Super Seducer: Restraining Order

I’m putting the word “right” in quotes because what this game thinks is “right” is very, very wrong. When I saw the name “super seducer”, I pictured something like this: wacky, sixteen bit, intentionally ugly, takes place in a bar or other social gathering. You play as a Barney Stinson-esque caricature, trying to engage in perverted actions without getting thrown out, getting several slaps and drinks to the face in the process. Offensive, but in a self-aware and parodic way that gives it a silly sort of charm. That’s what I wish we got. Probably wouldn’t be my cup of tea, but I’d probably be able to enjoy it.

Instead, we get a sincere attempt to create a game that teaches you how to be a pick-up “artist”. Per the email I got with the press release: “World-Renowned Dating Coach Richard La Ruina Shows Men How to Take Their Seduction Skills to the Next Level in Full-Motion Video Seduction Simulator”. Again, if this was a parody or satire, I could probably laugh with it, but it takes itself disturbingly seriously. I’m sure I don’t have to explain to you the disgust that comes with the phrase “pick-up ‘artist’”, and yes, that is exactly what they mean by “dating coach”, but the sheer idea that they want to spread their “teachings” to every incel and neckbeard in the western world just makes the whole idea even more terrifying.

Here’s how it works: the game’s divided into a series of levels, wherein your goal is to get a girl’s phone number or take her home with you. Each level starts with you picking your “target”, and you get a series of options of what to do. Personally, I’d recommend the secret “leave” option at the beginning of each level, available by holding down the “alt” key and then pressing “f4”. After each option, you’ll see your choice play out, and then La Ruina himself will explain to you whether you picked the “right”, “meh”, or wrong option. If you pick correct, two scantily clad women who look unbelievably bored will appear in the frame with him. You know,  just in case you were afraid you weren’t objectifying women enough.

It gets worse. I’m not one to cry “rape” at the slightest provocation, but I picked the feature image here for a reason. In the very first level, you have to decide how to approach said level’s target. Personally, I’d hit alt and f4 again for the greatest approximation of my real-world approach of “walk past her”, but the game doesn’t let you do that. As it turns out, the “correct” option is “approach from the front” to, as La Ruina explains, “make it difficult for her to leave”. This sets the tone for the entire game, as you’re consistently “rewarded” for TAKING AGENCY AWAY FROM WOMEN. “Rewarded”, once again, is in quotes, because all you get is verbal praise and the chance to see some very bored-looking models. I’d get a better sense of pride and accomplishment by blowing a week’s worth of wages on loot boxes.

If it was satire or a joke, maybe I’d get it or laugh along, but if the protagonist, the one we’re supposed to be rooting for, the one that’s supposed to represent us in-game, actually says the words “when you say no, I feel like you mean yes,” verbatim, that’s not something I can laugh along with. That’s something I have to be absolutely shocked by. Also, a quick message to the devs: read the freaking room:

 

Image courtesy of publicseminar.org. I do have the game’s press kit, but I’m much preferring finding my own images than looking at Shanna Vincent or Richard La Ruina’s greasy mugs.

This… just happened. I don’t even think I’d say it ended yet. We as a society have spent the last half a year calling out people who prey on not just women, but men and children too, and I just can’t understand how Fair Play Labs (the irony isn’t lost on me, either) can look at the world around them and decide that this, a game built around objectifying women, taking away their agency, lying to impress them, and eventually wearing them down until they give in to you, is at all acceptable!

Because I’m sure this will be someone’s counterargument: yes, I know that the game chastises you for being especially perverted. If you try to look up a girl’s skirt or ask someone to have sex in the bathroom (which the game lets you attempt, by the way), it’s marked as a wrong answer and La Ruina tells you not to do that. The amount of sheer disturbing content in the “right” answers, though, is even more disturbing in my mind. You’re told to act in ways that are downright shameful like lying, not leaving someone alone when they ask you to, “negging”, and so much more.

Please, please do not buy this game. Donate the $13 dollars to RAINN or a similar charity instead, or at the very least, save it for a better game. If you’re absolutely curious, allow me to recommend ProJared’s Let’s Play of the game, where he and his editor soften the blow and call out everything terrible about this monstrosity. As I said in the beginning, this is one of those games where watching is no different than playing, and this is easily the best experience you’ll get when it comes to this game.

We’re not done yet, by the way. 1100 words isn’t enough. Come back tomorrow to read another member’s perspective on how horrible this thing is. Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I really need to hug someone right now. I’ve played Horror games before, but nothing in a game has ever scared me more than this.

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