Dating sims are a dime a dozen, but Later Daters places you in a nursing home romancing somewhat rambunctious seniors. When you arrive at YE OLDE Retirement Community upon recommendation from your doctor, you are treated to a buffet of potential eye candy to romance. Welcome to your new home!
Later Daters’ gameplay is quite simple, very typical for a dating sim. You flick through text dialogue, choose your responses and proceed from there. That’s about it and there’s not much to warrant the heading of ‘Gameplay’ here.
As Later Daters is a Switch console exclusive, we made sure to check up on any exclusive features. Unfortunately there is no rumble to be felt, which isn’t so much of a shock considering the type of game that it is, but we were surprised that it contained no touchscreen in handheld mode.
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The game takes place over a five day week, from Monday to Friday, with each day being a chapter. However, this current build of the game ends after Wednesday, with the following three chapters releasing later this year. It’s curious that Bloom Digital would release what honestly feels like an unfinished game. Whilst this practice is quite standard today, usually the title may say ‘Episode 1’ or ‘Chapter 1’, much like The Adventures of Bertram Fiddle series, for example. Each chapter runs for approximately 20 minutes, so a playthrough can clock one hour on your timer.
However with that all being said, each playthrough can be different depending on what you choose to do. While that lengthens out the time you can spend with the game, I still very much wished that the game either went on longer or was held back in order to release all six chapters in one package.
To discuss the narrative itself, it begins by following advice given to you from your doctor and you move into a retirement home. It is here where you meet a whole range of interesting characters and depending on which sexual preference you choose dictates who you can potentially romance. Later Daters is very inclusive to all gender and sexual preferences, which is a delight to see, especially as it is based on an older generation.
Each character is endearing with their own colourful backstory and unique influences. That’s the main pull of the game as Later Daters doesn’t feature much of an overarching plot.
Graphics / Art Direction
The aesthetic is colourful and charming, reminding me of an early 2000s children’s cartoon or something out of a picture book. Each character has a unique design and they’re very distinguishable from one another. With its bright colours and joyful aesthetic, it makes the game a pleasure to play.
Music / Sound Design
Later Daters contains some wonderfully written original tracks that honestly took me by surprise. In fact I loved the song so much I’ve even included the lyric video for the theme in this review so that you can also have the pleasure of listening to it.
It doesn’t matter how old you get,
You want a little action because you’re not dead yet!
Something else to mention about the sound is that there are occasional moments when the game goes dead silent. This is another aspect that makes Later Daters feel unfinished as you never want to have awkward silences in your game.
Final Score: 64%
Later Daters is a charming time that ends way too soon. I was surprised when I saw the ‘To Be Continued…’ text come up until I realised that this is literally only half of the game, with the second half scheduled to release in late 2020. It’s still unclear as to whether the second half will be an additional purchase, which is something that should be highlighted to the customer immediately before purchasing. This is a shame because I honestly enjoyed every minute that I played, but I cannot, in all good conscience, give Later Daters a higher score based off of this glaring omission.
Thank you for checking out our Later Daters Switch review, thank you to Bloom Digital for the review code and thank you to our $5 and up Patreon Backers for their ongoing support:
- Andrew Caluzzi (Inca Studios / Camped Out!)
- Belinda Cubitt