The 'dadification' of games is an interesting phenomenon. As a generation of primarily male game developers settle down and start families, it's hard not to observe a growing trend of protective father figures cropping up as game protagonists, some better at it than others.
Gothic fantasy parenting/management sim My Lovely Daughter seems a fitting antidote to all of that. An alchemist attempts to revive his lost daughter through forbidden arts, and reassembling her lost soul will require the creation, nurture and ritual murder of a procession of adoring homunculi.
So, no 'World's Best Dad' mug for him, then.
My Lovely Daughter seems to be at least partly inspired by the Princess Maker series of life-management sims, although this game looks to have a somewhat more pragmatic outlook on the creation and raising of your legion of substitute children. Your amoral research needs funding, so you send them out to work around the town, buy them gifts to increase their affection, cultivate fear when necessary and make with the stabbing once their soul is fat, juicy and ready for harvest.
It's striking and original stuff, though one thing that does concern me a little about My Lovely Daughter is the quality of the script. Developer Gamechanger Studio are based in Indonesia, and if the screenshots and trailer are any indication, it shows - there's a distinct second-language vibe to it. A game like this needs a native English speaker to give its script a final polish-up, especially when enjoyment of the experience hinges so heavily on the atmosphere being maintained.
Still, the initial user reviews seem positive enough, although some do complain about repetition. Hopefully we'll be able to take a closer look at this at some point, but until then we'll just nervously stand over here with a slightly worried look on our faces.
My Lovely Daughter is out now on Steam for £10.25/$13.50