Truly I’m not sure where to begin but here goes. Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is a dating simulator released on mobile platforms in 2014, it was later ported to Steam and now gets a release on the PlayStation 4. The titular Kitty Powers is a drag queen and she’s set up a dating agency putting the player in charge of making the matches.
A brief introduction gave me the chance to create my own avatar, specifying things as diverse as temperament and eye colour. Its all light and breezy and fairly fun to do. A short while later and Hank Tank was born, a geeky singleton looking for ladies with a firey temperament. Although my avatar didn’t affect my game, he did get sent out to possibly be a client in someone elses game, which was a nice touch.
After this the game starts proper, a new client will come to Kitty’s dating agency and proceed to spill the beans on what they are looking for in a date, as well as describing their own personality traits. Based on this information dump I was tasked with picking a match from someone on the books. There are a good few variables to work with here and it’s unlikely a perfect match across all the criteria could ever be found, but often at least some of the criteria will be met. The game is all about balancing these variables to make the actual date go smoothly, later upgrades can ease this strain somewhat.
Once the match had been chosen it was off to one of a range of resteraunts to begin the date proper. What follows is effectively a series of mini games around choosing the right food, selecting the correct topics to discus and even holding in a fart. I’m not going to go into all of these, as the fun to be had here is in discovering them for yourself.
None of these minigames are too taxing and most of them seem to rely on simple tests of memory. I was always trying to remember what personality my date was so that I could answer the questions in the correct way. If I failed three times my date would leave in a huff.
Successfully completing a date feeds into the levelling up system, awarding coins and rank increases. The coins can buy more resteraunts, different clients and other general upgrades. There was a balance here between unlocking new venues or cheating at the dates, as lots of the dating dilemmas allowed cheats to be bought with coins, this balance added a nice depth to the game.
That is the basic loop of the game, things get more difficult as the game progresses, but effectively that’s the whole gameplay loop. Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is clearly a mobile game at heart and is geared towards short goes and incremental upgrades. I’m sure this would have been better suited to the Vita, but then of course the Vita can’t stream as easy as the PlayStation 4.
Here I am then a bit at a loss as to why this clearly mobile game is on the PlayStation 4. The only conclusion I can come to is that it is aimed at a market for streamers and lets play videos. Something which is a very specific audience to go for. The humour, the idiosyncratic use of language, the curious looking characters and the amusing animations all seem geared towards making people laugh.
I think the main appeal here is going to be in the humour and Kitty being the big drag queen she is revels in inuendo and double entendre and this is the sort of humour present throughout. It’s ok if a little bit like a BBC sitcom from the 1980s, it never did more than raise a wry smile on my face.
Here we are then at the end of the review and much like at the start, I don’t really know how to finish this. What stands out for me is that although I don’t stream I was still able to enjoy the game for what it was. The gameplay is serviceable, the presentation is bright and clear and it’s easy enough to play. Overall then the game is sort of ok, but nothing really special and I’m still not sure it’s best suited to the PlayStation 4.