Purrfect Date was released on Steam on December 15th, 2017, and joins the prolific army of visual novel dating simulators. Similarly to Hatoful Boyfriend, Purrfect Date imbues dark comedy and mystery into the dating practices. Branded with “dark British comedy”, players adopt a human persona, and date cats on an island in hopes of uncovering a litany of secrets. Players have the autonomy to choose their own adventure as they romance various cats, maintain their stats, and conduct research focused on the “questionable history of the island”.
The game contains seven different chapters to complete, six dateable cats, “more words than Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, and guaranteed spikes in levels of stress as stats will need to be managed in the background while maintaining a vivacious professional, yet passionate life on the island. The stats include research, recon, romance, and stress, which are to be balanced while making assessments of the cat-filled island through the guise of a visiting scientist.
Like most visual novels, players date the cats, but the undertone is more explicitly about spending time with them, and getting to know each available cat on a personal level. Their personalities change and adapt over time as they slowly come to their own after becoming comfortable with the given relationship. It’s not unusual for dating simulators or visual novels to throw wrenches into relationships, present some heartache, or require precise courting. Purrfect Date is no exception, especially when considering Undertale, Hatoful Boyfriend, Dream Daddy, and Pony Island were listed as inspirations. These cats need to feel supported and safe to begin to unravel, not unlike the real things.
Purrfect Date prides itself with providing the possibility of various playthroughs, as in usual dating simulators, players often commit to a specific romantic interest until its fruition, leaving various other cats to come back to in subsequent story-lines.