I Love You, Colonel Sanders!
|I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin' Good Dating Simulator|
|Release||September 24, 2019|
|Genre(s)||Dating sim, advergame|
I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin' Good Dating Simulator is a dating sim developed by Psyop. The video game was commissioned by the restaurant chain KFC and released for free on Steam on September 24, 2019. A parody of conventional dating sims, the primary objective of the player is to develop a romantic relationship with a fictionalized version of KFC's founder Colonel Sanders, portrayed as an attractive classmate at a cooking school.
The release of the game follows the reintroduction of Colonel Sanders into KFC's marketing campaigns in 2015, and is part of the company's strategy to make the Colonel a "part of pop culture", reimagining the historical figure for modern times. The game successfully received public attention due to the "can-you-believe-it" premise both before and after the game's release.
The game takes place over a three-day semester at the fictional University of Cooking School: Academy for Learning, where the player character is studying to become a chef. The player is presented with dialog choices that present opportunities to win Sanders' favor, as well as interact with the other characters in the story, including the player's best friend Miriam, rivals Aeshleigh and Van Van the Man Man, Sprinkles/Professor Dog, and other students Bob, Clank the robot, and the nameless Student. A single playthrough takes about an hour, not including replaying different story line branches.
I Love You, Colonel Sanders! received an overall lukewarm response from professional reviewers. In her review for Kotaku, Gita Jackson criticized the game's lack of emotional depth and over-reliance on "zaniness", comparing it unfavorably to other "goofy" dating sims like Hatoful Boyfriend and Nameless. Nicole Carpenter of Polygon reviewed the game in the context of KFC's apparent marketing strategy to distance the Colonel Sanders mascot from the actual person. She criticized it as "less of a game and more of a marketing stunt", with very little actual interactivity, and felt that it contributed to a trend in the video game industry of lack of respect for the dating sim genre. KeenGamer's review by Dakota Gordon echoed other writer's criticism of the shallow gameplay, but conceded that KFC and Psyop obviously did not intend for the game to be taken seriously and that it was enjoyable when viewed with through a more casual lens, as evidenced by the 100% user approval rating on Steam at the time of writing. Gordon additionally praised the anime-inspired art and visuals of the game, in particular Van Van's design who was described as "right out of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure". The art was also praised by Jenny Zhang of Eater, comparing it favorably to Ouran High School Host Club. The review-aggregator website Metacritic gave the game an aggregate score of 50/100 based on critic's reviews.
- Jackson, Gita (2019-09-24). "I Love You, Colonel Sanders!: The Kotaku Review". Kotaku. Archived from the original on 2019-12-19. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
- Webb, Kevin (2019-09-26). "I played KFC's bizarre Colonel Sanders dating game so you don't have to". Business Insider. Archived from the original on 2019-12-19. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
- Needleman, Sarah E. (2019-09-24). "KFC Spices Up the Colonel With Dating Game, Drawing Horror and Delight". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2019-12-06. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- Phelan, Matthew (2019-09-12). "What Colonel Sanders Looks for in a Lover, and Other Things We Learned About KFC's New Dating Simulator". Slate. Archived from the original on 2019-12-19. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- Nguyen, Terry (2019-10-01). "How KFC's dating simulator game gets players to fall in love with its brand". Vox. Archived from the original on 2019-12-08. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
- Zhang, Jenny G. (2019-09-24). "I Spent Three Hours Getting Colonel Sanders to Fall in Love With Me on KFC's New Dating Video Game". Eater. Archived from the original on 2019-12-19. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
- Carpenter, Nicole (2019-09-24). "The KFC dating game is not sexy ... not sexy at all". Polygon. Archived from the original on 2019-12-29. Retrieved 2019-12-19.
- Gordon, Dakota (2019-09-27). "I Love You Colonel Sanders! Review". KeenGamer. Archived from the original on 2019-10-08. Retrieved 2019-12-20.
- "I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin' Good Dating Simulator for PC Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2019-12-19.