Julian Luxemburg has prepared a dinner for two at his place – but things go awry when the date does not show up and he is left waiting at his dinner table, the clock’s ticking growing unbearably loud. „Dinner Date” is the character portrait of Julian: by becoming his subconsciousness you gain a clear vantage point on the worries which...
User reviews: Mixed (514 reviews)
Release Date: Mar 1, 2011

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About This Game

Julian Luxemburg has prepared a dinner for two at his place – but things go awry when the date does not show up and he is left waiting at his dinner table, the clock’s ticking growing unbearably loud.

„Dinner Date” is the character portrait of Julian: by becoming his subconsciousness you gain a clear vantage point on the worries which take a hold of him. As the wait for the beautiful girl grows longer it becomes evident that Julian’s real problems may not even begin originate the girl: what of his work and his boss? And what of the headhunter, his fascination with Byron and his friendship with Jerry who, all things considered, was ultimately the person who pushed Julian to go on this date?

You are not merely listening – in the unprecedented role as his subconsciousness you tap the table, look at the clock and, as Julian bares more of his mind, reluctantly start to eat, your actions resonating with Julian’s thoughts to form an absolutely singular form of intimacy.

In this manner you will experience „Dinner Date”: with some glasses of wine, some bread, some soup - and with a clock which slowly mocks the constant wait for when she comes, this elusive girl who will solve everything.

Key features:

  • Julian’s story lasts a fully voiced 25 minutes and is told through various unique animations, set in a real-time 3d environment with the unique interface of playing as a subconsciousness, the first of its kind.
  • The game is complimented by an original score, written by Than van Nispen tot Pannerden.
  • At the Independent Game Festival 2011, „Dinner Date” has been nominated for the Nuovo award, an award which ‘honors abstract, shortform, and unconventional game development which advances the medium and the way we think about games.’

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows® XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: 1.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX® 9 compatible video card
    • DirectX®: 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 256 MB
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
Helpful customer reviews
13 of 13 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Watch forever alone Julian Luxemburg eating his meal that comes every time back with the power of Jeannies Magic.
This game has a heart breaking story with full of twists. Soon you will ask yourself: "Why am I playing? What where they thinking?" And the story will fully get you. I was shocked when he brutally murdered that slice of bread by dipping it in the sauce until it was drawn. I can hear it scream in my nightmares. But that was only the start. He uses some kind of Magic device to reverse the time and let the slice of bread suffer again and again while he murder him and his Son Bread,his Daughter Bread and his Wife bread. And it goes on, He lightens an innocent Cigarette! And draws all of his life by sucking on it. What is wrong with this guy? Why is he in such a Murder Rampage? Nobody will know! And it ends with an Cliff Hangar, he goes out of his House. What will come next? Will he clomp over innocent sidewalks? Will he buy a donut and eat it while the family of Daddy donut has to watch this? I cannot tell you. But someone who drawn innocent bread is able to do anything!
This game needs a second part the next episode should be called "Dinner Date Rampage of Julian Luxemburg"
I would recommend this game but the Story about a man who has tortured slice of bread to death is to much for me. So you better play something more innocent with less violence. Maybe Postal 2!
Posted: October 20
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
[...] Dinner Date's focus on methodically destroying any old fixed point in video games can be seen as a cry for freedom and renewal by the hand of one of the first avant-garde movements born within the video game medium, whose birth, to tell the truth, is maybe more exact to retrace to Tale of Tales' Realtime Art Manifesto (Harvey and Samyn, 2006) from which even Stout admitted to have taken inspiration (Stout, 2011a). Although this is not the absolutely first video-game related clear avant-garde movement (even the clarity of it it's arguable, since it is surely not the Harvey and Samyn's manifesto that connects the many non-game, or to be more precise anti-games, that were released in the last four to five years), as we may remember other examples like the demoscene (Scheib et al., 2002), it is surely the first that has bled so fast and directly into the mainstream, with products like Journey (that also tries to put the player in a position of anti-power) or the Telltale Games' adaptation of The Walking Dead (that, together with David Cage's games, makes immediately clear that its protagonist is not an embodiment nor an extension of the player). If this is a true desire for change by an industry tired of the tropes that get reiterated from years and years, or just a temporary fluke, it is not for us to predict. But one thing is sure, and that is that, in its destruction of tropes, Jeroen D. Stout with Dinner Date managed to find a different and intriguing approach to interactive art and story-telling, that is worth to be taken a look at and studied even now, three years after its release.

Full Article: http://www.scriptaludica.com/2014/10/dinner-date-subverting-tropes-of.html
Posted: October 14
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4 of 7 people (57%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
After Playing this i want to commiet suside !
dont evevn need my money back
Posted: September 29
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Sadly not worth the money, unless you really enjoy stirring soup about in a bowl.
Posted: September 25
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0.4 hrs on record
As other probably note, it's not like other "games". It offers you a different kind of experience. Note that the game is about 20-30 minutes long.

You are not Julian, you are seeing what Julian is seeing and hearing his thoughts. You're merely choosing what to interact with and when.
Posted: September 28
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0.4 hrs on record
I enjoyed Dinner Date much more than Dear Esther, a game of a similar genre - both are solely focussed on conveying a story. Dinner Date lacks in any gameplay at all though the story is somewhat favourable, as the protagonist waits for their date to arrive. I think this is an interesting experience and is worth a try if you are enjoy this kind of thing.
Posted: September 28
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0.9 hrs on record
So, not quite what i think the game was about.
The game have no story interaction control whatsoever no mater what you do. You only can control some involuntary movements but the (boring esixtenzial) story always repeat itself.

Sure is a nice "piece of useless art" but is nothing like a game. Is more like a first person movie where you have a realy limited interaction.

Maybe - and just maybe - a similar concept could work well with an oculus rift
Posted: October 3
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0.3 hrs on record
I'll save you from reading all the reviews;

Don't buy this game, it isn't worth it.
Posted: October 1
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0.8 hrs on record
A game of intrinsically rewarding actions that is only as interesting as you allow it to be. I say intrinisically rewarding, because there is no extrinsic reason to interact with this game whatsoever. No real goals, no punishments, no achievements. Only the simple tale of a man waiting for his date to arrive. In some ways it's a lot like stage acting. You are cast as a character who has to say the same lines and go through the same set of re-occuring events every time, but unlike stage acting, there is no audience to cheer you on.

But like acting, the subtleties of your performance are both what make the game interesting and rewarding. Is the character a chronic eater? Is he a tapper, a thinker, a pacer? What sort of subtleties can you add to the performance of the story? If any of this sounds interesting or enticing, then this game is for you. Otherwise, it probably isn't. Whether you like or dislike this game need not necessarily make you a better or worse person for it. But as someone who likes to find a reason to enjoy most things, this is certainly an interesting experiment, and at the lowly price of 3 dollars and no more than 40 minutes of your time, is certainly worth a try in my opinion.
Posted: October 2
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0.5 hrs on record
Just a failed experiment in game design. Basically you don't do anything at all, just listen to the main character's thoughts, pressing a button occasionally. Reminds of the equally bad Thirty Flights of Loving.
Posted: October 7
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0.7 hrs on record
The "game" plays itself. It's more of an interactive movie.
Posted: October 17
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67 of 78 people (86%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Enter the mind of Julian Luxemburg, a young man whose inability to eat anything but the same piece of somehow rapidly regenerating bread has trapped him in a life of indignity and solitude.
Posted: June 27
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33 of 49 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
[See the English version below]

Персональный рейтинг - 3 из 10

- Алло...
- Майкл? Это Сара. Ты придешь на День Рождения Дженнифер?
- К этой гадине?! После того, как она поступила со мной? Она путалась со всеми вокруг. Я застал ее как она кувыркалась с моим лучшим другом, представляешь? То есть, теперь уже бывшим лучшим другом...
- Зачем же так грубо? Может, она хочет попросить прощения! Она сказала, что очень хочет видеть тебя на своем празднике, даже подарка не надо.
- Ишь хитрая какая. Я ей не верю... Здесь что-то не так, она наверняка захочет выставить меня дураком!
- Слушай, если перестанешь доверять девушкам, то так и останешься один!
- Ладно, ладно... Уговорила. Но мне совсем нечего надеть... Я пролил кетчуп на мои парадные штаны и теперь они все грязные...
- Ты что, на прием к президенту идешь? Накинь свои фирменные шорты и кроссовки, ты без них никуда...
- Хм. Или, может, одеть отцовский пиджак с бабочкой... Вот все обзавидуются!

Приблизительно такой диалог в общем-то без начала и конца пришел на ум после 15 минут игры в Dinner Date. Да, игра длится порядка 15 минут...

Такие игры как Dinner Date, формально, и не игры вовсе, а некий сеанс психоанализа в рамках отдельно взятой истории. Это своеобразный психологический очерк, уступающий место рефлексии и прочим терминам из прикладной психологии. Все зависит от вас и лично вашего восприятия. Кто-то найдет в психологическом портрете героя отражение самого себя, кому-то покажется знакомой его история, а меланхолично-ненавязчивый саундтрек лишь подчеркнет основные элементы повествования и заставит мозг как следует пробежаться по темным уголкам вашего подсознания и, словно с пыльного чердака, стащить оттуда те воспоминания, о которых вспоминать не принято.

Порой кажется, что подобные произведения созданы исключительно для одного единственного человека - автора этих самых произведений. Отчасти это здравый подход. Как в арт-хаусном кино: авторский стиль, своеобразная манера подачи, истории без начала и конца - разобраться в хитросплетениях и собрать паззл воедино смогут единицы. В противном случае, высок риск запутаться в образах и метафорах, словно в паутине. И единственным вопросом после прохождения будет являться лишь "Что это было?".

Personal rating - 3 out of 10

- Hello...
- Michael? It's Sarah. Will you come to Jennifer's birthday tonight?
- That slag? After all she has done to me? She was forking around with all sorts of guys in our neighbourhood! I even caught her humping with my best friend! I mean... my former best friend, that is...
- Why so crude? Maybe she just wants to apologize? She said she wants to see you on her B-day, even having a present is not mandatory!
- She plays her tricks on me, I am telling you. I don't trust her. It smells fishy...
- Oh, come on! You will live your life alone, unless you finally start trusting women!
- Okay, okay... You win this time. But I got nothing to put on... I ruined my party-going trousers by spilling tomato sauce on them, now they are all dirty...
- You're acting like you're going to the White House! Wear your all-time favourite shorts and running shoes.
- Hm. Or maybe I am better take that dad's tux! They'll die of envy out there!

A dialog of that kind basically without beginning nor end came to my mind after like 15 minutes of playing Dinner Date. Yes, the game takes approximately 15 minutes to complete...

Games like Dinner Date aren't games at all, but mostly just sessions of psychoanalysis. It's some sort of psychological essay, which gives room to reflection and food for thought. Your final opinion would depend on you and your perception. Someone may find it's similarities in main hero's psychological portrait, others may find the story itself being a reflection of their own experience and melancholic yet unobtrusive soundtrack fits it just right and helps your mind to dig out memories you may not want to recall...

Sometimes it seems that games of that kind are meant to be played and understood by only one man, who is developer himself. It sounds logical and consistent though. Just like art-house style in movies: author's view, peculiar performance, stories without beginning and end and just a few are able to understand the conception and the whole idea. All the rest are doomed to lose their presence of mind and get entagled in metaphors or idle talk. And the only one question that may arise would be "What was that?".
Posted: May 25
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25 of 38 people (66%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
I want my money back.

I didn't pay for this.
Posted: May 4
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48 of 83 people (58%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
tfw no gf
Posted: June 21
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
This game lasts 10 minutes.

You don't have to press anything to beat it.

I could have rented a movie worth my time for the $5 I paid for this pretentious turd
Posted: August 10
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
I'm not even going to talk about the ♥♥♥♥ graphics and story or the bad voice acting.
This game is 17 mins long and not worth the 3 dollars at all. I wouldn't even buy it if it was less than that. You would be better off just watching someone play it on youtube BECAUSE THERE ARE NO CHOICES AT ALL.
You can't change the story through the limited interaction at all. It should not even had been a game. If Dinner Date had been a short film, it would have been a heck of a lot better off.
Posted: May 6
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
It is not unlike a Rorschach test, you see what you want to see in this game. Unlike many indie darlings that deliver emotional stories, Dinner Date brings nothing to the table but some bread and wine.

That does not mean it is not an experience worth having, but do not expect the game to do the legwork for you. I could summarize the story, but it would detract from the experience. The premise however, is simple enough, a man waiting for a woman to arrive for a dinner date. As I am sure other reviews have pointed out, there is not much "game" here it more of an exercise in fiddling around. Your experience may be positive with the game, it may be negative; however, the experience itself is interesting and, like modern art, is really fleshed out in discussions after the fact.

You will complete the "scene" in approximately 15 minutes. My only real complaint is the price point of this “game”. I feel that $2.99 is excessively high for what it delivered. It was purchased on sale, and it is recommended others do the same. $1 is a safe price point.

Overall, recommended; but more of an academic experiment in exploring how gaming can tackle different methods of storytelling.
Posted: June 29
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
I just got Steam-Trolled with this game.
To call this art would be a travesty against artists that put their time and soul into their work. This feels more like a school project where only the minimum requirements were met and the assignment was worked on at the very last minute. I can picture the requirements now:
1. Game must contain real-time graphics – check
2. Game must contain human interaction – check
3. Game must contain at least 15 minutes of gameplay –check
Left off the list of requirements were fun, meaningful gameplay, script, and direction. This would have required some additional thought on the creator’s part and it’s just not something that could be bothered with.
There’s a warning right off that you are not playing … well, that’s as far as you need to read because there is no gameplay. Hitting keys on the keyboard will cause your character to look at different points of the screen as the events unfold. You’re greeted with a completely unintelligible and unscripted narration which meanders frequently and even manages to be a bit racist. Apparently, you suffer from both Parkinson’s disease and attention deficit disorder since the camera is constantly faffing about. The entirety of the “game” doesn’t require your input and will automatically unfold even if you decide not to interact with it. Yes, this is a “game” that you don’t even have to play.
This is a product which can only be considered art by those who don’t know what art actually is. It’s like having a friend that extols the virtue of paintings of dogs playing poker. If you’re one of these people that believes this is art or there’s some meaningful message hidden away to be examined with methodical thought then please just refrain from pretending to be a contributing member of society.
Stay as far away from this as you possibly can. Even the time you have taken to read through this regarding this work is time better spent generating dander or turning food into waste. Actually, that action produces something more valuable than this so I would encourage you to perform that.
Posted: June 21
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 3
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