Thirsty Suitors: We tried a really wacky mix of skateboarding, RPG and Scott Pilgrim

Thirsty Suitors: We tried a really wacky mix of skateboarding, RPG and Scott Pilgrim

Thirsty Suitors

How do a turn-based RPG structure, acrobatic sessions on skateboarding in dreamlike landscapes, and a narrative base taken from the now strange Scott Pilgrim blend harmoniously? Ah boh, we certainly don't know, but obviously someone in the small indie team named Outerloop Games must have had an epiphany, because their latest game wants to be exactly the aforementioned system and mechanics soup.

We tried Thirsty Suitors as part of the Tribeca Festival video game selection. Unfortunately, the demo allowed us to test only the introductory phase of the campaign, yet this curious title full of influences is actually less schizoid than one might think, so much so that it could represent a curious surprise in the panorama if managed properly. Let's see why.

An army of exs

Thirsty Suitors: Jala must not only "fight" her exes, but also skateboard stunts on tracks born from her psyche. Because? You're Asking Too Many Questions We didn't come up with Scott Pilgrim haphazardly, even though Thirsty Suitors' premise is quite different from that of Brian lee O'Malley's well-known comic. Here too, in fact, the protagonist, a girl named Jala, has to contend with an army of Ex apparently eager to return to her good graces, but this does not happen because of another relationship, but simply because Jala decides to return to the his hometown after years of absence.

The reason for the return is not entirely clear, or at least it is not clear from the beginning: in other words, the girl has just come out of yet another relationship that ended badly and has decided to make a surprise visit to her relatives to "fix" in the meantime the shattered relationships she has left behind. Where, however, another title would tackle the thing to the sound of dialogue and drama, here things are resolved ... with turn-based battles worthy of a jrpg.

The narrative of the title, after all, revolves entirely around the mental constructs of the protagonist, endowed with a fantasy capable of creating acrobatic paths to be overcome to complete a simple aptitude test, or an ideal clone of her sister who acts as an interlocutor during the adventure. This translation of the imaginary into the real understandably gives shape to a myriad of different situations, which the developers have cleverly exploited to field rather diversified gameplay.

You know when we talked about skateboarding? Well, that's exactly the vehicle you will have to use in the routes just described, complete with precision jumps and stunts between one dialogue and another. True, during the demo we were able to try only one "track", but at least the integrated test allowed us to partially customize the development of the protagonist, since the statistics vary according to her choices and how you choose to characterize her.

It is an undoubtedly curious mix of ideas, and we would have liked to see its evolutions. More than anything else because, although interesting, we found everything a bit rough and limited pad to the hand and we must therefore understand if at the end of the game these levels "Tony Hawk" will actually represent a welcome variation on the theme or just a boring filler. The potential for everything to evolve positively, however, is there.

Bollywood shifts

Thirsty Suitors: Yes, there are cooking challenges in the game as well, but we couldn't try them. the most structured part of the game are the clashes, even if they are in effect battles full of humor where dialogues and insane attacks go hand in hand. Only the fight with Jala's first Ex was available in the demo, an extraordinarily well-groomed thug named Sergio, yet it was more than enough to get an idea of ​​the mechanics.

As already mentioned, every encounter with an Ex it is a turn-based battle with various usable moves and a mana bar needed to use the special powers of the protagonist. The energy bar fills up using the normal attack, but this does very little damage and it is absolutely necessary to use skills wisely to get the better of it. Since we are not dealing here with real fights, however, but conversations transformed into epic (and demented) confrontations from Jala's imagination, the "spells" are nothing more than insults capable of amplifying the character insecurities of the opponents (such as the addiction of Sergio from his mother, for example).

Thirsty Suitors: the slipper. The most powerful weapon available to any mother The evocations follow the same philosophy: during a phase of invulnerability of the enemy inside his "mental palace", we literally had to evoke a psychic image of the mother of the protagonist armed with a slipper. to get things back to normal.

This almost Bollywoodian tendency to focus on absurd scenes, at least, does not seem to deprive the game of complexity: there are applicable statuses with insults that increase the damage inflicted, very powerful (but apparently quite limited) healing items ), and it is clear that other specific mechanics will be seen during each boss battle. It would have been nice to face at least someone else after Sergio for some extra evaluation, but the demo was still more than enjoyable overall. There also seems to be an interesting "dating sim" system that, based on the choices made in the dialogues, leads to clashes with exes to end in a "romantic" or "friendly" way, and we are curious to understand where this choice will go.

Thirsty Suitors: the dialogues with the Ex almost immediately turn into turn-based clashes worthy of an RPG. And crazy And what about the technical sector? Well, Thirsty Suitors is certainly not excellent from a graphic point of view, however the game partially counterbalances this thanks to its bright colors and its crazy world. The build we tested also seemed much more refined than the first videos shown of the title were, so it is clear that the development has progressed further. that worthily.

While quite crude in mechanics and systems, Thirsty Suitors is a crazy mix of humor and mechanics that could really have its own why if handled wisely by its development team. and now understand how far it will evolve, but let's hope it will be able to make the most of its potential to turn into a nice indie surprise. The setting and the basic idea are absurd enough to support this.


Absurd concept, but fascinating precisely for this Beautiful potential variety given the mixture of systems DOUBTS The mechanics they are a bit rough at the moment. Have you noticed any errors?

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