes, it carefully depicts the anxiety of the protagonist, as well aslook forward to the "she".
  5. Oct 11, 2012
    6
    Without a doubt, Dinner Date is one of the oddest games around. Less a game, but not exactly a movie, this game offers a unique experience by exploring the subconscious mind of Julian, who is at home, waiting for a pretty girl to show up at his flat for a candlelight dinner. You literally play Julian's subconscious. Through a series of quicktime events, you play through Julian's eveningWithout a doubt, Dinner Date is one of the oddest games around. Less a game, but not exactly a movie, this game offers a unique experience by exploring the subconscious mind of Julian, who is at home, waiting for a pretty girl to show up at his flat for a candlelight dinner. You literally play Julian's subconscious. Through a series of quicktime events, you play through Julian's evening while awaiting his date. Everything is experienced through first person perspective, and all of the actions available are extremely subtle. To be entirely true, there's not a whole lot to this game. It's like reading an audiobook written by Kafka or something. Now, I'm not calling this game good. This game is flawed from the start. With interaction being incredibly minimal and an extremely short story, this game is likely to alienate many players. You can't change the story, nor can you directly change Julian's actions. There is always one way to play, and most of your time is spent - frankly - killing time as Julian monologues to himself. The accessibility to this game is extremely limited, and it is likely to deter most anyone who is willing to give it a shot. However, it's a unique experience, to be true. This is innovative, since it's never really been done before. And while this game isn't going to win a lot of praise for poorly executed innovation, it deserves praise for at least giving it a go. It's like watching an extremely short independent film that you're allowed to progress along - you are the key factor - and the story cannot be unless you influence it. Unique, again, but certainly not mindblowing. But let's give this game its due and proper. The score is fantastic, a moody piano the whole way through, which heightens your emotions, and definitely raises tension. The graphics are extremely well done, especially for such a small company, and the sound is incredible (although the eating sounds can be a bit unnerving). This game is almost 100% plot via dialogue, and reads portrays itself like an existentialist, post-modern piece of fiction. You get to see all the nervous flaws, unfortunate realities, and sad truths of Julian's mind. And while nearly any game can replicate this if they tried, this is a game that is able to start a deeper discussion on its story. Why is Julian's date late? Why does Julian deal with himself in the way that he does while waiting for her? Why does he carry many of his opinions, and why does he seem to self-deprecate? Also, for fans of Qwants, also known as Dinosaur Comics, there's a nod toward your favourite webcomic on Julian's fridge. Dinner Date is a big thinker's game. It's all about Julian thinking, and if you play, you'll most certainly think as well. You have to approach this game as less of a video game in the traditional sense, and more an interactive movie. The developers even suggest taking this game with a glass of wine, so there's some food for thought. Dinner Date is a nice novelty. But remember, the immersion - while deeply - is also very hollow, and with no replay value beyond re-experiencing the story, this game will likely bore you. The trade-off is a unique game, for cheap, with an excellent story and intricately thought out design. Whether you enjoy this or not rests on how opened you are to linear, and odd games. Expand
  6. Aug 18, 2012
    5
    Dinner Date gets point for its attempt at a rare mood piece, and a few hints of truly affecting, artsy gameplay. Sadly, it falls victim to the killer of so many art games. It is so focused on its attempt to deliver a tightly focused narrative, it completely fails to utilize the strengths of play, and ultimately just doesn't trust its audience any more then the most banal and hand holdingDinner Date gets point for its attempt at a rare mood piece, and a few hints of truly affecting, artsy gameplay. Sadly, it falls victim to the killer of so many art games. It is so focused on its attempt to deliver a tightly focused narrative, it completely fails to utilize the strengths of play, and ultimately just doesn't trust its audience any more then the most banal and hand holding military shooter. Playing as a subconcious entity might seem to explain this shortcoming before further examination, but ultimately, the lack of any sort of even symbolic agency renders the game an un-engageing mess. Couple this with a confusing AI that makes even your vague influence feel random and unrelated to your button presses and bland appearance, and your left feeling nothing but disappointment that another developer with great reach manages zero grasp thanks to a failure to understand the idea of using mechanics as a metaphor. If it's less then 3 dollars then maybe, MAYBE it is worth the time of a person truly fascinated by inventive, post-modern applications of play looking for a little enlightenment by leaning exactly what NOT to do. But if you don't simply want to criticize a very niche corner of gaming for no more then the cost of a cup of coffee, this game deserves to be stood up. Expand
  7. Apr 23, 2013
    7
    By being produced by 1-2 guys, this really is a great achievement. The duologue is very interesting. It's worth two playthroughs at least. You play as the subconscious, and don't make nor really control the character and his thoughts, though can influence them. I went through it a third time without touching a single button. Just an awkward young man waiting for his date. Pretty good.
  8. Jan 18, 2013
    5
    5 is for the concept, which is good, but the realization is poor. The visuals look ugly. The "gameplay" is odd, you hit the buttons on keyboard to eat, drink, watch the clock, smoke a cigarette and you are doing it for 20 minutes. I believe that with a better approach the the idea this could be a rather interesting and original product. Well, of course, it can be called original...but not5 is for the concept, which is good, but the realization is poor. The visuals look ugly. The "gameplay" is odd, you hit the buttons on keyboard to eat, drink, watch the clock, smoke a cigarette and you are doing it for 20 minutes. I believe that with a better approach the the idea this could be a rather interesting and original product. Well, of course, it can be called original...but not in a good way. Expand
  9. Dec 28, 2013
    5
    I can see what they were going for, but the game fell short since it's literally under half an hour long. It's okay for a game to be short, but not this short, especially if it had so much promise that it didn't live up to. Controlling the protagonist's subconscious is a very cool concept, and if a more vigorous company took hold of said idea, it could create a masterpiece. UnfortunatelyI can see what they were going for, but the game fell short since it's literally under half an hour long. It's okay for a game to be short, but not this short, especially if it had so much promise that it didn't live up to. Controlling the protagonist's subconscious is a very cool concept, and if a more vigorous company took hold of said idea, it could create a masterpiece. Unfortunately that's not what we have here. I actually had fun playing it, but that just makes the memory more sour since I enjoyed it and wanted it to continue so badly. Oh well, at least they had the decency to mark the price down enormously. I got it for under a dollar, so I can't really complain. For pocket change, I'm glad I had this experience. But only for pocket change. If Dinner Date is not a dollar or less, buy a soda or something, it'll last longer. Expand
Metascore
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No score yet - based on 1 Critic

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Apr 4, 2011
    60
    As an intellectual experiment, Dinner Date is interesting and even profound. As a meta-narrative about the social constructs that confront the modern man, it fascinates. As a game, it barely qualifies.