I always hear that couples eventually stop having sex as they get older. The explanation I have often heard is that your sex drive just goes down with age. I have no idea what age this happens at, and I’m not looking forward to it. The other argument is that people just get tired of sex with the same person and they just stop doing it. I do not know which of these is true, but Later Daters, a visual novel game by Bloom Digital Media, looks to believe that people will keep having sex if they have someone new to do it with.
Later Daters is not a game I would have ever thought to buy, but I was given a chance to review it and could not pass on this opportunity. The basis of the game is that you are an 80-year-old who is being forced to move into an old folk’s home. Your spouse died a bit back and you have been single ever since. This is a new chance to live your life.
The game allows you to build your character the way you want their past to have been. You can be a man or a woman. You choose if your pet is a cat, a dog, or a robot. Yes, that is a strange choice. You can also decide if you were married to a man, a woman, or someone who is of uncertain gender. The game really is built for the changes in the way people embrace sexuality.
Once you are settled in the home, you meet an array of odd people. You learn about their backstories, especially their past marriages and sexual preferences. Shocker, they are basically all down to get it on with you. As you speak to them, you are able to respond in different ways and have different opinions on their lives. In theory, these choices will change the course of the game.
All of this sounds ok. It makes you feel like you are making choices that will lead to you having relationships, sexual or platonic, with the people of your choosing. That’s not quite the experience I had. On the first playthrough of a game with choices, I often like to make choices that would actually reflect the choices I would really make. Granted, I can’t see a world where I try to hook up with an 80-year-old lady, but I do have a lot of life to live.
The reality of this game is that it forced me to either be forever single or sexually ambiguous. I am happy that sexual fluidity is part of the game, but that’s not me and I want to play as me. Maybe on another playthrough, I would enjoy trying to enter into an orgy, where you never know who I’d be getting it on with. On the initial playthrough, I just wanted a nice lady to bring me to a heart attack-inducing orgasm.
I could almost get past the forced sexuality if the rest of the game was fun. The issue is it’s not. There is some humorous writing from time to time, but overall it’s just boring. Maybe all visual novels are like this. My experience was that I spent a lot of time just clicking through text. Often, I would go 30 plus minutes without making a single decision. I was so bored that I was just waiting for the game to end.
Luckily, in my opinion, the game was extremely short. After a few days of living in the home, “To Be Continued” popped up and it was game over. I figure there will be more released in time, but I was so happy it was over. The one thing that really bothered me about it ending was how little I was able to do. I kissed one old lady, but that doesn’t satisfy my 80-year old’s itch for the good stuff!!
Further issues come from Later Daters trying too hard to fit too many life issues into a short time. I don’t want to spoil anything, but the developers tried to have you experience a lot of drama in a very short time. There is no way that all these problems would come up in these few people.
All in all, I did not enjoy my time with Later Daters. It was boring. I couldn’t even make the decision I wanted to when I had the few chances to decide something. The one question I kept asking myself was “Who the hell is this game for?” I was never able to answer this question and that is a huge problem.