Dream Daddy is a dating simulator where a young single dad must navigate the adorable paths of falling in love with other fathers, but beyond all the hot dad bods, lies a deeper look at relationships and growing up.
The game centers around the relationship between your character and his daughter Amanda. She’s doing her best to finish her last year in high-school and eagerly awaits the moment when she can go off to her dream college. As Amanda’s dad, you can be a constant source of support and fatherly advice (although she’ll often give you just as much advice). These lessons are heartfelt and can really apply to all of us. Here are a few ideas I took to heart from my play-throughs of Dream Daddy.
1. Making friends might be scary, but ultimately it’s pretty darned awesome.
In Dream Daddy, you and Amanda have just moved the town of Maple Bay. While Amanda has friends she knows from school, you are the new guy on the block and you’re nervous about meeting the locals. When Amanda asks if you are excited to go to a big barbecue you reply, “I’ll probably end upstanding uncomfortably in a corner with a plate of food and hope nobody talks to me.”
Of course, your outgoing daughter isn’t about to let you plant your wallflower roots and shoves you into socializing for your own good. By talking with the dads and making friends with them, you learn their stories and get a fuller, more satisfying game. I’ve got awful social anxiety that makes me want to crawl into a cardboard box and watch the party from the safety of my corrugated walls. Dream Daddy reminds me that it’s ok to be nervous, but I should get out of my comfort zone once and a while. Getting to know people is part of the joy of life.
2. Let the people you care about, know it!
Part of getting to know people is caring about them. By playing Amanda’s father as caring, he will often compliment her and express his wealth of love. These tender moments usually end up with both characters getting a bit choked up and occasionally crying.
These decisions are important to getting the “good”ending. Amanda is about to embark on a strange new journey by going to college and she needs you to express your confidence in her to be able to look forward to her new endeavor. Any good relationship can use a little emotional watering to grow and thrive (we’re going with the flower analogy again). For me, it can feel awkward to tell people how I feel, but whenever I do, I am always so happy at how it brightens their day.
3. It’s OK to Feel
This is often a tough lesson for me. I have a tendency to bottle up my feelings like Amanda does. She worries that her problems will seem dumb in her father’s eyes, but by reassuring her you can cheer her up and get her talking about the problems she’s been having with her friends. That fear of being judged keeps people from talking about their fears and issues, but being able to talk about them can go a long way to making them hurt you less.
Also, as a side-lesson, cake makes everything better.
Dream Daddy had me tearing up way more than I ever expected playing a goofy little dating game. Writers Vernon Shaw and Leighton Gray really managed to capture realistic and warm relationships to strive for. As a bonus they’ve also tossed in some dadvice that can be helpful and occasionally silly on the loading screens such as:
“Dad Tip #72: The only acceptable time and place for decaf coffee is never and in the trash.”
“Dad Tip #58:Practice makes permanent.”
“Dad Tip #7: LaserDisc is clearly the superior video format. ”
“Dad Tip #51: You can save bookmarks directly to your desktop.”
“Dad Tip #92: You’re never too busy or important to be kind to others.”
All good pieces of advice…
If you want to see more dad tips and get those fuzzy feelings from watching Amanda and her father, check out next week’s Game Engine where Erika and Trisha will have Jessica Chobot, host of Nerdist News, on to play Dream Daddy! Watch Game Engine on Twitch every Tuesday at 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm Pacific.
What are your favorite dad tips? Let us know in the comments below!
Image Credits: Game Grumps