The Dead by Daylight dating sim has no business being this good

Hooked On You: A Dead by Daylight Dating Sim (opens in new tab) is a gift to all of the people who play Behavior Interactive’s game about horrific killers, but who also think they might deserve a kiss sometimes. Or all the time, as the staggering waterfall of Dead by Daylight fanart has so explicitly shown. Hooked On You, which is available today on Steam, plucks out four of its hottest villains and puts them on an island with you. Even as someone who hasn’t played the popular multiplayer game it’s based on (I’ve seen it played a lot though), it’s still a surprisingly charming genre twist that didn’t need to be this good.

Hooked On You is developer Psyop’s return to dating sims after releasing the Kentucky Fried Chicken game in 2019. I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator (opens in new tab) received criticism when it came out for being what was essentially an elaborate marketing ploy disguised as a dating sim, a genre that’s had a long history as a place for queer expression that you wouldn’t find in a lot of mainstream releases. Hooked On You carefully rides the line between brand advertisement and sincere dating game, but after having finished it twice, I think its commitment to the bit is largely genuine. The only thing that’s a little hard to get past is Psyop’s recent involvement with NFTs (opens in new tab); a venture that damages my enjoyment a little after the fact, even though it was led by a different project director than the one who worked on this game.

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