Table Manners
Image: Echo Chamber Games

Table Manners: Steam Review – 2:2

Table Manners is an infuriatingly fun dating sim. Its Surgeon Simulatoresque controls keep the game’s challenges filled with enjoyment and rage in equal measure. My flatmates and I have delighted in screaming as we knocked all manner of tableware into the surrounding area, all just trying to pick up a salt shaker. I only wish the texting portions outside of the dates felt a bit more real to bring up the sense of simulation and make the relationships feel a bit more real. Despite this, my first hours with the game have been fantastic and I cannot wait to play more! 

There is not an awful lot to the premise of Table Manners and honestly, there does not have to be. After a quick tutorial to run you through the basic, yet tough to master controls, you are asked to find your first date. At this point, you can choose your preferred partner appearance (male presenting, female presenting or both) and can swipe left and right on the people presented to you, much like most modern dating apps.

Table Manners is out today if you want to give it a go yourself!

Having chosen your partner you can either text them to get a conversation started or head straight out on a date. The date itself requires you to perform various tasks, from pouring wine, to lighting candles and ordering food. These and other objective set by your date all seem simple enough, but in the one-handed world of Table Manners, they are anything but. The controls blend the right balance of intuitive and clunkiness to make mistakes common whilst remaining not too rage-inducing. Each task you are presented with is accompanied by a timer within which you must complete them. Doing them in a timely manner will please your date, but failing to complete them will leave your date feeling ignored and annoyed. Should you do well, and not spent too much on re-ording food you have flung off the table, you can unlock various rewards and progress to the next level. Failing tasks may leave you needing to find a new date before you can go further.

The controls blend the right balance of intuitive and clunkiness

Outside of dates, you can improve or sometimes worsen your standing by texting with your matches. The premise is fun, playing into the dating sim aspects of Table Manners but the conversations are painfully fake, to an extent where consecutive messages do not feel like part of the same text chain. As such it can be impossible to deduce what text options are your best next move for impressing your date. I have succeeded and failed with very little clue as to why and I do not believe my lack of dating experience can take too much blame. Though the premise is still a fun one to try out, even if only for a brief few seconds to send a cheesy chat-up line before dinner.

Overall though the game is a bucket of laughs and a fantastic option for anyone looking for a date on Valentine’s Day or any other day of the year for that matter. If you are a fan of Surgeon Simulator like titles, Table Manners will be right up your street, generating a brilliant combination of love and hate. The game has its faults for sure but it is awesome to play alone or with friends, taking it in turns to practice your love skills. Table Manners is out today if you want to give it a go yourself!

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