I don’t often play dating simulators. There are a whole host of better ways to fill that need. But yesterday I “played” Beach Bounce for a short amount of time. I noticed it in my Steam library, and like most games in my Steam library, I wasn’t quite sure how it got there. I’m also not sure why I decided to install and play it, to be entirely honest.
As I understand it, dating simulators are games in which which you are tasked with making choices to seduce one or more potential mates. This is exactly what Beach Bounce is. And while I did not care for the narrative that was loosely draped over the one-dimensional “gameplay” I may have played it for slightly longer if not for the rather unsavory story path that I ended up going down.
One of the woo-able ladies and my character were out on the town for a social evening, and were partaking in the consumption of alcoholic beverages, as you do. I was given several prompts to either egg the girl on to keep drinking and get totally hammered, or stop her before she passed the point of drinking responsibly. Of course, I kept telling here to drink more. That’s how all the wacky hijinks happen, right?
Once the copious drinking was complete, they were then sent back to my character’s resort suite, wherein the two were implied (thank you, Steam censorship) to have engaged in a session of sexual acts. The morning after, my character was fired from his job, with the implication that his friends and family would abandon him for what he did, and that he would be left homeless and destitute. Also it was Game Over.
On one hand, I was a little bit upset that I was not given any choices after the characters left the bar. Like, that’s really the point where you should be giving a player agency. It’s not the worst thing to suggest to a friend to have another couple shots when you’re out, you know, drinking. But a player should be given the choice to take their friend home safely and not sexually assault them, you know? Alas, ’twas not the case.
On the other hand, I was pleased that Beach Bounce, which is more or less about bedding as many women as possible, handed out a very severe punishment for taking advantage of a woman who was way too drunk to make any decisions on her own. It was a surprisingly bright spot for a genre that I assume is rooted entirely in misogynistic tropes.
But then I was given an achievement for going down that story path, which suggested that the action was worthy of an award. So Beach Bounce immediately lost any goodwill I had for it and was quickly uninstalled and thrown in the digital bin. It is an awful game. Please don’t ever play it.