MY FRIEND Doug was watching over my shoulder.
It took less than six seconds for us to understand that this game, Bidding for Love, was about rape.
"You are a 600 million yen thing."
The first three lines in this game are enough to make anyone who cares about women angry. This is not art exploring the depths of a horrifying and complicated issue. This is, as Doug put it "a profoundly creepy sexualised experience".
Dating Sims aren't common in these pages, as they're not frequently released here. There is a level of 'difference' common to these games that make them nearly impossible to mass-market in the west.
This is a polite way of saying that these games frequently ignore reality entirely in favour of LSD-worthy allegories for damaging power dynamics in romance.
"This is a free love simulation game for girls."
Really? Neither Doug nor I have ever begun a romantic relationship by purchasing another human being. According to the developers of Bidding for Love there are girls that do, and this is the game for them.
We played for a few seconds more. Apparently being tricked into being sold at a black market auction is fine if the blokes are hot.
This game is incomprehensible. The design, the interface and plot are impossible to follow. We keep clicking through and all we got was the choice of who purchased us.
So far there's nothing to recommend about this game.
We found a forked path in the story after about ten minutes, but it just seemed like three different ways of apologising to a man who'd just roughed us up.
Oh, and to continue past that point we would have had to pay money.
So far the story seems to be that we're a female secretary who's been tricked by her bosses into being sold off at a black market auction. Our next move is to fall in love with the person who's deprived us of our life and liberty.
How did I even find this game? It was pointed out to me by a friend: a mother of two who saw it advertised as being relevant to her interests.
This game is rated 4.3 out of 5 on the Google Play store. That's a frighteningly high score for something that is broken, abusive, and marketed at young girls.
The reviews on the front of the game's store page are overwhelmingly positive at the time of writing and give no indication as to the soul-destroying, woman-hating grooming that this game really is. I can't help but suspect that vote-tampering is responsible.
The in-app purchases are constant and confusingly labeled. The built-in social aspect of the game is ripe for abuse by predators.
This game is an absolute blight on civilisation, and you need to keep an eye out for this kind of rubbish.
To anyone playing this game, especially young people, I hope you see it for the horror it represents, not as a game about romance.
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