Dream Daddy is a dating simulator in which you play as a dad, to date and romance other dads, made by the creative team of the hugely successful YouTube channel, Game Grumps, starring Arin Hanson and Dan Avidan.
As a fan of the Game Grumps, I jumped at the chance to play a game with their signature quirky sense of humour, but what I didn’t expect was to find one of the most beautifully written games I have ever played.
Create Your Dream Daddy
In Dream Daddy you start a new life in an unfamiliar town with your daughter Amanda. Here you’ll get to create your very own Dream Daddy avatar with unique wardrobe items, like Game Grump Arin Hanson’s iconic hairstyle, and Game Grump Dan Avidan’s majestic leotard, as worn by his alter ego Danny Sexbang of the band Ninja Sex Party. When your newly created daddy is as dreamy as can be, you’re ready to start your dating adventure. All you need to do is slam the “BE THAT DAD” button.
Choose Your Dream Daddy
Explore Maple Bay, a seaside town brimming with single dads.
The Minister Dad
There’s Joseph, the youth minister dad. With one of the most compelling story arcs in the game, Joseph is the only Dream Daddy who’s still married when you meet him, although his marriage is anything but pleasant as he endures an alcoholic wife who is clearly being unfaithful to him. A religious family man, Joseph has four kids whom he loves baking with, which makes it even more heart-rending when they seem to internalise their parents’ decaying relationship. Part of the appeal of pursuing Joseph is the promise of a better future that your newly created Dream Daddy would be able to provide.
The Goth Dad
There’s Damien, the goth dad. With a deep affinity for the Victorian era, he absolutely hates it when you call his cape a cloak. He loves hanging out in graveyards, taxidermy, and relishes the chance to compose handwritten letters.
The Rival Dad
There’s Brian, the eternal rival and quintessential Dream Daddy dad. Forever rivalling your newly created Dream Daddy when it comes to being the world’s best dad, Brian excels at dad stuff. He also loves to brag about his daughter Daisy’s accomplishments, which might even turn into an all-out bragging battle to determine who has the loveliest daughter.
The Cool Dad
There’s Mat, the cool hipster dad who owns the Coffee Spoon. He loves going to concerts with his daughter Carmensita, collecting records, making music, and putting foam hearts in lattes.
The Fit Dad
There’s Craig, the fitness dad and your old college roommate. Having replaced beer with protein shakes, he loves coaching softball and doing push-ups with his daughters on his back.
The Bad Dad
There’s Robert, the bad dad. By far the hottest Dream Daddy, this scruffy ruffian loves cool knives, waking up at 3PM, brown liquor, and sharing stories of adventures. He has an overwhelming and, at times, even an unpleasant personality, but is also the most endearing.
The Teacher Dad
Lastly, we have Hugo, the teacher dad. Hugo is an English teacher at Amanda’s school who loves discussing wine and cheese pairings, as well as the smell of books. He is a writer of scholarly articles on 18th century literature, and has an adorable secret love for WWE-style wrestling.
Gaming with Dream Daddy
With beautifully crafted character art and environments, this dating simulator and visual novel game is based on the gaming genre made popular in Japan, in which friendships are formed by conversing with the characters you encounter. With the help of dialogue trees, you have different ways of approaching each character that could develop or end friendships, guaranteeing a continuation in the character’s story arc or bringing it to a screeching halt.
During your Dream Daddy dating adventures, you’ll have the chance to play the most fun mini games like mini-golf, and a brilliant battle scenario made in the style of the first-generation Pokémon games. True to the style of the original games, a wild dad appears and challenges you to a duel to determine who has the loveliest and most accomplished daughter, where every faux pas can lead to a devastating loss in life points. ‘Dream Daddy, gotta date ‘em all!’
The Triumph of Dream Daddy
I expected a light-hearted, even satirical, game when I first started playing Dream Daddy, a game filled with wonderfully terrible puns and dad jokes. What I never expected was to care about the characters so much. One of the most wonderful aspects of this game is the heart-warming relationship between your Dream Daddy character and his daughter, Amanda. The engaging and well written story arcs of each of the Dream Daddies really stands as testament to the triumph of the Game Grumps creative team’s first venture into the world of visual novels and dating simulators.
I wholeheartedly recommend this game to both newcomers and seasoned lovers of the dating simulator genre. It’s a funny, charming, adorable and heart-warming experience I can’t wait to play again.