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About the Story"Itís a perfectly normal evening, and you have a quiet dinner planned with one of your friends.
And so begins one of my weirder games. Save the Date is a game about a lot of things. Friendship. Stories. Hope. Destiny. And above all else, dinner.
This is actually kind of hard. I know what I think the game is about, but the game is kind of weird and experimental, even by my standards, and I donít really want to say too much in advance. Probably best for people to play it without knowing what theyíre getting into.
Featuring music from the fantastic Francisco Cerda, Save the Date is probably the single thing I have worked on that I am most proud of. But donít just take my word for it Ė sit down, clear about an hour from your schedule, and play it for yourself.
Featuring cutting-edge tech, including old cell-phones!
Supported operating systems are: Windows 2000 or later, Mac OS X 10.4 or later, and Linux x86."
- Chris Cornell
Rock Paper Shotgun
Wot I Think: Save The Date
Maybe Iím generalizing, but I like to think most dating sims are, on some level, about dating. Save The Date, however, sticks with the warm-and-fuzzies just as long as it needs to Ė and not a second longer. At heart, itís a visual novel, but on a high-speed collision course with tragedy, mortality, and hilariously terrible consequences. Each five-or-so-minute playthrough (adding up to an-hour-and-a-half or so total) barrages you with choices, the results of which arenít exactly happily ever after. So you try again and again and again to keep the date from going horribly wrong, and things only spiral further out of control. In that respect and many others, Save The Dateís brilliant. Even astounding, in places. The writingís quite strong, the twists hit like a remarkably stealthy 18-wheeler, and thereís far, far, far more to it than even its initial surreal streak suggests.
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Number of Reviews: 5
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Most Helpful Member Reviews
(Spoiler - click to show)I'm not sure I got everything out of this game, but I am a HUGE fan of meta and I love intricate recursion. So when I figured out this game was going to let me actually use save and reload to affect the story, I was hooked. It's got a lot to say about the contract between an author and a reader, and a gleeful sense of absurd humor. I almost think this even does a better trick than THE STANLEY PARABLE because there is no narrator and the author colludes with you wholeheartedly. It's almost got a bit of INCEPTION in its world-controlling aspirations.
It's much more than it appears on the surface, and that's all I can say without spoilers. Play it blind. Play it now.
(Spoiler - click to show)Every time I play a game or watch a movie and I don't like the ending, I think of Save the Date, and I choose my own version of the story. I no longer treat the creator's version as the only authoritative one.
This new perspective has spilled over and empowered me in other subtle ways as well, helping me live a more intentional life, to be the co-creator of my own life-game instead of just the protagonist.
It's one thing to understand Death of the Author in an intellectual way. It's entirely another to be the player who kills the author by your own hand.
The game's concept takes it in a place where it's able to make a commentary on CYOA/dating sim games, games in general, and stories, and it does that really well, raising some valid points (although some I kinda disagreed with). This is also done in an accessible manner, which is a plus, and I liked that the author grasped the full implications of his mechanics.
The first time where you discover what is going on is a real "a-ha" moment, and so I won't spoil it. Unfortunately, getting to the end of it requires a bit of lawnmowering (and the branching structure is not trivial either), and there were some times when I felt I had done enough, but it was not enough for the game (because that wasn't exactly the right branch). I ultimately resorted to a walkthrough to get to the end quicker, and I finished the game in about two hours and a half.
Anyway, give it a try, you won't be disappointed!
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