Christmas is finally over again, thank Arceus, why do we dutchie need to have an official second christmas day as well? We do not have boxing day, our boxing day happens at around the 6th of january. This christmas I mostly spend by myself playing games and I finally got around to playing THAT game. Fried Chicken resembles turkey well enough, which is a christmas tradition, so let’s play this finger licking good dating simulator and let’s see if the colonel can warm my heart.
An Adorable Advertisment
As far as advertisement games go, usually they are not very good. Sneak-King was quite a horrible game from the age of the Xbox and of course Mc Kids was a sub-par platformer from the NES days. Though the latter has a fanbase of people who are “loving it’. We also had the soccer beat ‘em up game “The Mission” in which a couple of dutch soccer players had to beat cyborg ninja using their football skills. Save to say, this wasn’t a game for me. By far the weirdest advertisement game that came out was a game named Darkened Skye, this game was a high fantasy adventure action platformer similar to stuff like Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy or Drakan, Order of the flame. There were even some zelda esque elements in there. Just more broken. You play a woman with a bo staff named Skye, who is on the search to find her mother.To do this she must unlock magic deep inside her.. which she does ….with the power of skittles. By tasting the rainbow Skye can set different skittles in her amulet, to enable her to cast various spells and so she fights evil to fight her mother.. with a just a handful of the fruit flavoured candy. Since I love you Colonel Sanders seems to be made to be weird it had some big shoes to fill.
Luckily a game where we have to win Colonel Sanders his love, competing with a Jojo Character, a crazy women, robots, evil spork monsters and ghosts might just be crazy enough to convince me that this is indeed the weirdest add game I have ever played. Yet this game has something none of the others above had. A sense of consistency, of understanding it’s target audience and just having fun with it. This game knows it’s an add and the entire story revolves around the creation of KFC”s new menu item Mac and Cheese… and chicken. Of course you do this while making sure the Colonel will declare his undying love for you. While most other games DO also understand they are an add, they rarely understand the genre of game they are and just pick something popular to appeal to a crowd. While extremely meme’’ ish this game to an extend gets the genre of dating simulators and spoofs it in a non obnoxious and kind of adorable way. As far as adds go, this is a nice one. Even though I dislike KFC , I would kinda like to try the dish I helped create.
Finger Linking Good Design
The best part of this game by far is it’s design. The characters are all amazing, they feel like anime viable characters, albeit a bit exaggerated Aeshleigh or Ashley for example is the . typical manipulative, himedere elitist with enough western school-girl superficiality to be despised by anyone. This game is set on a cooking school and your main rival is someone who thinks food is made to be seen rather than be tasted. I would slap her for this if I could, but since I recently broke my other laptop already I opted out of it. Yet still nicely done. I did not like her, which was the games aim. You also have a male delinquent rival Van Van the man man, which wears a pompadour and strikes dramatic poses. He keeps serving edgy kind of food to make it as manly and butch as possible. His design is a clear reference to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures and the way he emotes, as well as how others show their emotions make this feel legitimately anime. Your best friend Miriam has that clumsy best friend anime vibe and her love interests Pop and Clank are quirky and fun. They are way below her standards but luckily the game handles this point fairly well. While the game can get critique that it doesn’t take the genre seriously and mocks it , that is kind of the point.
KFC knew no one really would be interested in playing a full length dating sim to date him. Or at least not enough people would do so, this game is still a clever advertisement so It needs to be seen by people. By taking the spoof route they can keep it short, free and a casual fun experience for everyone and as an anime fan you can see there is definitely some knowledge of the genre involved in making this , just giving you some extra nods and jokes. Sneak-King was super tedious to play or complete, Mc Kids took itself to serious and felt like a cheap knock off, I won’t even talk about The Mission and Darkened Skye took itself way to serious again and thus they missed the point of what they were. Despite its flaws I love you Colonel Sanders caters very well to what it is. So from a design perspective I do admire this game.
Too Many Spices
While this game heavily promotes substance over style in it’s own story when we get to the gameplay unfortunately we see the game is more style than substance. While the characters are cleverly written, solidly designed and we play with some tropes of both anime as well as the dating sim genre your actual part in this is… not as clever. While the Colonel does give some input whether he likes your choice or not, there are no recovery options if you misclick, since you most likely will only play this once that is not that much of a cardinal sin but if you like me try to get the perfect ending as well it can be a hassle. Especially since a few choices are locked behind a timer and others are locked behind “you will just have to wait and see’ and require you to finish the entire game to see if you made the right choice. While the game is not that long, this can still feel a bit tedious as I have no idea what I did wrong. I got a good ending twice, but still the Colonel did not want to partner with me. The only way to fix this is replaying and altering slightly between each run, with minimal differences. I will not do that, I just looked up the best ending and am done with this now. The differences are to minimal during the rest of the game to truly notice so it’s not that rewarding to replay this game. There is plenty of nice meta jokes in there, but if you see your character use their special move once it’s great, the second time it’s not fun anymore.
There is also the matter of to many plot points that go nowhere. For example you can get knocked out on several occasions that seem to give you visions of something important, yet this never goes anywhere because it is only used for a joke. You can discover several of the 11 spices in KFC chicken (though all are named “blank”) yet while this seems like a goal, it doesn’t go anywhere either. Except for one ingredient having an effect..somewhat. As a result your character gets a few angles they can chase yet the only thing you really should go for is Sanders love. As a result it feels a bit one dimensional, like cooking in a kitchen that has a complete spice rack filled with cool flavors and fresh herbs to add to this good looking dish, yet for some reason you can only add some salt and a bit of pepper. It works but just feels empty. It’s like adding the Bow to a Zelda game, saying Link can get it if he does a side quest. If he does.. he does get the bow.. but there aren’t any arrows to use.. nor any puzzles where the bow is needed.Why put elements in you do not end up using. It only creates false expectations.When you base your views of someone on false expectations it’s hard to fall in love with them.
There is plenty to like in this game, the jokes they make I found truly funny and there definitely is some knowledge about the genre and it’s tropes which make this feel like an actual game. Sure it spoofs the genre and tends to trivialise it but it’s not a full game it’s a free to play advertisement. Where normal dating sims give some nice artwork of you holding hands or kissing your lover, this game shows you artwork of KFC dishes. It’s clever and funny way to show this is an add, while keeping it fresh. At the same time once the final dish has been revealed there isn’t much reward for the player in scoring the perfect ending. There is still screen no congratulations. No you just end on a regular dialogue box followed by the end and a reboot to the menu.
So in a way this game is exactly like the junk food it promotes. Whilst you are playing it you are sure to enjoy yourself but finishing it can leave you hungry still, yet you don’t really feel like having seconds because everything you can choose here kinda tastes the same. So in a way it feels like the perfect allegory for KFC.While I doubt they made the game this META on purpose, this game is perfect for the franchise it represents…well it’s free and KFC isn’t normally as cheap so nearly perfect. As a game it is just okay but in this case it’s more than a game. It’s a meme, it’s a novelty , an oddity and one hell of an add and since it doesn’t cost you anything except maybe at most two hours of your time it still is something I’d definitely recommend.