A Dating Sim With 11 Herbs And Spices.
September 11, 2019 10:41 AM   Subscribe

KFC has seen a number of odd marketing campaigns, but their newest one definitely comes out of left field. Titled I Love You Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator, this dating sim from KFC Gaming looks to hit Steam on September 24th.

Polygon reports that the game has you "in control of a “promising culinary student” who’s studying alongside a young Colonel Sanders" (who has been given a distinctly bishonen makeover.) Further characters include a female rival and a dog working as an instructor who is named, simply, Professor Dog.
posted by NoxAeternum (50 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't hate this. And I can't wait for the cosplay community to jump on this!!
posted by Fizz at 10:49 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Does Professor Dog sit under your hat and bark(*) instructions? If not, why not?

(*) I see what I did there.
posted by Quindar Beep at 10:58 AM on September 11 [1 favorite]


Does Professor Dog sit under your hat and bark(*) instructions? If not, why not?

Not to derail this post, but on the subject of cute dating simulators and dogs...

*ahem*

Best Friend Forever [YouTube][Announcement Trailer]
posted by Fizz at 11:02 AM on September 11 [6 favorites]


Fizz that game needs a FPP pronto! DOO EEEET.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 11:10 AM on September 11


Sitting through a Professor Dog lecture is pretty rough
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:22 AM on September 11 [6 favorites]


I'm honestly surprised it took this long for someone to make this
posted by halation at 11:42 AM on September 11 [2 favorites]


As someone who was working on a joke dating simulator on and off for the past two years, this news is heartbreaking. No matter what I make, even if it's infinitely funnier than this, it will get compared to this, and I will lose credit on my thing. The window for originality was starting to close with Daddy Simulator and Hatoful Boyfriend, which were funny with slight winking, but now that brands are jumping in on it the joke is essentially dead. This might be a funny game, they even might make it a fun property, but by dipping their toes in they have poisoned the well for so many.
posted by Philipschall at 11:47 AM on September 11 [15 favorites]


It's The Brands' world now, Philipschall. We're only living in it.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:50 AM on September 11 [8 favorites]


Fuck brands, actually.

From the developer's about page: "Psyop’s mission has been to PERSUADE, CHANGE and INFLUENCE through creating content that wins the hearts and minds of audiences and consumers. We blur the lines between advertising and entertainment by telling compelling stories, creating engaging characters and building unique worlds."

I'm so *tired* of brands having personality and trying to be cute and relateable. Especially with like, trying to get into the visual novel space which has traditionally been (not without controversy, of course) where queer stories and creators can be allowed to exist and even thrive.

So just fuck the whole thing.
posted by Tevin at 11:53 AM on September 11 [28 favorites]


The window for originality was starting to close with Daddy Simulator

Dream Daddy was an entirely sincere dating sim/visual novel, so far as I'm aware. Like, the pitch is a little cutesy, but I don't believe it was conceived as meta-commentary on the genre the way Hatoful Boyfriend, etc., was.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:57 AM on September 11 [4 favorites]


As someone who was working on a joke dating simulator on and off for the past two years, this news is heartbreaking. No matter what I make, even if it's infinitely funnier than this, it will get compared to this, and I will lose credit on my thing.

I think corporations have been doing this for a long while. And while it is kind of sad that brands/corporations/marketing managers are trying to cash in on this genre, it'll never be as heart-felt or joyous as these other simulators you referenced.

Daddy Simulator/Hatoful Boyfriend. Both of these are games that are not trying to get retweets purely for brand recognition, they're there for fans of this genre. I feel like there's a distinct line between these types of games and games that are advertising.
posted by Fizz at 12:02 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I'm on the "Fuck Brands" train too but it's nice to at least see someone having a little fun with brand advertising. Even if their mascot is a patrician ancient remnant of plantation slavery. See also Tender Wings of Desire, the KFC romance novel, and its fabulous book cover.

Vaguely related: David Alan Grier is not the first Black Colonel Sanders. In which a joke is too good to be true.

Also vaguely related; there is plenty of Rule 34 porn featuring Colonel Sanders. Unfortunately the usual pairing is with Wendy, so it's creepy af.
posted by Nelson at 12:20 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


The Colonel's Twitter account follows the Spice Girls and six guys named Herb.

Am I the only one who finds "finger-lickin'" rather suggestive for use in a presumably PG dating simulator?
posted by praemunire at 12:23 PM on September 11 [8 favorites]


The only way to enjoy KFC is ironically at this point. I went into one for the first time in 10 years with very low expectations, and even those were not met.
posted by benzenedream at 12:26 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


Which was the high-school dating simulator with the cute dinosaur boyfriend who was sad because his arms were too short to play the ukulele?
posted by acb at 12:27 PM on September 11 [3 favorites]


The only way to enjoy KFC is ironically at this point. I went into one for the first time in 10 years with very low expectations, and even those were not met.

are you saying the confetti slaw is not everything i remember it to be and more?

also, nifty exception to that rule: KFoverCs (seriously though, thai KFC is the shit)
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 12:29 PM on September 11


I’d be more excited about this if the contract had gone to any of the dozens of struggling visual novel developers out there instead of a successful Manhattan ad agency.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 12:35 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


At times like this, I am reminded that Colonel Harland David Sanders (1890-1980) was a real person with living relatives and descendants. I have to wonder what they think of this game.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:14 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


The only way to enjoy KFC is ironically at this point.

I kind of like their in-store pictures- I mean the chicken leg/Kentucky picture and Col Sanders attire description picture is kind of funny. I'm not sure it makes up for the food, but close enough. I'm not always very picky.
posted by The_Vegetables at 1:22 PM on September 11


The Cheetos sandwich was actually good! It wasn't ironic! It's gone now, but it was good!
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:24 PM on September 11


This might be a funny game, they even might make it a fun property, but by dipping their toes in they have poisoned the well for so many.

I'm... not sure this is true? At least, like, not for anybody who would normally have played even a joke dating simulator before. Maybe the general public will hear about your thing and go "like that KFC thing?", maybe, but probably not even that because most people will have forgotten it in two weeks. It's like saying you're going to quit your tongue-in-cheek romance novel because KFC did it. How many people before this even remembered most of the time that there was a romance novel? The half-life of these promotions is not that long, and this is a genre that has a much bigger history than that.
posted by Sequence at 1:24 PM on September 11 [10 favorites]


I'm so *tired* of brands having personality and trying to be cute and relateable.

I am totally on board. Yes, Denny's and Wendy's have cute Twitter accounts. They are also international corporations valued at $1.5 billion and $4.5 billion respectively. That cute tweet you read was made by a marketing team who pitched their brand of irreverent humor to a room full of multimillionaires wearing suits worth more than you make in a month. Your identification with these funny tweets was predicted on a bar graph before you even saw it.

The minute you identify with a brand, you have been tricked.
posted by FakeFreyja at 1:32 PM on September 11 [10 favorites]


wake me up when popeye's has a dating sim
posted by pyramid termite at 1:44 PM on September 11


Am I the only one who finds "finger-lickin'" rather suggestive for use in a presumably PG dating simulator?

My brain immediately went in a Jokes Seth Meyers Can't Tell direction.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:49 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


The minute you identify with a brand, you have been tricked.

The only brand that I identify with these days is Nihilist Arby’s
posted by brand-gnu at 1:49 PM on September 11 [10 favorites]


Hah! I had this tab and the earlier Blasphemous thread both open in my browser and I misread the title to that thread as "every item on the menu has a dark backstory", which I thought was a clever title for this thread.
posted by ropeladder at 1:54 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I fucking love Nihilist Arby's.
posted by slogger at 1:58 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


wake me up when popeye's has a dating sim

(Travels back in time to shake pyramid termite awake in 1982)
posted by phooky at 2:04 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


> The only brand that I identify with these days is Nihilist Arby’s

Wow, Nihilist Arby's used to be mostly seething despair. It's turned to full-on anger now. When did that happen?
posted by ardgedee at 2:29 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


The half-life of these promotions is not that long, and this is a genre that has a much bigger history than that.

I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU, CHEX QUEST
posted by halation at 2:30 PM on September 11 [10 favorites]


Wow, Nihilist Arby's used to be mostly seething despair. It's turned to full-on anger now. When did that happen?

the harrowing sorrow that is 2019 comes for all of us, eventually
even novelty twitter accounts
posted by halation at 2:31 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


Hopefully this is better executed than the KFC Romance NovellaTender Wings of Desire which was a hilarious marketing stunt and I was open to reading it for a bit of ironic enjoyment, but it was really not good enough to keep me reading for more than a couple dozen pages.
posted by 3j0hn at 2:49 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


oh yeah I’m finally gonna fuck col sanders. I’m gonna split that guy in 2
posted by um at 2:52 PM on September 11 [7 favorites]


The only way to enjoy KFC is ironically at this point. I went into one for the first time in 10 years with very low expectations, and even those were not met.

My family has a 35+ year old annual picnic tradition* that featured getting a bucket of KFC (and coleslaw, onion rings, various other fixings). The past, I dunno, 10 years have involved a steady decline in quality. This year we decided that even the weight of decades of tradition couldn’t induce us to eat KFC again - we got a rotisserie chicken from Costco instead.

are you saying the confetti slaw is not everything i remember it to be and more?

My local KFC doesn’t even sell the creamy green coleslaw anymore. Or onion rings/nuggets. Which made it that much easier to abandon them, given the state of their chicken (their french fries have always been pretty disappointing).


* We go to the cemetery where my parents (who are both still very much alive) have a plot, and we have a picnic dinner. No, I don’t know why, and I literally don’t remember a time when we didn’t do this.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 2:54 PM on September 11 [11 favorites]


My very first job was at an Arby’s. I wish I’d known about Twitter then...
posted by theappleonatree at 3:01 PM on September 11


Secret Sparrow: "We go to the cemetery where my parents (who are both still very much alive) have a plot, and we have a picnic dinner. No, I don’t know why, and I literally don’t remember a time when we didn’t do this."

That's a fun ritual. Do you think your parents hope that you will keep doing it even once they pass away?
posted by crazy with stars at 3:07 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Daddy Simulator/Hatoful Boyfriend. Both of these are games that are not trying to get retweets purely for brand recognition, they're there for fans of this genre.

Everything about Dream Daddy (topic, script, characters) was designed from the ground up to exploit social media. There's even a talk about it by one of the creators.
posted by Memo at 3:10 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


I’m gonna split that guy in 2

spatchcocking
posted by poffin boffin at 5:01 PM on September 11 [6 favorites]


It's not often that I remember something that I had completely forgotten, but... Chex Quest. Oh my goodness how did I ever forget.
posted by reductiondesign at 5:33 PM on September 11


Avoid Dating the Noid
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 5:59 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


Li’l Wing, this reminds me of how your mother and I met, via an online real-time fetish simulator developed and funded to sell fast food made from - you guessed it, pinfeather! - poultry! It was known as Subservient Chicken and let me tell you you kids today have
posted by mwhybark at 7:16 PM on September 11 [5 favorites]


I thought this was interesting in light of the fact that The Colonel has been big in Japan, for a long time. Maybe bigger than in the states. Hell he’s probably a character trying to make a bassoon out of human femurs in one of the Murakami novels I missed. It would probably grant him the ability to sell pasta or something.
posted by SaltySalticid at 8:41 PM on September 11 [2 favorites]


And who can forget Burger King's astonishingly creepy and disturbing Sneak King Xbox game from 2006? Even with the help of competent therapists?
posted by MrVisible at 8:50 PM on September 11 [4 favorites]


maybe what we’re getting at here is that we’re all tryna meet up at the combination KFCBK?
posted by mwhybark at 9:56 PM on September 11


I like the mashed potatoes
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:08 PM on September 11 [1 favorite]


What with the nail polish and the romance novel, both linked upthread, I genuinely didn't think KFC's marketing could get any stranger, but it's nice to be proved wrong.

... and a dog working as an instructor who is named, simply, Professor Dog.

This sentence alone has been giving me the giggles for the last 5 minutes. Nice work, OP!
posted by unicorn chaser at 5:18 AM on September 12


Somebody should resurrect Subservient Chicken, only this time as a catch-all political metaphor meme.
posted by acb at 6:20 AM on September 12 [2 favorites]


That's a fun ritual. Do you think your parents hope that you will keep doing it even once they pass away?

I mean, that seems like the obvious motivation, right? Though, oddly, my parents aren't particularly invested in visiting their own parents' graves, and not because of any lack of affection so far as I know.

But I will keep going. I've already independently expanded the picnic tradition to include my Grandmother's grave site.

Back when I was in college my best friend moved to Toronto for school, and since I hadn't been to Toronto in about a decade I took the opportunity to visit and play tourist - with a twist. Picture me convincing my (very conventional stick-in-the-mud) friend that how we should really spend a lovely Autumn afternoon is popping over to the College Park mall in downtown Toronto to grab some takeout KFC and then take the subway out almost to the end of the Kipling line to a part of Toronto neither of us knew at all so we could sit in the Park Lawn Cemetery by the Humber River and eat a picnic supper on my Grandmother's grave. He gave me a look let me tell you. But he did it. And it was an adventure.

This was before Google Maps was really a thing, so we were flying by the seat of our pants, with a paper subway map and a Pocket Guide to Toronto, and only a vague sense of how to get there. Naturally we got off at the wrong subway stop. Then we got lost in the neighbouring King's Mill Park which, though lovely on a bright Autumn day, did not connect to the cemetery the way we expected. Then we had to wander around an unfamiliar cemetery, without a map, looking for the right lettered section. But we found it, and I saw my Grandmother & Grandfather's grave for the first time, and my paternal Great-Grandparents beside them.

We rolled out the picnic blanket and had our (somewhat cold now) Kentucky Fried Chicken. We poured out a toast to my departed family. My friend looked nervously around and said it felt odd to be gnawing meat off bones in a cemetery.

It started to get dark even before we finished eating (getting lost had rather delayed supper time). Not my first time being deep in a cemetery with darkness falling, but this was not a comfortable situation for my friend. We packed up and started walking north through the cemetery (not the way we'd come in) hoping to find a gate. As it got darker spooky glimmering coloured fairy lights* started appearing through the trees, in amongst the tombstones. The farther north we went the more lights appeared. We noped the heck out and veered off towards the Western border, where we finally found an exit to the surrounding suburb (after being pursued through the darkness by something that growled and rustled in the treetops above us**). We skirted the West & North perimeter of the (gently glimmering) cemetery from the far side of the street as we made our way back to the subway station.

My friend says it was definitely one of the more memorable experiences he's had.



* Solar powered electronic grave lanterns are quite popular now in some ethnic communities, but we'd not encountered them before that night.

** Turned out to be a large and rather territorial racoon.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 9:24 AM on September 12 [3 favorites]


This might be a funny game, they even might make it a fun property, but by dipping their toes in they have poisoned the well for so many.

Don't give up! There is room for lots of funny dating sims and other humorous visual novels, romantic or otherwise. (For those of you just joining us in this extremely good fandom, I recommend Jurassic♥Heart.)
posted by asperity at 12:47 PM on September 12


Oh look! It's the new season (hah) of Shokugeki no Soma!!!
posted by sydnius at 7:58 AM on September 13


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