Welcome to This Is Not A Review. In these articles we discuss general impressions, ideas and thoughts on any given game, but as the title implies, it’s not a review. Instead, it’s an exercise in offering a quick recommendation (or dismissal) after spending enough time to grasp the ideas and gameplay of a thing without necessarily playing it from A to Z.
The subject of this installment: Later Daters Part Two available on Nintendo Switch and PC, developed and published by Bloom Digital.
Earlier this year I played through Later Daters (Part One) and found the overall premise intriguing, but the game itself was on the short side – I finished in two hours and didn’t even realize I had reached the end. I was glad to see a follow-up released within the same calendar year, but a full review would have been slightly redundant.
Later Daters is a visual novel that takes place inside a senior citizen community, featuring numerous characters who have a little extra lust for life. The elders are looking for love and, yes, hoping to hook up with their fellow community members!
Later Daters (Part Two) is still an inclusive title that tackles topics most games usually avoid – death, Alzheimer’s, LGBTQ+ issues, and even polyamorous relationships are all interwoven within the script. The developers have done an excellent job keeping things lighthearted without making the seniors the butt of the jokes.
The devs have now included a cribbage minigame with this sequel. This was my first time playing cribbage, so it was a learning experience. However, the tutorial does an excellent job walking players through the rules and style of play. While I appreciate that it was included, none of the options I chose during the story resulted in the characters playing it, so it feels slightly tacked on.
The second half of Later Daters is about as short as Part One – this time I was finished in under three hours. While there was some story resolution, I once again found myself surprised to see the credits roll without more loose ends being wrapped up. We contacted PR for info on a potential third installment, and as of this review, there are no current plans.
Gamers looking for a unique story — and especially fans of visual novels — will find it with Later Daters. It’s not without issues, but with both parts released, it’s now easier to recommend.
When he does find time to play, Brian’s preferred games of choice are platformers, beat-‘em-ups, or a good adventure game.He still enjoys the retro gaming scene, could talk about the Nintendo 64 more than he might like to admit, and misses playing in actual arcades. Brian also gets to pass on his love of gaming, as his oldest son is just now starting to join the fun.
As for that GameBoy - it’s sitting in Brian’s nightstand, waiting patiently for four AA batteries.