Dating is terrifying. You meet a stranger (likely on an app nowadays, let’s be honest), arrange to spend time with them alone, and try to be your “best self” while you sip on overpriced drinks and pray that they’re not a murderer – I really wish the latter was a joke. The point of it all? To work out if this is someone you actually like; whether you can see some form of future with them beyond stiff small talk over the Pizza Hut salad bar. In most cases, probably not.
I am grateful daily that my courting days are behind me. Most of my romantic pursuits ended in an awkward goodbye followed by a silent phone. But in the Dead by Daylight dating sim spin-off, Hooked on You, the stakes are much higher. Instead of being ghosted, you may be drowned in a swimming pool. After all, all your potential suitors are cold-blooded killers.
Hooked on You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim is pretty much what you think it is – well, almost. If, like me, you’re a Dead by Daylight fan with an aversion to dating sims then you may have let out the same horrified groan I did upon its announcement: “Who would want to bang The Trapper?” The answer, I would find out, is me.
In regular Dead by Daylight, a group of Survivors is tasked with escaping from a bloodthirsty killer without being murdered. If you’re the Killer, then you have the (often cathartic) task of hunting down the Survivors and sacrificing them to the Entity in return for your own escape.
Hooked on You takes four of the game’s Killers (The Trapper, The Huntress, The Wraith, and The Spirit) and plops them in a tropical survival dating show setting. The lucky bachelor? Well, that’s you, who has just washed ashore with no memory – but for some reason an immediate drive to get nasty with some murderers.
The suitors have had a bit of a… redesign. The axe-wielding Huntress is, let's say, bustier than in Dead by Daylight. Wraith, whose ominous bell typically sends shivers down my spine, gives off soft boy vibes. The phase-walking Spirit is mysterious and somewhat unnerving. While Trapper is an oily meathead in a singlet – and my prime target.
Hooked on You is surprisingly funny, especially if you’re a long-time Dead by Daylight fan. There are plenty of jokes poking fun at the community, the developer, and the game itself, making this more of a parody than a serious dating sim spin-off. For example, Survivors Dwight and Claudette act as Activities Coordinators on the island – but in private, they’re trying to kill themselves permanently to escape the cycle of being resurrected again and again.
Against my better judgment, I pursue The Trapper. He’s dumb, a big bully, and – most importantly – isn’t a fan of displays of emotion. At every turn, I say the wrong thing. Twice I’m murdered. Each time I enthuse about our relationship he glares me down, but I simply can’t resist Arnie-esque muscleman poses.
Despite our awkward conversations and my constant faux pas, I pick Trapper for my final date. He strips off into a sparkling banana hammock and we get down to business – all off-screen, of course. But ultimately my night of passion with the bear-trap aficionado is in vain. As I hand him a bouquet, bachelor-style, I’m friendzoned. He doesn’t hate me enough to murder me, but doesn’t “feel that way” about me.
Much like a real-life ex, I dread running into him in the Forsaken Boneyard. Hopefully, he’ll make my next death quick. Or at least less painful than our dating experience.
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Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.