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I'd never thought to ask a dog if they liked to base jump before. Then again, I've never gone to a speed dating night for dogs, either. Or met a talking dog and tried to get to know it. Basically what I'm saying is that George Batchelor's Hot Date, a game of conversation with pugs during a speed dating night, was life-changing. It cast me into a heady night of conversational adventure I never knew I wanted to have. It let me into the secret lives of dogs who loved the park, who were suspicious of my intentions, who were interested in butterfly collections, and who preferred Pikachu as a starter. Pfft. PIKACHU. Right. Next dog, please.

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In Hot Date, you get placed across the table from a variety of smouldering pug hotties, and you have to get to know them in a hurry. You're given a handful of conversation options to ask, and each pug reacts differently to what you say. The pugs all have various names even if the character model is the same, but the game constructs a personality for them that seemed to be different every time. You have quite a few questions to ask on a short time limit, and can even build your own questions using a series of word choices, something I found a little paralyzing at first despite the fact that I was just trying to get to know a dog. Sitting in silence while you think about what to say doesn't go over well, though, just as it wouldn't on a real date.

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So, what do you ask? Whether they've read certain books? Do they live around here? What jobs do they have? It's all pretty ridiculous and disarming considering you're talking to a dog, but they're actually decent questions to ask to get to know someone. For someone who finds regular conversation with strangers a little stressful, it's actually a really good game to practice how to talk to people, and the dogs make it just silly enough that it got past my nervous defenses. It's a fun, funny game you can grab for free to have goofy conversations with some dogs, but it actually has some practical use for people who aren't all that comfortable just chatting up someone new. Either way, you need to grab Hot Date.

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Hot Date is available for free on Itch.io. For more information on the game and George Batchelor, you can head to the developer's site, their Itch.io profile, or follow them on Twitter.