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Ten Dates Review

Ten Dates
Image: Wales Interactive

Remember Good Gate Media’s Five Dates, which landed during lockdown? It now has a sequel, and you’re not going to want to miss it.

Valentine’s Day is the ideal day for this game to drop, because Ten Dates is all about dating. Speed dating, in fact. London-based Misha ropes her best friend Ryan into going speed dating with her, and the pair of them spend a few minutes getting to know five people each. You can choose who you want to play as and, after experiencing all of the speed dates, choose two people who you want a second date with.

This is the closest thing we’re going to get to going speed dating in real life, and we’re here for it. Wales Interactive and Good Gate Media have long solidified themselves as being leaders of the FMV field, and while full motion video games are still something of a rarity, games like Ten Dates proves that the medium has legs, when it’s done right. The production values here are fantastic, with excellent camerawork, lighting and – believe it or not – acting.

Schlocky acting is often seen as a staple in the FMV genre but in Ten Dates, each character is believable in their own way. Sure, some of your dates are a little over-the-top – like party boy Bash or super-standoffish Brandy – but that’s all part of the fun. Each person you date has their own personality, heightened for the purpose of the game, and it works. It’s all just great fun – like your own interactive version of First Dates. There’s no Fred Sirieix though, unfortunately.

Related: The Best FMV Games You Really Should Play

Ten Dates review

One playthrough of Ten Dates lasts around an hour, which is the perfect amount of time to get cosy and experience it in one sitting. It’s designed to be played through multiple times, though – certainly at least twice, to experience both Ryan and Misha’s dates. You also get stats on how many scenes and experiences you’ve had with each date, and so completionists who want to see every possible cutscene should expect to play through a dozen times. If that’s you, you’ll be glad to hear you can skip cutscenes you’ve already seen.

If you’re like us, though, and end up with the perfect matches after playing through as Ryan and Misha, you might want to leave it there. Our first playthrough with Misha saw us coupled up with the adorable ‘nice guy’ Jake – but in our second playthrough, he wouldn’t even see us for a second date. Gutted. Some characteristics you set for Ryan and Misha before you play – such as field of work and interests – will shape your dates before you even sit down. Other outcomes will be led by conversation choices you make while playing.

Ten Dates review

While Ten Dates focuses on heterosexual relationships – Ryan is speed-dating women, while Misha is speed-dating men – you do get a chance to date the same sex for both. There’s one opportunity for Ryan to date a man, and one opportunity for Misha to date a woman. It’s a small step towards inclusivity, but for players who’d rather play their characters as LGBT it’s a shame you can’t choose the genders of your speed dates as a whole. We can understand why, though: it would have involved filming way more dates. There’s already 10 first dates, with each of those having possible second and third dates. While you’ll only seen around one hour of footage for each playthrough, there’s over 12 hours in total. To give both characters gay options, that would need to have been doubled.

Ten Dates might be one of our favourite FMVs to date. It’s sweet, it’s fun, and it’s packed with larger-than-life characters that we had an absolute blast getting to know. One playthrough may be short, but it makes for the perfect interactive rom-com to cosy up with. If you enjoyed Five Dates, this sequel is a no-brainer: it’s bigger and better in every way.

Ten Dates Review – GameSpew’s Score

This review of Ten Dates is based on the PS5 version of the game, via a code provided by the publisher. It’s available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch and PC.
Editor in chief // Kim's been into video games since playing Dizzy on her brother's Commodore 64 as a nipper. She'll give just about anything a go, but she's got a particular soft spot for indie adventures. If she's not gaming, she'll be building Lego, reading a thriller, watching something spooky or... asleep. She does love to sleep.