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The visual novel dating simulator is a fun genre, but the framework (though usually enjoyable) can get predictable, i.e.: you arrive at a new and unfamiliar location and meet your peers, who are all teenagers from different cliques/talking animals/gay dads, you begin dating several of them and eventually whittle it down to just the one who you want to end up with, and along the way you could possibly discover one or more horrifying twists involving demons or murder or similar. Purrfect Date doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it bucks some of these trends, i.e. you date talking animals (this time dogs haha just kidding, it’s cats) and there is a twist, but you get the opportunity to date each of the cats in one playthrough and don’t have to start the videogame afresh every time.
In fact you kind of have to date each of the cats, or you won’t see all there is to see in the videogame. In Purrfect Date you play as a series of research assistants who arrive on an island populated entirely by cats – plus the scientist studying them, the security guard, and a married couple who act as caretakers. Your job is to assist Professor Pawpur in studying the cats. Each assistant is, on their first night, lured to the more dangerous side of the island populated by wild ‘elder’ cats and infected with a disease that transforms you into a furry feline yourself. During the catification process you can understand the cats living on the island, who ask for your help to find out why their friends keep disappearing, meaning you can date them in between doing the research you were hired to do and doing recon to figure out what the hell is actually going down (spoilers: weird shit is going down).
There are six research assistants and each will do a certain amount of research and progress a certain way towards synthesising a cure for their whole turning-into-a-cat thing before eventually succumbing to the infection (though there are other ends to meet on the island) and making room for the next research assistant to turn up. If you’ve been on enough successful dates with your furry paramour of choice then you’ll end up living on the island in unwedded bliss with them. They can also give you interesting items or open up new research avenues in the course of dating them.