‘Lovelink’ game review
By Nhi Vo, Production Assistant
Personally, I would never use dating apps. You can call me old school, but I truly believe that online dating is not the best way to meet your significant other. With Tinder, the How I Met Your Mother series would have been one episode long. However, like any other curious human being, I sometimes wonder what would make me swipe right. That is why I decided to try out Lovelink—a virtual reality dating app.
Lovelink has all the basic functions of a real dating app. Each character has a stunning profile picture and well-written bio to make you wonder if this is love at first virtual sight. After a few seconds of consideration, you start swiping left on profiles that are likely to murder you and swipe right on cuties with a lovely smile or pet (totally based on your preferences). If it’s a match made in heaven, you can start a conversation with those hot virtual babes with a glimpse of hope for something fun or more serious.
A major part of the texting is scripted. However, you can choose what to message a few times during a chat. With the right choice of messages and reaction emojis, you can fill up your relationship level bar for each character. The more connected you are with your matches, the better their background story gets. Like real life, you will learn about their hobbies, career, family, and so much more. As you two get closer, they will start sending you adorable and maybe steamy photos, take you out on romantic dates, and even fly your character to Japan!
With more than 70 profiles eager to be matched with you, there’s no doubt you’ll find your dream lover. There are many different profiles, including high school jocks, cheerleaders, vampires, hackers, K-Pop idols, vegan animal-lovers, Hollywood stars and models, weird musicians, Fifty Shades of Grey type CEOs, military troops, scientists and astronauts, time travellers, cops and prisoners, and more.
My favourite match is Antoine who is participating in a sled dog race in Alaska. He is sweet and charming, not to mention his cute dog captain Arya. I am excited for him to finish the race so that we can watch the Northern Lights together (virtually of course). He promised me I can have his gold medal when he wins the race.
The gameplay is simple and straightforward. Like real life, you must wait a few hours between chats. Like real people, these characters are high maintenance. If you do not reply when they are online, they will likely think that you have ghosted them and mention this in your next chat.
At first, I did not know this and decided to swipe right more than I should have. I ended up chatting with approximately 20 profiles at the same time and I have to admit that was a lot of pressure. I could barely remember their names and forgot which background story belonged to whom. I suggest you talk with only three to four matches at one time. When you reach the end of their storylines, you can start swiping right again.
One major drawback of the game is the gem system. Lots of people have written complaints about this on the app store. Each day, you can only collect 15 gems two or three times. You get three gems after watching each advertisement video. When you fill up your relationship level bar for each character, you will receive 15, 20, 25 or more depending on your relationship status. Though, this is nothing compared to the amount you must spend.
You need around 25 to 150 gems for some choices of messages, emojis, and actions to take your virtual dates further (wink). It is quite irritating that you need up to 300 gems to unlock a photo sent by your matches. I only use gems for dates with matches in my top five and for extra photos.
According to Lovelink’s unofficial Reddit thread, some players are more eager to receive texts from their hot virtual babes over their real boyfriends. For me, this app has become the first thing I check on my phone in the morning. If you are curious about what people do on Tinder but have no interest in dating or relationships (I mean seriously, who has time for such things?), then Lovelink is a must-have app on your phone. Get swiping and try to find your ideal virtual date. Maybe when the time comes, you will find a real one.