Dating Sim Later Daters is the Kind of Feel-Good Game We Need Right Now

And they called it “Grandma LoOoOove.”

I love dating simulators. Perhaps it’s because they provide easy-going fun, or perhaps I use them to cope with my deep inherent loneliness. Either way, I can’t seem to get enough of them. Whether you’re trying to romance a pigeon, Colonel Sanders or a monster (in high school), they’re all great in my eyes.

As part of the Steam Game Festival – Spring Edition that started yesterday and runs until 22nd March, a number of developers have shared free demos of their games that would have been showcased at cancelled events including Indie Megabooth, The Mix, Day of the Devs and Wings.

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Dating Sim Later Daters from developer Bloom Digital Media was the first on the list that caught my eye, so I loaded up and completed the demo in about fifteen minutes. There isn’t much content to talk about at this moment, but I’ve seen enough to know that I wish there was more.

In Later Daters, you start out by creating a character. You’re given a few different customisation options including name choice, gender and sexual orientation. You also get to choose a pet and give it a name. After the game begins you’ll find yourself on the steps of your new assisted living/retirement home, Oceanview Living Domicile for the Elderly. Your character recently had a fall and your doctor recommended you live someplace where someone would be there to help you should it happen again.

You’re introduced to Ester, the person in charge of welcoming you to the facility as well as Crystal, your next door neighbour. The demo introduced me to a few other interesting characters as well. Despite only being fifteen minutes long, it provides a good idea on how the game will play – mostly clicking through dialogue and making some options that change your relationships with the characters – and you’ll get to appreciate the lovely music and art style.

Later Daters plays like many similar games in its genre, but it is the first I’ve played that puts you into the shoes of a character who has already lived most of their life. Any romancing that you do or friendships you make will just improve upon the rich life your character has already had, which makes for an intriguing concept. The game is feel-good and simple, and that’s just the kind of thing we need right now.

You can check out the demo of Later Daters for yourself on Steam until the 22nd. The full game is set to release on 16th April.