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Freeware Garden: A Date In The Park

Awww, young love. Can seem so tacky when you are cynical, so naively passionate and yet so very adorable. Even when it involves a slightly obsessive young man and, as in the case of A Date In The Park, pointing-and-clicking at things that include at least one duckling. Then again, this relatively short adventure game does come from the creators of Mudlarks and thus both a decent amount of strangeness and some ’90s styled digitised graphics are to be expected.

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Preparing to meet the beautiful Catarina, the girl you met and fell in love with only last night, in order to spend a day frolicking in her favourite park, doesn’t seem too ominous a premise. But A Date in the Park is quite the creepy game with a distinct horror vibe.

One with some smart and successful ideas and a silly and a sick-but-not-quite-disturbing plot.

Strolling through the stunning Tapada das Necessidades park on a sunny day is another thing I enjoyed. Yes, despite the romantic atmosphere being a bit off, the park is a rather beautiful place. It even sports a statue of Priapus, who is much more than a god of gardens. He is a fertility god and a very impressively endowed one too and I remember being thoroughly shocked by one of his statuettes as a kid. It was a very popular ’80s souvenir from Greece apparently.

As for the game itself, A Date in the Park, comes with simple puzzles that really help keep its pace up. It’s a mostly narrative experience, where most of the challenge comes from navigating the park and trying to figure out what the Portuguese NPCs are talking about. It’s absolutely worth the hour or so it takes to reach its cool finale.

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Konstantinos Dimopoulos


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