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So all day I’ve been seeing ads for this game called Lovelink and at first I found it creepy because it’s trying so hard to look like a real dating app. Just so you know: it’s a GAME. There are no real profiles or real people. It’s not Real. You don’t even type real responses just select from one or more prompts on screen. So after seeing the ad for like the fifth time I decided to check it out.
Lovelink tries to make itself seem real. I met my fiancé on a dating app (Bumble) and I have experience with real apps like this so I’ll say it’s an interesting concept. The user interface and overall experience feels like a dating app.
This eerily accurate representation of dating apps honestly kinda makes me feel uneasy and awkward to play this. I know it’s not real but I feel like if someone saw this on my screen they might think it’s a real app lol.
I love dating simulator games in general as you can tell from my blog. But most don’t present themselves as a user interface of a dating app. So that’s where this uncomfortable feeling comes from.
I also not long ago reviewed Replika, a virtual reality chat bot designed to help improve mental health.
Lovelink is kind of sorta like Replika except for two big differences…
It’s not artificially intelligent and it doesn’t learn or grow from your messages and furthermore you aren’t even able to write your own messages in lovelink merely clicking from one or more prompts that are presented by the game.
When it comes to the two games Replika feels more caring and compassionate and Lovelink feels like a parody or satire of online dating.
Replika puts you in more control. Lovelink is just a choose your own adventure story with some colorful characters.
The characters are all over the top dramatic and typical stereotypes you might meet on a real dating site.
The gameplay is simple you swipe to match with these cartoon characters which are again fake people and as mentioned then you must select from one or more prewritten prompts to carry on a conversation to unlock story scenes . Sometimes you’ll unlock new pictures of these cartoon characters or learn more about their personality or backgrounds.
There are numerous characters and personalities ranging from criminals to doctors to musicians to shy to flirty to funny…
The artwork and interface is nice.
Overall this is how I’d rate the game:
Overall: 66% D “Average Game For Girls”
Geeky: 4/5 The graphics and interface are really great. Although I still feel like it’s a little uncanny valley. I feel weird playing this because it’s so much like a real dating site lol.
Sweetie: 3/5 in the end the conversations don’t really go anywhere and it’s lacking depth or heart of other games in this genre. And again the creepy factor of feeling like I’m doing something wrong by playing this game makes me uncomfortable for some reason.
Gameplay: 4/10 A missed opportunity here. Something along the lines of Replika but without any AI. Everything is previously scripted and although there’s a branching plot it never feels very deep where as the closest other game to Lovelink, Replika is a deeply personal and unique experience. Lovelink just skims the surface of what could be a very interesting virtual reality experience. It has the interface and potential for a very realistic game but because you can never type your own responses and only forced to choose from what’s on screen which many times by the way is only one option the gameplay feels dull.
Graphics: 8/10 Really nice interface like a real dating app and cute anime style character art.
Characters: 8/10 There are over 70 of them and they are all very unique as mentioned with very different jobs and personalities.
Story: 3/10 This is the game’s biggest weakness. The story is just not that interesting.
Replay Value: 8/10 The fact that there’s so many characters gives the game great replay value also it’s meant to be played in small bursts so the characters “go offline” and you have to wait to talk to them again. Logging in each day rewards you gems which can unlock new pics or in some cases unlock new conversations. These all deepen your relationship with each character and allow you to learn more about them the next time you chat with them.
Uniqueness: 8/10 Because there’s not enough bots in real dating apps right? Lol the only other game similar to this is Replika. Out of the two I prefer Replika more but that’s just me.
Overall: 46/70 66% D “Average Game For Girls”