Speed Dating for Ghosts is a game about finding love, and finding the tender, human idiosyncrasies in stories told to you by grotesque blobs of ectoplasm. Kyo is a soaking, nervous ghost scared of other ghosts. Spooky Peter, on the other hand, is damn proud of being a ghost and wants you to know about it. Stephanie wears a mask, to hide herself from herself as much as you. In the time between sitting down to meet them and when the bell rings, you’ll learn all the secret hopes and fears that make these odd spirits what they are. You might even find out a little about yourself, too.

Speed Dating for Ghosts

Till Death Do Us Part

Speed Dating for Ghosts is also a game that’s difficult for a middling journo like myself to write about when the creator has already used every brilliantly awful ghost pun available, but it’s all for the best. Like overblown expressions of affection, Ghosts manages to be both charmingly cheesy and wonderfully touching. The simple art style is subtly expressive, capturing each ghost’s unique character in just a few frames. The soundtrack veers between ambient introspection, dreamy percussive optimism, and jittery lounge tracks soaked in heavy bass. I’ve been informed that the creator sold “a bunch of minty Super Nintendo boxes/manuals” to help pay for development, and you can feel the nostalgia in the familiar bitcrunched bleeps, bloops and bassy echoes that make up the ghost’s voices, like connections to a past videogaming life.

Speed Dating for Ghosts

Something Something Bleeding Heart Something

After getting to know your selection of potential paranormal paramours, you’ll be able to choose which one you want to take on a date. There are nine ghosts in total, and different conversation options mean you’ll want to play through each a few times to see everything. The dates replace the colored backgrounds with a purgatorial grey; details are relayed to you in sparse, suggestive prose, but these scenes evoke the feeling of being alone with your chosen date in a world faded into the background. Just you, them, and their stories.

Speed Dating for Ghosts

For a game about the end of life, the one spirit that seems to fully possess Speed Dating for Ghosts is a sense of hope for the future. You can find it on Steam and Itch.io.

About the Author

Nic Reuben

Nic Reuben likes to pause games every five minutes to ponder the thematic implications of explosive barrel placement. When he's not having an existential crisis over CAPTCHA verifications that ask him to prove he's not a robot, he's reading sci-fi and fantasy short stories, watching cartoons, and mourning the writing standards in Game of Thrones.

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