REVIEW / Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker

Ever dreamt of running your own dating agency?

Can you tell when someone likes you? Have you ever wanted to help people find true love? Do you ever wonder what it would be like to work for a Drag Queen? For the majority of us, the answer to these questions is NO and the release of Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker on console is nothing more than another quirky mobile port that will end up gathering dust in the depths of the on-line store. However, Kitty’s not one to go down easily, as she will more than happily tell you herself, and this innuendo-filled homage to dating shows has been capturing the hearts of gamers everywhere.

You take on the role of a new recruit, all starry-eyed and bushy tailed, ready to make your mark on the matchmaking world. Luckily for you, Kitty Powers, the gender bending matriarch of relationships has taken you under her wing and is ready to teach you everything you need to know – from profiling potential suiters and essential restaurant etiquette to removing those hapless individuals who just can’t be helped. Her ostentatious charm, panto wit and a plethora of saucy innuendos are the perfect way to introduce you into Kitty’s world. With her help, an eye for detail and a photographic memory, it’s your job to make Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker the number one dating agency in the world!!

So it’s time to hop on the good foot and let Doctor Love take over – or should I say Memory Man, as the most important aspect of matchmaking appears to be your ability to play memory mini games. Lose concentration for a second or miss a subtle detail and you could blow the whole date. The tasks vary from remembering the order of items or recalling a telephone number, to what your partner was wearing, what their interest and hobbies are or even what the weather was like when you arrived! You’ll also need to be on the ball with percentages, as you’re asked to work out how much to tip; play a higher or lower card game in the vain attempt to stop a rather embarrassing case of flatulence; and spin the Wheel Of Lies to try and get round some rather uncomfortable situations. There are loads more challenges to complete if you wish to arrange the perfect date, all simple to learn, quick to play and difficult to put down.

The game’s Candy Pop pallet and cartoon graphics mix beautifully with the ever flamboyant photos of Kitty Powers, perfectly illustrating the title’s overall camp charm. However, there is no avoiding the title’s mobile phone heritage. The differences between the mobile version and the PS4 release are negligible and, though this may seem like a missed opportunity, the artistic style works so well within the context of the game that alterations would have depleted some of its spellbinding appeal.

Kitty Powers’ dulcet tones are the only real vocals you’ll hear in the game; a lot of the romantic whisperings are left up to your own imagination: a moment of pure genius when it comes to the immersive and humorous nature of the game. Conversations are well written and have enough variation to keep them interesting but the true coup de gras here is that the writers seem to have taken their cues straight from the set of The Only Way Is Essex or Jersey Shore. You can’t help putting on your best Essex accent and chuckling your way through some absurd romantic moments. Add in the tongue-in-cheek humour with lashings of innuendo and this game is truly laugh-out-load funny. While most of the audio is of a high quality, Kitty Powers’ lines are often fuzzy and appear to be poorly recorded, detracting from some hilarious moments and superb voice acting.

With a bundle of trophies that will put your matchmaking skills to the test, a multitude of upgrades to buy and the ability to have your own character go out into the big wide world of dating, there is plenty to do in Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker. But, even with all these wonderful elements, it’s difficult to ignore that this is a mobile game. Everything about it feels optimised for playing on your smart phone. Even the in-game coin system is obviously designed to be used in conjunction with micro transactions.

Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker is great fun and I thoroughly enjoyed my time working at the agency. Though there’s no hiding from its mobile game pedigree, playing on a larger screen, in the comfort of my own home, was perfect for my style of play and however you choose to bring Kitty into your life you won’t regret having invited her in.