My ultimate goal in taking on Shall We Date: Demons’ Bond was to expand my horizons in gaming, try something new and expose myself to a genre I don’t usually indulge in. The “Dating Simulation” genre is not one that I have played in…really ever. So I saw this and thought to myself: “Alex doesn’t discriminate! Alex plays all games!”
What a fool I was.
I’m still not sure if I like dating simulation games, mainly because I’m not entirely sure Shall We Date: Demons’ Bond is actually a dating sim at all. It’s more like a digital manga that was either not edited or translated very poorly. Misspellings, malapropisms and syntax failures plague the script which is terrible for people who write (you know…people like me) and is especially bad for this game because reading is about 100% of the gameplay. You are occasionally given a choice to make, which (kind of?) alters the course of the story, and by occasionally, I mean about 1-2 times per chapter. The chapters are at least forty-five minutes long, so most of this experience is reading terrible writing, or fast forwarding through it when you can no longer stand watch the English language being beaten to death by grammar mistake after grammar mistake.
Something to note as well is the deceptiveness of the game’s “free” price tag on Google Play. You see, when you download the game of the site for “free,” you’ll open the game to find the Prologue, which sets up the game’s setting. In order to actually play through the story, you must pay five bucks for one of them. There are several, depending on which guy you want to try and date in the game. There are three or four possible guys to chase during the story of this game, which means if you would like the “full experience,” this game is actually going to run you $20. $20 for a poorly-edited badly plotted digital manga.
No, sir, I would not like another.
The setting for the story honestly confounds me. It is set during the Sengoku period in Japan, which for anyone who knows about Japanese history, is a period of feuding daimyo and almost constant war. Names like Tokugawa, Nobunaga, Takeda and Sanada come out of this period to forge the great history of samurai-era Japan. You take on the role of a female demon. You don’t have a choice. You must be a woman chasing a man. Mind you, I don’t mind playing a female. I do mind playing this female, though. I’ll get to that in a moment.
Before this gets confusing, demons look exactly like humans in this universe, they are just slightly stronger and better-looking. They also aren’t evil. In fact, a lot of the game revolved around how humans are more evil than demons. Your female demon is part of something called the Ten-Demon Alliance. If you think that’s a stupid name for an alliance. I suggest you steer clear of this game, because I doubt that there is a sentence in the script that doesn’t have “Ten-Demon Alliance” in it. People say things like “we are part of the Ten-Demon Alliance,” and, “As a member of the Ten-Demon Alliance…” and, “BUT WE’RE THE TEN-DEMON ALLIANCE,” in each and every breath they take. It’s pretty annoying.
Your character seems to be the only female member of this alliance and straight from the beginning of the game, you are ridiculed by almost every other member for being a woman. Also, as the sole female member of the Ten-Demon Alliance, it falls squarely upon your shoulders to be put in dangerous situations so that you may be rescued continually by the big strong man you decided to pay five bucks in order to fawn over for the course of the story. That is why I don’t like playing this female character. She purposefully doesn’t have a personality so that you can project your own personality on her; this makes her bland and co-dependent. The decisions that you make don’t add anything to her depth, and she’s constantly trying to make the men around her happy, which often times borders on weird subservience. I would love to play a badass female demon. This character isn’t badass, and she doesn’t look like any demon I would hang out with.
When it comes down to it, this isn’t so much a game as it is a reading experience. As far as reading is concerned, this is literal eye-torture, especially for anyone who is passionate about literature and writing.
Save yourself the headache. Buy a harlequin romance if you’re feeling frisky.
Lame melodrama and terrible writing make this “game” unbearable.