When they’re not taking the subject more seriously in Boyfriend Dungeon, Kitfox Games apparently spend their time skewering the dating genre. Bad Cupid – billed as Salty Bet but for flirting – was a cute distraction when it first entered beta. Two chat-bots with videogame (or literary) character’s personalities enter, and hopefully they leave hand-in-hand as they attempt to woo each other while the audience bet on if it’ll happen. The now-live final version has plenty more characters, more complex conversational dynamics, and synthesised voices for that truly robotic vibe. Take a peek – I’ve embedded the live-stream below.
The new version of Bad Cupid works better than it used to. Interactions between the characters feel more coherent, although they still fall back on familiar topics a bit too often. Apparently everyone in videogame-land just like chiaroscuro, for some reason. I can understand Sherlock Holmes or Jane Austen showing interest in that, but a sentient cupcake or post-apocalyptic rebel? Maybe not so much. Still, it’s unfair to nitpick – conversational dynamics in games are hellish when there’s only one human making choices. Two bots is a recipe for disaster and/or comedy.
My main gripe is that while there’s plenty of characters, I’m only really familiar with a handful, and if that’s the situation I’m in, then most people will have no idea who these characters are. Still, some of them are familiar, like The Baz, the never-used Street Fighter character who rose to internet immortality. Of course, The Necrodancer would be well known, too – he’s a demon on the dance-floor. All of these characters are here by accepted invitation, so you’ll probably not be seeing Master Chief flirting with Doomguy anytime soon, but I’d like to think they’d get along well.