I really wanted Hooked on You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim, released quietly on August 3, to be good. The asymmetric online survival horror Dead by Daylight first captured my attention between its bloody teeth in May, and, since then, I’ve been hypnotized by its singularly savage Killers, limping, determined Survivors, and dedication to metaphysical spookiness while cultivating a multiplayer where people like to teabag. As a product of the Twilight generation, I’m a sucker for fucked-up romance, and I thought a serial killer dating sim could be an interesting way to explore why women and Michael Douglas thirst after fucked-up romance in the first place. But Hooked on You isn’t interesting, thoughtful, or very funny about romance at all.
You wash up onto Murderer’s Island with worms in your belly and no memories in your head. In quick succession, you come across a skull buried in the sand, vomit, and meet four cutesified Dead by Daylight killers: Trapper, The Wraith, The Huntress, and The Spirit. Trickster, the franchise’s murderous K-pop star, of all things, is also on the Island, but you can’t date him. His presence is mostly eye candy and another frayed thread in an already weak and mangled plot.
So, you wash up on this island and wipe the vomit off your face just in time to meet some beefcake Killers. Eventually, you discover that you’re also on a dating show and need to eliminate cute Killers as you lose romantic interest in them. The two narrators, the talking spirit of the ocean and the standard narrator that offers you prompts, also encourage you incessantly and cryptically to make good choices and find out why you’re on the island.