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 (530 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
17 of 17 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 4
Dinner Date is a first person experience that puts you into someone's subconscious. You'll see what he sees and hear his thoughts as he waits for his date and you'll push keys. The key prompts float in little bubbles that have hints about what they'll do. Different keys do different things. You'll get to pour a glass of wine, look at the clock, check your left hand and gaze at your right hand. There are even such details like putting your spoon into soup, stirring it, put the spoon back down and so on. You'll hear the character talk, basically telling you which of the things to do next.

Going into the game I thought it would be another 'crazy hand simulator' like Surgeon Simulator or Ampu-Tea. Nope, you just press keys to do things when the prompts are up.

You have no control over movement or the camera, just over what the character does as he continues to worry about his date. He will wonder whether to drink another glass of wine and what else he could be doing. The dinner date is a quick experience, over in about 30 minutes. Trying to replay it again didn't lead me to think that there are different outcomes.

Dinner Date has a lot going for it, the voice acting is good, the environment is great, but its just a small kitchen with a table in it. You'll go to the window to have a cigarette, but that's it. This could be the demo of a bigger more detailed game, there is talent here, but I just didn't have fun playing the game. Plus there's not much here to get excited about. Its over quick. If a bobbing camera gets you motion sick, avoid this game.

Here's something to think about when telling a story. If its not the most interesting thing that happens to the character, why aren't you telling the more interesting story? Is it technical limitations such as having characters to interact with? Is this what leads the character up to his suicide or finding his true love after the game has ended? Is it witty banter amongst two characters blended with subconscious thought? No, but maybe that will happen in Dinner Date 2: The Reckoning. I'm sure that Luke Skywalker had moments where he just chilled in his bedroom thinking about a girl. That never made it into Star Wars.

Dinner Date was just watching something while I mash all keys at once since there's no sort of right or wrong. Other narrative experiences like Dear Esther and Gone Home at least give you movement control and environments to explore. Like the plot of Dinner Date, it stands in a category all its own.
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6 of 8 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 9
The longest 20 minutes, or so, of your life.

What can I say that hasn't already been said about this? The graphics are alright, it's fairly simple, it's cheap, it's very easy to figure out what you need to do, and it's pretty much a, "Being stood up." simulator. You're just waiting on your date, endlessly. She never shows up; or he. Your dinner date never arrives. Whether or not the gender of the other person is ever specified, I can't recall.

It's the type of thing you're likely to only play once. Most of it will stick with you, so it's definitely not forgettable. I'm not angry that I have this game in my library, I'm not angry that it cost $3.00. Actually, I probably got it from a bundle or something similar.

What this game does give you is art... Awkward, uncomfortable, flabbergasting art. Does it make you feel? Yes, it does. Does it make you feel good? No. No, it doesn't make you feel good. It almost seems like a sympathy test. I could see them forcing someone to play it over and over to find out what their reaction would be. Certainly, to sit through it for an hour would be a chore. But that's not the point of dinner date - the point of dinner date is that it seems cathartic for whoever, and whenever, they made the game.

I have to guess that this was an individual developer's expression of a real life event, and releasing that annoyance in this format, running through thoughts, etc., probably helped them release that tension.

Sure, it annoys a lot of people, do you think the developer really cares about that? Probably not. This is their art form. And really, it's a neat piece of folk art that you don't really see in video games, but it's starting to creep its way in to the nooks and crannies. Cheap, accessible, and I can imagine someone who has never played a game before ever sitting down and playing it, deciding that it's too much like all of their previous dates, and giving up on video games forever, immediately.

If you want to feel anything from a game, go ahead and pick it up, especially if it goes on sale. If you want to be entertained in a more shooty, faster paced way - skip it. I personally thought it was pretty neat at the time, albeit a bit confusing as to why someone would make something like this in the first place.

Oh, also, it runs! This automatically makes it better than about 60% of the games on Steam, because it actually works.

Interesting, when you view it as a cathartic art piece. Boring, when you view it as a video game. Recommending this based on the value of its independence and refusal to conform to norms. 6/10.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
Skip the game - just go eat dinner.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 28
The protagonist Julian Luxemburg has prepared a dinner for two and is waiting for his date. During the wait you're supposed to listen to him talking about his problems, luckily the game is very short (10 min) so it's not too painful. There are a few interactions like eating cake and drinking wine. I think this little review could be seen as a spoiler because that's basically all there is.

There are some positive things though: The narration is pretty good and the graphics are not bad. Perhaps I would've recommended it if it was free.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 29
Personal Rating: 2/10

This game is bad. It fails in pretty much everything it does. A story driven game and the voice acting is bad and muffled, you can't hear it even at max volume. The graphics are fine, nothing to talk about, they're average, OK, fine, mediocre. It tells you how to use the hand, but from the eight minutes I could bare to play, I never used the hand once and just mashed buttons to turn his head slightly, drink wine or eat bread.

Don't bother buying this game, unless you get it gifted, but if you do get it gifted send it back to that person with the message "No Chance."
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
The game starts you off by telling you you're not playing the character, which is sort of true. You don't control the character in the traditional sense, instead you play a part of his subconcious, you direct where he looks and what draws his attention. You have some minor impulse control in your repetoir as well, but in the end the guy basically just does what he wants anyway... or at least the game forces you to give him what he wants.

You play a 27 year old guy who has just been stood up by the 20 year old japanese girl that one of his mates has set him up with. She's pretty, and flirty, and from what I understood of the games dialogue she's something of a party girl. As the story progresses you learn a great deal about the young man you're almost controlling, but on the whole thats about all you do.

There are few choices offered to you by the game. You get to control where the young man looks, which things draw his attention, and which inconsequential actions he peforms; from staring at the clock to eating a piece of bread or smoking. The game progresses down the same path every time. I'm guessing that eventually, if you try to refrain from eating bread or soup, the game will force you to do so as some of the dialogue comments on the things you're eating. I plan to explore this game further.

On the whole this game really isn't worth it. It's an interesting concept, and the voice acting is interesting... but if you have to miss an out there indie game this year, this is the one to miss.
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3 of 6 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: October 30
K.
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
I just... no. I can't recommend this. It's not that it's bad, it's that it's as stale as the left-over bread at the end of a failed dinner date.

I'm sure you can make the justification that this is art, expressing the tedium and anguish that comes with an uncertain future, but you have to have some initial investment in the situation to really get that feeling. It's why when someone dies in the first five minutes of a movie, we don't really care nearly as much as when they die right at the end. It makes it hard to care. Sure, the voice acting's alright. The game does a decent job conveying what it's like to be stood up, and it's short, to the point, but I just can't recommend it.

I'm sure this game means a lot to someone, but this someone ain't me.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
I got what I expected for when paying. Pretty nice innovative idea, and was fun following the story. It feels just like watching an episode of your favorite series, just more interactive.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: October 27
Dinner Date is a good short story that unfortunately ends very quickly. The game's camera control is unique and makes for a good experience. Hopefully this serves as a demo for a longer story.

Similar to Dear Esther and The Stanley Parable, except shorter.
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0 of 2 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 13
boring 10/10 ♥♥♥♥
Was this review helpful? Yes No
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 2
This is less a game and more an interactive story. It has weak gameplay, but mostly makes up with good writing; I did have a monstrous complaint though: there is no divergence, and so it has zero replayability. I felt pushed onto a trail I didn't want to be on; in a book that's fine and dandy, but video games I play to have some semblence of control. This had next to none.
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68 of 81 people (84%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 27
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.
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27 of 29 people (93%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 20
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!
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51 of 88 people (58%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 21
tfw no gf
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 10
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
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
0.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 17
The "game" plays itself. It's more of an interactive movie.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
0.9 hrs on record
Posted: October 3
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
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 29
After Playing this i want to commiet suside !
dont evevn need my money back
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38 of 73 people (52%) found this review helpful
37.4 hrs on record
Posted: June 3
A revolutionary game providing vast insight into the mind of a complicated man waiting for a woman who doesn't show up. Features cutting edge technology and graphics, this game will provide countless minutes of gameplay.
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