This Week in Pop Culture: Dream Daddy

Summer brings strange trends in pop culture. The summer of 2017 was no exception. The latest addition to the world of dating simulators came to us from the brilliant (...well, brilliant might be a stretch. Creative is a better word) minds of YouTube gamers, The Game Grumps. Taking the gaming world by storm, Dream Daddy revolves around the Player Character, a single dad who moves to a new suburb with his eighteen year old daughter Amanda. Players create their ‘dad’s’ appearance, and name them, and then set them loose on the world.

I personally have not played the game yet, because doing so requires having free time, but I definitely spent about four hours watching YouTube gamer Markiplier play. I proceeded to get my roommate, my NerdBoy (who was initially completely indifferent to the whole concept of a dating sim for dads), and my friend Erin (the one who won at Monopoly without trying) hooked on it. The writing, done by Leighton Gray and Vernon Shaw, is hysterical.

What happens after the Player Character and Amanda move into the cul-de-sac is at the player’s descretion, but there are seven dads to choose from to go on dates with. There’s Joseph, the Youth Paster with four kids and a wife; Mat, the hipster barista whose wife passed away leaving him to raise their daughter alone; Craig, the Player Character’s college roommate and divorced dad of three; Hugo, Amanda’s teacher and dad to troubled teen Ernest Hemingway (we can all see why he’s troubled); Damien, resident goth and dad to Lucien; Robert, the dark and brooding bad boy who doesn’t talk about his past; and Brian, who is just too awesome for the Player Character to get along with, dad of a super smart daughter.

The player goes on dates with the dads, and the choices they make affect the success of the date. The dads will react with black sparkles (negative), hearts, or eggplants.

The most cool thing about Dream Daddy is how diverse the cul-de-sac is. Each of the dads is bisexual, if not outright gay, and the developers have confirmed that Damien is a trans-dad. The acceptance that Lucien has for his dad is beautiful, especially considering he’s an oregano-dealing troubled Youth. The player can even decide if their deceased spouse was male or female. The story line does not alter no matter which you pick: your partner is always deceased, dark-skinned, and named Alex.

I highly recommend Dream Daddy to anyone who enjoys comedy games. And come on, people, there was a pigeon dating sim. If that can be successful, why not dads?

My rating: 5/5 eggplants.