Hooked On You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim review – Sun-soaked, self-aware silliness
Hooked On You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim is a completely over-the-top experience that leans into how absurd-in-the-absolute-best way it can be, letting fans see an overly exaggerated and different side to some of their favorite characters.
Developed by Psyop — the studio that brought you I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator — the Behaviour Interactive published Hooked On You whisks you off to what seems to be a picture-perfect paradise getaway.
Featuring a variety of familiar faces from Dead by Daylight, including The Trapper and Dwight Fairfield, Hooked On You is everything that I never knew I needed, all while showing a different, totally bizarre facet to these characters fans know so well.
Hooked On You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim key details
- Developer: Psyop
- Release date: August 3, 2022
- Platforms: PC
Hooked On You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim trailer
Hooked On You is the wildest vacation you’ll take all year
Right from the outset, Hooked On You’s main menu is a far cry from the dark color palette, ominous mood, and “Dies Irae”-reminiscent score that players of Dead by Daylight are used to. Here, you’re welcomed with bold text, even bolder colors, and a cheery soundtrack full of steel drums that screams ‘vacation’.
Upon setting foot onto the aptly named Murderer’s Island, none of this changes, either, as you’re met with gorgeous, painterly backdrops that perfectly capture the magic of a sandy beach and warm teal-blue waters. While you remember little about yourself, you immediately (albeit temporarily) settle into the idea that, perhaps, after all, you really are just in for a relaxing time.
Throughout your whole experience you’ll interact with two fourth-wall-breaking characters: The Narrator, and the ever-ominous Ocean (yes, literally, the Ocean) who guide — for lack of a better word — you throughout this wild and wacky narrative. However, it quickly becomes clear that these two omnipresent characters both have their own motives.
Full of wit, sharp writing, and total self-awareness of just how outlandish this story is, you’ll be introduced to four Killers from the main title, all of whom are looking to woo you and kill you, all at the same time while pleading their case.
Depending on which Killer you choose to try and romance, your time on the island will play out slightly differently. You’ve got the jock-like, alpha male personality of The Trapper and his old-timey striped swimsuit; the laissez-faire, goth-girl vibe of the ghostly Spirit; the brooding, quiet, and thoughtful sadboi demeanor of The Wraith, and The Huntress, who dreams of love and a family to share her life with.
That’s not all, though, as you’ll come across more familiar faces throughout your time on the island, while also meeting characters from a Killer’s background — something that helps to add more layers to these cold-blooded, swimsuit-clad, uh, hotties?
There’s The Trickster, who sports a pair of eight-pack abs and occasionally flitters on screen when he returns from the mythical ‘IP Island’ (where all the celebrities live) as well as Claudette and Dwight, two well-known Surviv- uh, staff members on the island. What’s more, there are even a few other surprise appearances to uncover.
With an overly cheery disposition and a by-the-book packed schedule, Claudette and Dwight — who provided me with some of the biggest laughs throughout my playthroughs — opened up more and more throughout the visual novel, sharing some of their own insight with me after being the only person to ever thank them for their hard work as they hurriedly shuffle me from scene to scene.
As you play through the storyline, you’ll come to see that things aren’t quite as they seem — something Claudette and Dwight have also figured out (particularly because they are resurrected upon any death that befalls them).
Brilliantly ridiculous The Bachelor-style gameplay
As you navigate from one scene to the other, which includes a volleyball spot on the beach, The Huntress’ Cabin, or a pool for a spot of relaxation, you’ll be presented with different opportunities to get to know your ideal love match as you head on multiple dates.
For my own playthrough, I choose the wistful Philip Ojomo, also known as The Wraith, whose shy and restrained personality slowly peels away to reveal his true intentions throughout your time together.
Without giving too much away, The Wraith is entirely aware that something fishy is going on at Murderer’s Island, and is intent on getting to the bottom of it — something that seems a direct contrast to the other Killers who are more at peace in this place than he is.
Regardless of who you decide to pursue, you’ll oftentimes be greeted with mini-games, all of which — rather cleverly, might I add — tie into the format of Skill Checks within DbD itself, as you try to land a spinning pointer on a particular icon within a circle.
At one point, The Wraith offered to play cornhole with me, with the mini-game’s icon taking the form of a skull to be thrown into a hole. It’s this kind of silliness that continues throughout the whole of Hooked On You, and while it’s completely ludicrous to be wooing a Killer and playing the likes of cornhole with them, it’s a great ride when you give yourself over to it.
Characters will also share items with you during the course of your playthrough, from coins that can be used to trade, to shark-shaped bottle openers, a knight chess piece (MAURICE?!), and Wraith’s own bell that he uses to ‘bing-bong’ himself invisible with.
As one day drew to a close, the reality-show-style gameplay of Hooked On You really came into full force. Here, you’re able to decide who you want to eliminate from the competition, something that takes the typical trope of Killers hooking Survivors and turns it on its head as you boot one of them from the running.
There are also talking head segments at the end of the day — because of course there is. Here, the four potential love matches will reminisce on their day and their perception of you, while also hearing from the likes of The Trickster, The Narrator, and even the Ocean themselves too.
It’s not all holiday romance and wistful, longing looks at your murderous love interest, though (still can’t quite believe that I’m writing that, yet here we are). Push slightly too far, or choose a wrong option, and with one fell swoop, you’ll be greeted with the Game Over screen, where you can choose to Give Up or Try Again, taking you back to an earlier spot in that scene.
At one point, for example, I decided to take The Trapper up on a date offer and spend some time with him in his cave. Unfortunately, after a set of events that I won’t go into much detail about here, The Trapper decided that we were better off just as friends, which ended up with me being placed in an old mining tunnel for the rest of eternity along with a surprise character from The Trapper’s past.
There is plenty of replay value here, too. During my time I successfully romanced both The Wraith and The Huntress, both of which take different paths and allow you to uncover more of the island with each new playthrough that you do. Achievement fans will also find lots to dig into here, as you’ll unlock different ones depending upon the actions that you take.
While each playthrough follows the same story path, the different options presented place the events that unfold in your hands, meaning that the more games you play, you can pick different choices to see where it’ll take you. The only negative to this is the need to click through the same text and mini-game tutorials over and over again with each new playthrough (which can, in truth, become quite grating). Aside from that, though, it’s pure Groundhog Day meets DbD, and it works brilliantly.
The Verdict: 8.5/10
Hooked On You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim is something that, as a long-term Dead by Daylight fan, I never knew that I needed until now. This alternate universe version of these Killers and Survivors turns what we know about them on its head while we try to stay alive, uncover the mystery of Murderer’s Island, and axe any unfavorable possible romances from the running in slick, self-aware, and completely over the top reality-show style gameplay.