Ten Dates

Ten Dates

We're looking for love in Wales Interactive's latest FMV effort.

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It has become a bit of an annual tradition of mine to look forward to whatever Wales Interactive has in store next. Every year, I eagerly await the next full-motion video game (FMV) that the developer has been working on because it's such a unique concept that isn't really explored by many game studios around the world in this day and age. To this end, over the years, I've explored Bloodshore, Night Book, Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus, and even the rom-com Five Dates, and now, just in time for Valentine's Day, the latter of that list is getting a sequel.

Known as Ten Dates, this title substitutes the online dating scene of the original for that of an in-person speed dating event. It's here that we're put in the shoes of either Misha or Ryan, and are tasked with meeting a bunch of different individuals and personalities, and then engaging in light conversation to determine whether they could be a match for us. For anyone familiar with the dating scene, it is a game fraught with nervous discomfort, flirty banter, and often truly awkward moments when it's clear that two people have absolutely no connection whatsoever.


In typical Wales Interactive manner, the majority of this game revolves around just watching the two characters connect and sharing from a third-person position in the emotional dynamics between them. The only real time when you start to feel more immersed and involved is when questions and dialogue options are thrown at you, with which you have to reply to and answer in a way that reflects the character you are portraying. For example, you could be truthful and honest and genuinely look to connect with the other person, or you could be a complete narcissist and choose the most cruel answers to see how that affects the overall outcome - I shouldn't need to say but you probably won't be getting any second dates with this method.

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And talking about second dates, Ten Dates goes further than just the speed dating event. You have to meet with five individuals initially, and then out of the people that you clearly have a basic connection with, you need to narrow down the options into two people you'd like to take on a second date, all before then hopefully (assuming you didn't botch it up), choose one person for a third date. This is the only way to truly win, as if you screw the dates up, you'll find yourself with a form of a game over screen, fit with a collection of statistics based on your play though. The true finality comes with taking your relationship with someone to the next step and becoming "official" - although from my experience with Ten Dates, this is quite an uncommon outcome to reach, but then again, perhaps it's not because of them, but me.

But here's where Ten Dates starts to run into a few problems. Some of the dialogue choices and options funnel you into quite undesired outcomes. For example, at one instance, as Ryan, I found myself in a game of 'Two Truths, One Lie', where the options I had to choose from were whether I had octophobia (the fear of the number eight), collected novelty drink coasters, or slept ten hours a night. Neither felt like good choices or plausible options, but I had to decide which best suited this instance of Ryan, of which none of course did. I ended up saying that I didn't collect novelty drink coasters, because that sounded terribly dull, leaving Charlie Maher (the actor portraying Ryan) the task of portraying an octophobia sufferer, which was clearly a challenge and something that could easily have been avoided with better dialogue.

Ten Dates

Also, I've encountered outcomes that say "challenge" for example, which I interpreted as making a competition out of a situation for some friendly banter, when in reality the outcome was to directly question the morals of the situation, which came off as hostile despite that not being my intention. Both of these are good examples of how some of the scenes and narrative threads feel like they are already heading a certain way before you even get to make a choice, which takes the gravity out of the branching dialogue system. And this is without even mentioning the times that you get questions that feel so predictable and dumb that you shouldn't really need a choice to continue playing.

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I will also add that some of the edits between scenes come on a bit too fast and out of the blue. For example, you'll be in the middle of a conversation and then a quick (clear but obviously attempted to be hidden or masked) cut will take place and the other person will just get up and take a phone call or head to the toilet. It feels way too forced and breaks the immersion of the narrative considerably.

Ten DatesTen Dates

But just because it has its demons, there's no denying that Ten Dates is genuine fun. It's incredibly easy to get into and enjoy, and you can play this game while slouched back in a chair and enjoying a tasty beverage. It's the epitome of being relaxed while still experiencing the thrill and immersive tones that set video games apart and even above the way that film and TV can convey a narrative.

And it's for this matter that I found myself in a bit of a love/hate relationship with Ten Dates. On one hand, my previously noted gripes continue to shine through, yet on the other hand, the part of me that loves a daft rom-com, can't help but have a silly grin plastered over my face while listening to Ryan and Misha put on a masterclass of silly flirting. If you too are a fan of rom-coms and the typically predictable and awkward humour and narrative found in this genre, Ten Dates will likely be right up your street, but if you're not a huge fan of this sort of story, this Wales Interactive title will lack the spark that leads to a second date.

06 Gamereactor UK
6 / 10
Ideal game for rom-com fans. Incredibly easy to jump in and play. Wide cast of characters.
Dialogue choices are hit and miss. Some harsh edits and cuts.
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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REVIEW. Written by Ben Lyons

We're looking for love in Wales Interactive's latest FMV effort.

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