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  1. Apr 20, 2020
    9
    Mission: It’s Complicated is a free game now available on Steam for Mac and PC. Produced and developed my Schell Games, Mission: It’s Complicated is easily one of the best free gaming experiences I have had to date.

    You, a lowly PhD candidate, suddenly have the weight of saving the world thrust upon you, and the only way to do so… is to make two superheroes fall in love. Good thing your
    Mission: It’s Complicated is a free game now available on Steam for Mac and PC. Produced and developed my Schell Games, Mission: It’s Complicated is easily one of the best free gaming experiences I have had to date.

    You, a lowly PhD candidate, suddenly have the weight of saving the world thrust upon you, and the only way to do so… is to make two superheroes fall in love. Good thing your thesis was about Superheroes forming relationships during missions, right?

    Set in the theme of a comic book, Mission: It’s Complicated draws on a semi-Choose-Your-Own-Adventure mentality. After making a superhero team, you direct your team members on various missions around the city, dictating how the mission should be completed, with the outcome varying depending on your choices.

    Missions are not the only thing you send your heroes on… of course, the goal is love (be that friendship or otherwise) so you also have opportunities to send superheroes on “bonding exercise” hint hint wink wink. However, both missions and dates are not all determined by your actions: the hero’s moods do play into the end result, so that is something to keep in mind.

    Despite the quick play of the game, deep thought and lore clearly went into the making of Mission: It’s Complicated. Each of the five superheroes you recruit have intriguing backgrounds you can unlock, and depending on what pairings you choose to focus on, interactions on the team can change significantly. This creates endless replays of Mission: It’s Complicated, which I intend to explore.

    While appearing simplistic in its execution, Mission: It’s Complicated still maintains a pure, fun time full of wholesome as well as compelling moments. Those who enjoy comic books will certainly enjoy the artwork of the game. And if you have ever wanted to fulfill that fantasy of being a teacher and “shipping” two of your students and attempting to get them together by placing them in the same workgroup over and over… here is your chance.

    My only grievance is that, at least for me, the achievements seemed not to be functioning through Steam. I know I should have earned some, since I looked at what you need to do to get them, and yet none were marked as fulfilled. I am slightly disappointed about that.

    Regardless, please give Mission: It’s Complicated a try. I mean, why not? It’s free!

    9/10
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  2. Jul 1, 2020
    8
    A dating sim in which you lead a team of young superheroes on a bunch of random missions together in hopes that they'll bond. A world-eating destroyer is coming, and Earth can only be saved by the power of love, literally.

    The format is simple: by night, choose missions on which to send two of your heroes. You don't get to control these missions, just who you send on them and who
    A dating sim in which you lead a team of young superheroes on a bunch of random missions together in hopes that they'll bond. A world-eating destroyer is coming, and Earth can only be saved by the power of love, literally.

    The format is simple: by night, choose missions on which to send two of your heroes. You don't get to control these missions, just who you send on them and who takes point. Their bond will grow regardless, though it will grow more if they do well, and they could be injured and have to sit out a day--and you only have 12 days. Max out the relationship between any two heroes--romantically inclined or not--and pick up the magical Possibility Stone along the way--and you win. Don't, and you lose.

    During the day, if two of them have reached certain bonding thresholds, you can send them on dates. You can give occasional advice during these dates, but mostly you just watch how things unfold. The heroes are all "complicated" in one way or another, usually in more than one way. LGBTQ+ issues take the forefront: although two of the heroes bond over being the two gay members, the other three are either bi- or pansexual. Most also have mental health issues, such as bipolar disorder, social anxiety, and PTSD. All are handled in a sensitive, mature, positive way. The only exception is that each pair of heroes has only one script for each dating event, which means that even if they're in a committed relationship, they'll happily pursue other heroes romantically.

    Despite being a strictly text-based game, plenty of thought was put into replay value. There's a true ending you can get if you beat the game using all 10 permutations of heroes, which is cute and funny. Most of the stories have secret art you can unlock, either by sending a particular hero on a particular mission or by building the rapport between two heroes and having them "team up" on a particular mission. The art is adorable and worth the effort, especially the end-game art, which are all parodies of famous comic book covers, with great attention to detail.

    You can auto-skip any mission you've beaten on a previous playthrough (although you can't skip the dates, which is unfortunate), as well as the tutorial and the credits, so you can blaze through replays quickly. It also seems like relationships build up more easily on replays, although that may be just because I knew the best choices (and figured out that if things look like they're going badly, you can quit the game--results are only saved once you see the results screen).

    As of version 1.1.1, there are a few typos and grammar errors scattered throughout. I also had one experience where starting a new game put me on day 12, with no relationships built up and no MacGuffin, so I lost instantly.

    If superhero LGBTQ+ relationship stories with giant walls of text are your thing, I highly recommend Mission: It's Complicated. If you're looking for more of a "game" or if you think "diversity" is a swear word, pass on this one.
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Metascore
91

Universal acclaim - based on 4 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. May 15, 2020
    85
    Mission: It’s Complicated is a visual novel that will immediately charm your pants off with a cast of diverse and lovable characters. It’s short enough to just hop in for a quick playthrough, but has enough endings to keep you busy for quite some time.
  2. Mar 16, 2020
    90
    Proof positive that love conquers all, Mission: It’s Complicated saves the day with its original premise, sharp writing, and long-lasting replayability.
  3. Feb 14, 2020
    100
    While it is short in terms of basic playtime, it does still take a good number of hours to explore everything the game has to offer. It's also engaging, humorous, and quirky. The fact that it is LGBTQ+ friendly is a great and much-appreciated bonus, and the puns are legendary.