Sometimes you just want to do away with open world epics and simply match up two hopeful lovebirds. If you agree with that sentiment, then Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is for you.
Developed by Magic Notion, Matchmaker started from humble beginnings as an iOS and Android title in 2014 before venturing out onto Steam a year later. Now, Xbox One and PS4 owners can try their hand at romance, pairing up hopeful clients of various sexual orientations, colours and interests, all pining for love. Er, virtual love.
Rich Franke does double duty as Game Director and Kitty Powers herself, instilling the latter’s humour and personality into the mix. Despite an emphasis on types – hipsters, geeks, jocks and the like – Matchmaker is all about inclusivity. As Powers says in a tool tip, “same sex marriage is legal in this game! How refreshing!”
How refreshing indeed. Please take note, Australia.
As Kitty’s protégé, it’s your task to build up your very own matchmaking company. Starting off at humble beginnings, each successful match builds your office, your reputation, and most importantly, your skill set. You start by summarising your client, finding the things he or she doesn’t like, then finding a suitor using Kitty’s little black book. Once you’ve found a pair you think will work, it’s off to the races… or, in this case, the restaurant for a date.
Powers is all-knowing, and very forthcoming with advice… at least, initially. The simple rule of thumb is to keep things lively, never repeating yourself. That means sticking to a different restaurant with each couple, and ensuring you don’t talk about the same topic more than once. While it sounds simple, try keeping all that in mind during a couple’s third date. Kitty’s able to help with this kind of thing, but that comes at a price – and thankfully, a price that’s paid wholly by in-game currency, without the ability to cash up via microtransactions.
On dates themselves, you play a series of random mini-games. Picking the right type of food based on your clients’ preferences. Remembering who your waiter is. Talking about random topics and deciding whether your primary client should lie or be truthful to the other. There’s a bit of memorisation – and even some math – involved, but nothing too strenuous. It’s a pretty relaxing affair all throughout.
A neat little addition revolves around the title’s avatar system. Upon starting the game, you input your details – name, star sign, interests and the like – and that information is sent to other real-life players of the game (with your name changed to protect your privacy). Other people playing the game can see a ‘real life’ person, identified by a special icon, and work towards finding your virtual self a little bit of romance. A mail system not only informs you how your matches are faring, but how your virtual self is doing on the battlefield of love.
Matchmaker is very much a mobile game. It’s a simple, effective loop, best suited for trips on the bus or train or when you need to kill time. As a console game, it’s a tad less gripping, but still works. Better yet, despite a bunch of double entendre, there’s nothing unsuitable for children. If you’re okay with your kids pulling a love handle – aka, a slot machine handle – having dinner at Route 69 or the Jerk King and erecting new wings of your headquarters, then they’re good to play matchmaker themselves.
Is Matchmaker life-changing? No. Is it action-packed and as gripping as Breath of the Wild? Certainly not. It is, however, a fun little time-waster, full of memory puzzles, personality assessment and inclusiveness. Just because it’s now on consoles doesn’t mean you should necessarily play it on Xbox One or PS4, either. A steal at $4.49 AUD on iOS… and a little less so at $17.95 AUD, it’s hard to go wrong with Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker on the platform it was conceived on.
Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker was reviewed using a promotional code on Xbox One, as provided by the publisher. Click here to learn more about Stevivor’s scoring scale.