For a kiss of cosmic terrors, MyMMO demon Cortyn was willing to let you all die. That’s exactly what happened and was worth every life.
You know by now that I don’t shy away from weird games. I like dark beings and myths with great cosmic threats in the style of C’thulhu from the Lovecraft universe. But a good (or funny) dating sim can also convince me.
When I saw the trailer for Sucker for Love: First Date, I knew the game was calling out to me.
The starting position is explained quite simply: the protagonist has a clear goal that he wants to achieve. He wants to summon a powerful being. A creature from the far reaches of the cosmos. A “great old man” whose awakening would plunge the world into darkness and end all beings in a cacophony of horror. Once this creature is summoned, he wants a kiss from it.
Yes, you heard me right. He has no ambitions in terms of special powers or any pacts to enrich himself. It’s just meant to be a kiss from the cosmic entity.
The three cosmic monsters
Sucker for Love features the ability to summon three different cosmic beings, each with voiced dialogue and different personalities with their own stories and lots of madness.
Ln’eta is arguably the closest thing to C’thulhu. A giant tentacled beast whose awakening spells the end of reality. On the one hand she is quite cute and caring – on the other hand a “yandere” personality who does not tolerate meeting other cosmic gods as well.
“The Golden King” Estir is the embodiment of light from the planet Carcosa and behaves like a majesty who simply demands to be served. She loves to unharness Ln’eta’s followers and has a soft spot for precisely staged theatrical performances and mindless slaves who lip-read her every wish.
Nyanlatothep is the most powerful being of the Great Old Ones and appears in countless forms; for us in that of an oversized feline creature. In modern Internet parlance, she is what is known as “Dommy Mommy” and at the same time the most sinister of these creatures. But we affectionately call her “Aunt Nyan Nyan”.
To put it humbly: I loved every second with the three of them, even if I sometimes erased reality, humanity or time for it. It was worth it.
Rituals for the goddesses of the cosmos
In order to please Ln’eta and the other Great Old Ones, one must perform a series of rituals upon their arrival.
The rituals and interactable objects are – apart from the dialogues – also the only gameplay element. It’s basically a visual novel that wants to tell a story with a few twists and turns.
Again and again one has to look up in the book what is required for a ritual. Do you have to wear a special occult mask? Can the room be lit? Must posters have disappeared from the wall? Do you need a ritual dagger? What is the formula to recite?
The rituals are becoming more and more complex and the tolerance for mistakes is decreasing. In the second chapter, a single mistake can already lead to “game over” – or to the fact that the worshiped tentacle monster does not consider us worthy and blows out the life lights of the protagonist.
And because one world-devouring monster isn’t enough, of course I try to convince two people at the same time, but I make the mistake that they suddenly stand in the room together and want to have a “serious word” with me.
What sounds funny and is also funny at first glance has a clear horror component. Because while rituals are carried out to make our “heart lady” happy, not only the world changes, but also the protagonist.
In the bathroom you can wash your face at any time and then escape the illusion of madness for a few seconds. One’s own body is covered in blood, the skin has been pulled from the face, the eyes have been gouged out or the entire lower jaw has been severed. Somehow logical, after all, you had a dagger with you in most rituals to open yourself more and more to madness.
Anyone who has played “Doki Doki Literature Club” already knows this kind of horror. The actually cute, amusing game is punctuated by cruelty. A quick peek through the window reveals the screams of the dying, while body parts rain down from the sky and untold horrors from your worst nightmares take their toll. It even has some pretty dark jumpscares and disturbing artwork.
But these brief moments of horror quickly disappear when Ln’eta, the Golden King, or Nyanlatothep ask us for the next offering, we get a little closer to our kiss and give up our own humanity a little more.
Incidentally, the protagonist has a foolproof way of finding out if the person opposite him is a cosmic monster. You’re just supposed to try to pronounce the name “Worcestershire Sauce” correctly – and if you succeed, the case is clear. It’s actually a loan word from the language of these Eldritch creatures. Why else would it be written that way?
Conclusion: A wacky visual novel that does credit to Lovecraft horror
“Sucker for Love – First Date” surprised me quite a bit. After the trailer I actually thought that the game is so trashy that you can only like it if you like bad games. But that was not the case. The dialogues are surprisingly good and fresh. The humor is always quite apt, and some conversations have surprisingly deep themes and touch on some ‘reality’ or ‘fear’ concepts that keep you pondering for quite a while.
For all the absurdity of wanting to kiss an Eldritch Horror, the whole game is a pretty brilliant portrayal of these horrific creatures. If a cultist displays such fanaticism that they want to be “loved” by these cosmic creatures, that would be a pretty convincing twist on the madness they could be experiencing.
Sucker for Love isn’t a parody of the Lovecraft horrors, but a rather ingenious and detailed depiction of these creatures in a slightly different context.
With a playing time of between 3 and 5 hours, I was completely satisfied for the price of 8.19 euros and can only recommend this strange experience to everyone. The game is also currently sitting at 98% positive reviews – so people agree. However, knowledge of English is necessary – because unfortunately there is no German version of the game.
And now please excuse me again. Ln’eta requires me to shed my human shell and trade my arms for tentacles. Then writing becomes a little difficult.
In this sense:
Ln’eta ahf’ art I’ mgepkadishtu nilgh’ri.