For years, Dead By Daylight fans have unironically wished for a way to romance the many Killers of Behaviour Interactive‘s asymmetric horror game. Like many communities, they dealt with their thirst by creating art and writing fanfiction about their favourite psycho killers, never believing that the chance for romance was on the table. But now, with the spin-off visual novel, Hooked On You: A Dead By Daylight Dating Sim, horny fans can do more than kiss Killers.
In Hooked On You, you wake up marooned on Murderer’s Island for an inexplicable reason, coughing seawater out of your mouth, completely confused as to why you’re there. Soon you realise you’re not alone. You have two companions that act as guides during your journey on the island, the sentient Ocean and the Narrator. You’re only told to find out why you’re on the island, nothing more.
You’re quickly introduced to the Killers on the island: The Trapper, The Huntress, The Wraith and The Spirit. Along with their own distinct personalities, each Killer has their own characteristics and backgrounds you’ll grow more familiar with the more time you spend flirting and getting to know them; they’re all absolutely ridiculous in the best way possible and surprisingly all have the hots for the player, even though some of them like to imagine chopping you up into tiny pieces most of the time.
Hooked On You is unapologetically horny and a comedy through and through. It’s not unexpected, but Behaviour goes above and beyond to sell it. Before diving into this visual novel, I expected exactly what it says on the box: a dating simulator featuring Dead By Daylight Killers. In a sense that’s true, but Hooked On You is more of a parody of a dating simulator that makes fun of the general formula of a visual romance novel while also leaning heavily on humour; it gets away with it.
One of the ways the game achieves this is by continuously breaking the fourth wall. There also aren’t many visual novels that use the convention as a storytelling tool because when you’re trying to romance a bunch of fictional characters you want to be immersed in your own personal story. But with Hooked On You, the game pulls it off in some of the most surprising ways that it only enhances the already enjoyable narrative and its hilarious writing.
It does this by playing into the humour while also bringing the Dead By Daylight community into the mix by poking fun at its players and other real-life events surrounding Behaviour Interactive, like the whole NFT business and the studio’s collaborations with other IPs. There are also some pleasant surprises that will please fans of the franchise that are delivered on an occasional basis throughout.
As the whole point of this game is to try and bang one of the Killers, you’re presented with a bunch of questions throughout with impactful answers that will lead you down certain paths and different conversations. Killers will clamour for your attention if you reciprocate, but it also makes it stressful to choose the right thing to say. Certain choices towards the end of your journey – as is the case presumably with romancing any killer – will result in your death which means game over, so you have to be strategic with how you approach the situations that progress the story.
A couple of times I made the wrong choice and got myself hacked to bits by an angry Killer because I misunderstood the question being asked, meaning I had to replay an entire date with The Huntress all over again. There are also moments where the game will intentionally mess with you and quite literally forces you to choose a specific answer in order to progress a scene. Usually, with choice-based titles, I’m not a fan of when my own decisions as the player don’t matter. It’s forgivable in this case since you’re playing a parody dating sim and in the end, I was just laughing at how absurd everything was.
Mini-games are also one of the game’s main interactive aspects, and there are plenty scattered throughout the story. They’re repetitive and uninteresting and mainly require you to press the space bar to hit a target on a spinning wheel which increases its speed each round. They’re not special and don’t add anything to the overall experience except for a few lines of dialogue from Killers if you absolutely suck, so your performance results do matter in some cases.
It took me around three hours to complete my first playthrough and the game takes place over three days, so it’s a relatively short but good time. I would’ve liked a bit more build-up to the “finale” as the game puts it because when I did reach the credits, it felt like the game just ended abruptly. Whether that was intentional for comedic purposes or not, I was sort of left hanging on for more.
The game does encourage you to replay the game several times to find out more and I did just that. Of all four times I replayed I decided to pursue a different Killer and I was able to uncover new dialogue, characters, choices, and events each time. I was happy to discover that each playthrough wasn’t entirely the same, sure you have to repeat the days and activities that are tied into the story, but there are plenty of scenarios to interact with. I believe I have more to find out too, even after four playthroughs.
Hooked On You delivers what it sets out to do in this parody dating sim and will please visual novel and Dead By Daylight fans alike. The narrative style definitely lends to the overall story experience, especially when paired with the witty dialogue, and although it can be completed in a single sitting there’s plenty to uncover with its replayability.
- Engaging characters and writing thanks to the comedic angle
- Lovely visuals
- One big horn-fest
- Minigames are boring
- Shorter than expected