Face off along with your not-so-evil exes
The demo for Thirsty Suitors begins off sturdy. Sitting on an extended bus journey, there isn’t a lot to do however take into consideration life, love, and who your Thirstsona is. And from there, it’s an extended evening of coping with your previous, your interior notion, and battling your ex in an RPG duel.
I received to play a slice of Outerloop Video games’ Thirsty Suitors as a part of the Tribeca Video games highlight this 12 months, and it was exhausting to fit right into a style. It doesn’t neatly match one, and I don’t assume it must both. Its mix of journey, RPG, and even skateboarding merely clicks collectively, in a enjoyable and really relatable expertise.
The protagonist, Jala, is on her manner dwelling after a very tough break-up. However dwelling doesn’t all the time imply sanctuary, particularly if you happen to left it in a nasty spot. That’s the impression I received early, as Jala’s inside narrator chides her and pokes in any respect her insecurities.
Look who walked in
There may be strolling round on the town, answering some dialogue questions to find out my Thirstsona (together with some moderately incisive inquiries), and sure, skateboarding. The main target of my demo was an encounter with one in all Jala’s exes, although; the moderately muscular Sergio.
Sergio is the boy again dwelling who crushed on Jala and by no means un-crushed. He’s been harboring emotions since grade college, and now that Jala is again in the marketplace, he’s capturing his shot. And in stunning RPG vogue, that shot comes within the type of a turn-based battle, command menus and all.
Assaults went forwards and backwards, with quick-time rhythm moments popping as much as day trip excellent hits or guards, much like the Mario RPGs. I beloved the 1-2-3-4-hit tap-in the devs added, making it very simple to choose up the rhythm for every hit.
Because the combat goes on, Jala and Sergio argue about life and their previous relationship. It performs a story function, organising why these two didn’t work out whereas additionally highlighting how every has modified, or not modified, within the time since.
It additionally performs up completely different fight maneuvers Jala can use to get the upper-hand. At one level, I threw out a flirtatious look, leaving Sergio smitten and open to assault, taking further injury from sure expertise within the course of. It’s simple however works very properly, particularly when it hyperlinks up with the story.
Make peace, not warfare
The battle heated up increasingly, till Sergio hit his energy spike and adjusted the world round us. It was sort of just like the Area Growth in Jujutsu Kaisen, which truthfully dominated and I hope was not less than a part of the inspiration.
Anyhow, Jala and I replied the way in which anybody ought to when confronted with a cussed, seemingly unmovable opponent: calling mother. Jala summons her mom, who towers over the battlefield earlier than bringing down a thunderous chappal on Sergio’s head. It was fantastic.
The combat doesn’t finish by beating Sergio up, nonetheless. It is a key a part of what I dug about Thirsty Suitors: that this RPG fight, turning a terse verbal sparring into fantasy RPG battles doesn’t finish in defeating another person, however making peace with them.
It’s clear that Sergio has constructed a reminiscence of Jala right into a model of her that doesn’t exist. And Jala’s been a bit callous up to now, too. Each of them recognizing they’ll do higher, and possibly begin off on a greater footing with one another, is the true decision.
After taking part in this chunk of Thirsty Suitors, and getting a tease of extra exes ready within the wings, that’s what I’m actually wanting ahead to. Going again dwelling and seeing outdated faces once more is all the time unusual; video games like Evening within the Woods have captured that feeling so properly, and I get related vibes from Thirsty Suitors.
However I’m additionally wanting ahead to seeing extra of Jala’s hometown in Timber Hills. The Steam web page teases extra skateboarding motion and even a cooking minigame, the place Jala works to enhance her relationship together with her mom via cooking. For all of the wild theatrics of mentally battling your exes, there’s a quiet, intense relatability to attempting to reconcile your model of the previous with others. And alongside the way in which, hopefully discovering a solution to transfer ahead and develop a little bit bit within the course of.
So sure, Thirsty Suitors is completely on my radar now. It’s charming, enjoyable, and strikes a good steadiness between an genuine, actual story and goofy enjoyable. I’m hoping the chappal sticks round, too. Wishlist it on Steam right here.