One Of Steam's Top Selling Games Is A Dad Dating Simulator

Dream Daddy is a new dating sim where you play as a father and date other fathers. On the surface, it looks like a light game about hot dads and the dad jokes they make. It is that, but it's also a sincere look at what it's like to be a father.

My dad is incredibly proud of me. I know this, because in my first few weeks of working here, one of his co-workers left this comment on one of my articles:

Funny story: I work with your dad, Ben, and now it’s a treat every time I see your articles on here. I usually come in to work in the morning and find them printed out in our office. He’s proud of you!

My first few hours of Dream Daddy, a new dating sim that's tearing up the Steam charts, has given me some insight into his life, strangely enough. In this game you play as a father moving to a new neighbourhood with your teenage daughter, Amanda. Your partner has died, and the two of you are downsizing. You dad is entirely customisable: The character creator comes with a wide range of skin tones and hairstyles -- even Goku's hair -- and during the opening moments of the game, you can decide if your past partner was a man or a woman, or if Amanda was adopted or your biological child.

The game mostly plays as a standard dating sim. You click through a lot of dialogue and choose some options during conversations. Dream Daddy peppers this with a few cute mini games. When you first meet one of the dads, for example, the game turns into a Pokemon homage while the two of you brag about your daughters.

While the game is pretty horny -- you can have a sexual encounter with a fellow dad on your first night in town -- a lot of your conversations have to do with what it means to be a father. At the neighbourhood barbecue, you and your fellow dads talk about how to balance being an authoritarian with being cool and approachable to your child. In my playthrough so far, I've also had to make some choices about how I'm going to be a parent to Amanda. If she comes back a hour and a half after curfew without responding to my texts, how do I respond? If she's clearly upset over something but refusing to tell me, do I give her space or get pushy? The parts of the game that really force me to get in the mindset of a parent are quite touching. As the dad I created, whom I named Dad Jackson, recounted a story of bringing Amanda home from the hospital, tears came to my eyes. He really, really cares about Amanda.

The other fathers are all well-drawn characters who I want to get to know. There's of course romantic subtext, but even though I'm totally ready to bone down with Mat, the hot barista, I'm also enjoying just learning more about him. He's an awkward guy, his coffee shop is covered in band puns (I ordered the Godspeed You! Black Coffee), and he used to be in a band. In fact, the first time you hang he invites you to a PUP concert, which is one of my favourite real-life bands.

The game stresses that these people all have more going on in their lives than just being dads, even if fatherhood takes up a lot of their time. Just like your own parents, none of the characters emerged fully formed the moment they became a father. They all have experiences from their youth that has made them the dads they are today.

There's a lot more going on in Dream Daddy than just bad puns and jokes about stereotypical dad interests. Yeah, your dad likes barbecuing and the History Channel, but there's way more to him as a person. As a young woman who has a close relationship with her father and was once a lot like the distant but funny Amanda, it's made me realise how hard a job being a parent is. Dream Daddy is $US15 ($19) on Steam. Oh and dad, because I know you're reading this, I love you very much.


    Not to be rude but wasn't this covered back on the 20th of June?

      We do occasionally write multiple articles on one game! Dream Daddy was released this week - our previous article looked at the teaser.

        Fair enough I couldn't remember if it had been covered last time as I've seen this game pop up all over the place.

      OMG. Is one article per game the rule now? Hearthstone, Overwatch, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, et al are all going to be soooo pissed.

    All the dads look to be around the mid-30s, yeah? and the complaining kid might be early teens...

    So the kid is complaining that these old dudes (millenials) are blaming his generation (also millenials) for the failing economy?

      People born after 2000 are Gen Z, Millennials are Gen Y (1980-2000).

        I hate that Gen Y gets lumped in with the Millennials.

        Millenial are commonly referred to as ending sometime in the mid 00s . It's a bad subject considering there is no authoritative demarcation between generations Y and Z. Different people and bodies use different standards across different demographics which has lead to the beginning of Z lying anywhere between the mid 90s and mid 00s.

        Nevertheless, the writing is either a cute, sardonic nod to downward intergenerational economic blame - made all the better with the presumption that the kid isn't of working age - or it's a shit pastiche of the same thing.

    Can you have a former partner who was male, but also have a biological child?

    This is makes or breaks the game.

      You absolutely can! I just bought the game and used those exact options :)

      Yes! In the dad creator there are two options for every dad bod. Tank top bod and binder bod. So you can play as a trans dad!

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