I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator Review
Overall 40

After countless years, the man, myth, and legend known only as Colonel Sanders has finally gotten his own dating sim with Psyop’s new visual novel I Love You, Colonel Sanders! Though the title is tongue in cheek by nature, does it manage to double down on this absurd concept with a good story?

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I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator Review

After countless years, the man, myth, and legend known only as Colonel Sanders has finally gotten his own dating sim with Psyop’s new visual novel I Love You, Colonel Sanders! Though the title is tongue in cheek by nature, does it manage to double down on this absurd concept with a good story?

I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator Review

As the star of the title, the self-insert player has grand plans ahead of them. As a fresh young face at the University of Cooking School: Academy of Learning, a three day semester awaits the player. This freshman isn’t going solo though – the awkward Miriam, rivals Van Van the Man Man and Aeshleigh, and doggy professor Sprinkles have all found a way to insert themselves into his journey.

Of course, none of these denizens compare to Colonel Sanders himself. A fellow student at the academy, he has a dream to create a chain of chicken restaurants to bring joy to the world and make up for his past misdeeds. With his signature recipe of 11 herbs and spices, he is a star pupil that everybody looks up to – especially the player.

This certainly sounds like a recipe for some over-the-top hijinks, but sadly the humor misses the mark. It’s perfectly fine that the game focuses on the absurd, but being told that a spork monster used to be a chihuahua or seeing a dog double as a DJ lacks a punchline. The end result is an experience that feels forced – though it is original, it also lacks the humor one would expect. Plot threads also fizzle out without any concrete conclusions, serving only as an awkward offside and nothing more.

Dialog options do not fare much better. True to the genre, players will be able to choose from a number of different options throughout play to guide the player along. The chance to make the next move with the Colonel is most certainly there, but smaller choices like the ability to sample different treats is present and accounted for as well. The game also takes the formula and applies it to pop quizzes and turn-based battles straight out of Final Fantasy, adding a bit of flavor to this dish.

There’s just one problem though – it is far too easy to get into a fail state. Some choices make sense – you wouldn’t expect to proceed if you neg your love interest. However, simply choosing a wrong treat for somebody is enough to put your playthrough to a halt. It gets frustrating fast, and the fact that the game often resets you to a point fairly far back means that the same dialog will appear multiple times. A bit of leniency, or at the very least something a bit less obtuse, would have alleviated this frustration a considerable amount.

Outside of dialog, players will also be able to navigate an area by clicking on certain objects. Though brief, this section is certainly welcome in a game as linear as this one.

Don’t expect to spend hours of time wooing the Colonel’s heart however; we were able to finish I Love You, Colonel Sanders! in a scant 45 minutes. Though we are fast readers, a fair bit of trial and error also factored into that time frame. Note that different dialog choices have things play out in slightly different ways, but don’t expect a radical experience across multiple playthroughs.

The idea of dating the figurehead of KFC is a novel one, but I Love You, Colonel Sanders! is a joke with no punchline. Dipping into the absurd is fine, but the lack of follow-through makes this visual novel drier than the fast food chain’s biscuits.

This review of I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator was done on the PC. The game was freely downloaded.
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