Constraints are an interesting thing. For example, I am trying to write this review in 27 minutes. Why? Because I am under the constraint of this article going up tomorrow. And to do that, it needs to be done by midnight-ish.
Of course, that’s not the only constraint I’m working under at the moment. In all the time I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve tried to write about one new thing each week. It turns out that playing a new game every week to the point I feel comfortable talking about it for several paragraphs is difficult. Forget playing through something ‘fun,’ even finding something just ‘interesting’ can rough.
The interesting thing about constraints, though, is that they lead to making choices you otherwise might not make. In this case, that choice was playing a visual novel where you date serial killers.
Hooked On You is a spinoff dating sim based somewhat on the Dead By Daylight world. Dead By Daylight is a game about either being a murderer, or trying to escape murderers, and Hooked On You is a game about trying to make out with them. So yeah, there are some differences.
I’m not really a visual novel person, but I did find Hooked On You interesting enough to finish (at least through the one route for the character I decided to pursue). That playthrough took about 3 1/2 hours to finish, but it’s worth noting that time also included me reading every line out loud. There are a total of four characters, so presumably, I could go back and play through the routes for the other three.
As this is a visual novel, I won’t go heavily into the plot, because that sort of spoils the whole point of the game. Instead, I’ll just give my thoughts on the tone and my overall feelings on the game. Also, if you hate reading, you could just watch me play through it here.
Since I’m not really into this genre, I don’t have too much to compare it with. For me, the strongest parts of the story were the interactions between the various in-game killers, and also the few moments where the game takes itself seriously.
Unfortunately, while those moments aren’t ‘rare,’ the game spends a fair amount of time leaning on the fourth wall. It tries to be funny, poking fun at a number of visual novel tropes, including a limited art budget, and has a narrator who talks far too much.
For me, those were the weaker sections of the narrative. They tended to distract from the rest of the experience, and often felt forced to pad out run time. I’m not saying I expected the game to be serious. But swapping between “look how meta we are,” and “Which person do you want to get to know better?” never really clicked.
This is a fairly pure visual novel. Most of what you’ll be doing is reading text. There’s no real erotic content or art in the game, even if some things are heavily implied. The tone of the whole game is far more tongue in cheek, even for the only implied sex scene that I encountered. There was a single mini-game sequence that gets repeated several times, where you have to stop a circle as it goes over an object. It’s pretty much a simplified version of mainline Dead By Daylights skill checks.
So what’s my overall take? Well, Hooked On You is interesting, but I don’t think you’ll get too much out of it if you aren’t already into Dead By Daylight. The game is fairly short, with most options and decisions being pretty clearly telegraphed. The the reward for completing sections isn’t erotic art/text, just more details about characters. As it turns out I do like Dead By Daylight, and thus have at least a passing interest in its lore, so I got something out of this game.
If you don’t have any curiosity regarding Wraith, Hunter, Trapper, or Spirit, and what sort of people they are when NOT gutting folks like fish, there isn’t too much here for you. This is a tie-in product. Maybe it’s more than just a gag game, but it’s also not really much of a standalone item.