Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker Review
Developer: Magic Notion
Publisher: Magic Notion
Release Date: March 10, 2017 (Xbox One)
Platforms: Xbox One (reviewed), PlayStation 4, Windows, PC, Mac, IOS, Android
Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is a quirky little casual title that actually surprised me in how fun, and challenging, it could be.
I surprised myself with how hard it was to put down at times even.
Matchmaker puts you in the role of a matchmaker newly hired by drag queen sensation Kitty Powers. This character you actually get to customize in a rather surprising number of ways. While this game certainly isn’t Skyrim in terms of its character creation, it does offer a much larger variety of choices than most casual titles and I felt myself spending more time getting my character just right than I’d like to admit.
You also get to choose the traits you like in a partner and get to set whether you’re attracted to men or women (or both!) because the game also adds your character into the dating pool as a candidate for other peoples’ games if you’re hooked up to Xbox Live. You can also choose to have the game inform you of dates you go on and the fate of those romantic evenings. It’s unnecessary, but a fun little bit that brings multiplayer components into an otherwise single player experience.
Each game first begins by selecting a character from a selection of eligible bachelors and bachelorettes. They’ll tell you if they’re seeking a man or a woman and you can dig into each to find out what their preferences are and what their interests are. Once you choose a character, you then choose from a list of suitors that match the bachelor/ette. You can dig into their interests as well, but I often found myself basing my selections largely on aesthetics. Basically, if my character said they liked someone with blue eyes and red hair I tried to find someone who had at least one of those features because it was instant “love points” or whatever.
Which brings us to the gameplay aspect, which is composed mostly of the date itself.
You first get to choose from a set of restaurants which impacts menu items and each has its own “crazy scenario”. Be warned though, the restaurants featured are from a variety of countries and often the items are in their native language. Which means that if your date wants something “hot with white meat” you better know that pollo means chicken in Spanish.
The date is broken up into small gameplay sections that often feature some type of puzzle or minigame that would grant you points in the right direction. Some of these minigames are simple memory style puzzles while others are luck based such as a higher/lower card game. The puzzles are varied enough to keep things from getting super stale but I still found it tiring as the game requires a lot of play to keep things interesting.
During the date you also spin a wheel which impacts what you can discuss with your date. You get a strike if you ask the same thing more than once so sometimes you are forced into topics that may be harder than others. For example, “Interests” required remembering what in the world your date liked to do while praying that you remembered something similar you had an interest in.
This led to one of my more major problems with the game. I put the game down and picked it up days later to discover I was about 3 dates in with one particular couple. I couldn’t remember a single thing I asked and almost failed out of the date because I kept asking things I had already asked. While I applaud the extra factor of difficulty while playing many games at once, it was incredibly frustrating to know that this wasn’t the type of game that could easily be put down and picked up.
And just for the record, while I’ve been calling everything “points” there aren’t any actual points. Instead, successful interactions bring up a bunch of hearts over the head of the lucky person enjoying themselves on the date. The more hearts you see the better you’re doing, basically.
While it was fairly easy to determine if a date was successful or a bummer (and yes, you can fail out of dates), I almost wish there had been some sort of point system during the dates just so I could understand if I was going to be end up being one person in a happy couple or if I needed to attend a second (or third or fourth) date.
All of this matchmaking ultimately impacts your career as you have both a reputation and a sort of “fame” that both impact the customers you get. You also earn coins for every date (earning more the more successful the date is) and coins can be used to buy new restaurants, unlock hints about menu items, and other items that either unlock more gameplay or aid the gameplay, such as getting to cheat on a game.
The humor is fairly typical lowbrow humor, often focusing on some sort of naughty pun or play on words. It’s nothing shocking, but it did get a few chuckles out of me here and there because the whole thing simply works.
Another neat little feature is you get letters from the successful couples that details their relationship since the date. Sometimes it’s good news and a boost to your reputation, other times it ended in failure and your rep takes a hit. I genuinely enjoyed seeing what was up with these couples and it was a nice addition that prevented each date feel like a cheap one off.
All in all, it isn’t a bad game by any means but definitely isn’t perfect. Fans of a good casual puzzle game will probably greatly enjoy this while it doesn’t have much else for anyone else. A few quirks prevent the game from being perfect but it overall is a damn fun game that I kept saying “Just one more game” to.
Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker
- Challenging at times
- Character creation is fun
- Some neat multiplayer functions
- Music is repetitive and boring the millionth time you’ve heard it
- A few challenges are annoying rather than challenging
- Humor can be somewhat groan inducing at times