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Have You Played... LoveChoice?

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LoveChoice remains one of the shortest, simplest games I've ever played, never mind written about. And to write about it in any detail risks spoiling why it's so special.

It can be yours for less than two quid. You should give it a go.

The funny thing about LoveChoice is that none of its insights are original. Everything it has to say is obvious, but it still needs to be said. We all know that being healthy means excercise and eating less crap. We all know that a good relationship means taking an active interest, listening, making time for each other. We all still screw up.

It's not a failure for a relationship to end, and certainly not for one to never form. I've always intensely disliked the way we're encouraged to treat "dating", as though it's a test you're supposed to pass, a performance where you have to second guess the right things to say or do to win a lover regardless of who either of you is. Visual novels and dating sims in particular are terribly prone to this, and that's exactly why LoveChoice works. It knows you'll take things for granted. It knows you'll assume things. It knows you won't bother.

We all get it wrong in relationships. Sometimes ending one is the healthier thing. Sometimes the odds were always stacked against you, your circumstances and your problems and your coping mechanisms were going to be misaligned no matter what you did. Maybe you tried but they didn't believe it. Maybe they asked but you never understood.

Even though there's so little at stake in its minutes-long playtime, even though I long ago learned that life is just a series of departures, seeing that header image still feels like a gut punch. I screwed up, and I probably will again. Maybe I'm just no good at this.

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