Slay the Spire if it was a Fallout dating sim. Yes, you did indeed read that correctly. Welcome to Doomsday Paradise, a bizarre yet brilliant mashup of Slay the Spire’s card-based combat, Fallout’s ever-impending sense of doom and, well, dating sims. With a cast of colorful characters just waiting for you to sweep them off of their feet (or, alternatively, kill monsters with them), the game just released on Steam, and is making quite the splash.
The end of the world struck me as something that wouldn’t exactly be colorful and cheery, but that’s exactly what Doomsday Paradise is. Part dating sim, part roguelike deckbuilder a la Slay the Spire, Lemonade Flashbang’s debut release is, as I’m sure you can imagine, absolute chaos.
I played the game before it released, and it’s certainly one of the wildest indie games of 2023. I romanced Vando, the Morbius-looking ‘wizard’ who definitely isn’t a vampire, then Cleo, the uber-fit retired hero who sports a bralette and a spear. I fought everything from apocalyptic unicorns intent on raining down Armageddon, to creepy little round crabs that pack far too much of a punch – all while donning some pink sports leggings and a moose skull. A little bit different from my regular haunts of League of Legends and Diablo 4, then.
“Originally the game had no dating,” solo developer Shadi Taha tells me in an exclusive PCGamesN interview. “It was just a multiplayer, narrative heavy game about partying during the apocalypse. But then the player feedback came in, and I realized that everyone else was just as horny as I was and the game’s fate was sealed.
“I think we’re starting to grow out of our ‘video games are for boys and boys think romance is icky’ phase that the industry was stuck in for a decade or two. We’re starting to see romance and social relationships play a part in more and more games outside of just dating sims and I am here for it.”
While my choices were Vando and Tessa (the latter left me, just like Baldur’s Gate 3’s Astarion did, damn vampires), Taha notes that “the most popular character is Haley, the monster girl who’s in love with Halloween.
“But her teacher, Narcella the Spider Queen, is a hidden romance option and she is without a doubt the most thirsted over character in the roster. Of all the custom plushies ordered by Kickstarter backers, half of them were for Narcella.”
But it’s not just the characters that are fun, it’s the dialogue, too. In my travels I managed to get into a peeing contest with the Lizardperson in the cubicle next to me, and Cleo’s romantic ‘biography’ makes me smirk every time – after all, we all know that person.
If the wonderfully wild world of Doomsday Paradise sounds right up your alley, you can pick the game up on Steam right now – and it’s 10% off as part of its new release sale. You’ll be able to add it to your library for $13.49 / £11.51 until Wednesday, November 15.
If your Steam library is looking a little bare, we have a rundown of all the best free Steam games that you need to be playing. Or, if you’re looking for something more akin to Slay the Spire, we have a list of all the best card games on PC. Also, make sure to follow us on Google News for daily PC gaming news, guides, and reviews.