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Listen to your heart…or your wallet

  • nhubi
  • 05/15/2015 06:57 AM
Bachelors' deal is an entry into the Golden Week of RPG Maker 2003 event, which is a slight misnomer as the designers actually had 9 days to complete their game to be eligible. The only restriction, the RM2K3 engine in either the legal or non legal version and the vanilla RTP. The team of Avee, Link_2112, Healy and Caninemm decided to make a single map game playing out in the format of a game show, a hybrid of Perfect Match and Pick a Box.

I've seen game show like segments introduced as minigames within the framework of a larger game before but the concept of a game that is just the game show was an interesting prospect. The reduction of the interface to a single map allowed the developers to concentrate their time and talents on the mechanics and making the game feel as real as possible, and in that they succeeded. The unbelievably cheesy music aids in the feeling that this is something you could easily see advertised on television as an actual game show. In fact the devs may want to consider pitching it to a studio exec one day; it could be a money spinner.

The basic premise is simple, from a pool of 21 possible contestants 10 are presented as potential partners to the player, the gender and species mix of those potentials is based on the preferences chosen by the player at the outset as is that of the player themselves which does make the title of the game a little misdirected since it could easily be a spinsters' deal. The host then asks a series of predetermined questions and the contestants respond. Some of these responses are simply delightful. They can be serious or light-hearted, straightforward or off-beat, charming or try hard but what none of them are is nonsensical. Considerable work has gone into this section to make the responses feel natural, whilst still being random; a question asked of a particular contestant in one round will elicit a different but equally amusing answer in another play-through.

Wait but last time you said...oh never mind.

You have three rounds to winnow down the contest pool to a single individual by discarding five potentials in the first round, two in the second and then making a choice between the last three in the third. Each of the contestants is also carrying a basket in which a random amount of money is held; as those contestants are eliminated the money disappears from the potential pool of winnings. So in the end you have a single individual that you have chosen due to their answers to your questions and of course your personal response to their appearance and demeanour. However since you know what each of the 10 starting amounts were and each round reveals the amounts removed by the process of elimination you can ascertain how much money is left in the basket of your final contestant and then you are faced with your last choice. Take a chance with the final contestant or risk potential love for the prospect of what may or may not be a hefty payday.

The game for all its fun and quirky premise does shed a little light on the player, in the end what is more important to them, the possibility of romance or the lure of financial security. The allure of the unknown or the prospect of constancy? A safe stable environment or the potential for a wild ride?

Unsurprisingly that wasn't from the Lion in the room.

This game speaks to the risk taker in all of us, and the outcome is probably more influenced by the state of mind of the player than the actual content of the game but as the mechanism by which that internal dichotomy is played out it is a fun and entertaining experience. You won't spend a great deal of time in the game, each play through takes less than 8 minutes but it's well worth the time to play it more than once just to experience some of the many variables the developers have included in their cast of contestants and to perhaps find that perfect someone, or bank balance boost.


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Very well written and a pleasure to read. Thanks for the review!

The contestants' answers are the meat of this game and I'm glad that Link_2112, Healy and Caninemm helped with those.
I had to make all answers randomly selected in order to finish the game in time and feared that might have been a downside, but it seems to add some replay value after all.
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
I'm glad you enjoyed the read, and for something that was used as an expedient short-cut the random nature of the responses really adds not just to the replay value but also to some of the charm of the game.
Funnily enough, I got that line in the second image from the lion in the room when I played. I thought it quite appropriate. XD
Liberté, égalité, fraternité
Which highlights just how well that randomness works within the game.
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