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Table Manners Review

Table Manners is a physics-based dating simulation game. It is available to play on PC via Steam and was released on 14th February 2020. The game has been developed by Echo Chamber Games and published by Curve Digital. Echo Chamber Games started with just three members plucking up the courage to leave their positions in a bigger studio to start their own new development company. Curve Digital is one of the world’s leading publishers for video games. They are very proud of some games in particular, like Human: Fall Flat, because they have become extremely popular.

How to Find Love

Table Manners is all about finding love. The aim is to find someone you like via a dating app, take them on a date, and try not to make so much of a mess as to make them want to see you again. The only part of your character you can see is their hand. You have no idea what your character looks like or what they are even called. When you start the game, you are given a short tutorial on how to control the one hand you can see. You are then thrown into your character’s home. You have a desk, a tablet with a dating app open, a book showing the dating levels and restaurants and some other normal home-office supplies and objects. I would recommend taking this opportunity to practice your movement and ability to pick up items.

Once you have gotten used to your surroundings in the home, you can select a person to date via the dating app. When you have picked that lucky person, you can just ask them straightaway for a date. You can also chat to them first. After you have asked them for a date, you can move over to the book of dating levels and restaurants to begin. You will unlock levels and restaurants by completing ones that are already available. You will need to do quite well on a date to unlock the next level or restaurant. I am not sure what happens when you have unlocked all of the restaurants because I haven’t quite gotten that far yet. With each level you complete, the game becomes more difficult. Your date becomes more demanding and easier to annoy.

Movement and Controls

As I have mentioned earlier, at the beginning of the game, there is a short tutorial. This does not prepare you for how difficult it can be to control your character’s one hand. The movement has to be the funniest part of the game, and I had plenty of laughs accidentally spilling stuff everywhere. Even though it is hilarious, it can be really frustrating. Each action you complete is timed, and you definitely feel the pressure when you can’t seem to grasp something. The game is definitely physics-based, but it is taken to the extreme.

Later on in the game in other restaurants, things are made even more difficult from environmental factors. The actual controls for movement in the game are pretty simple. You can use the W and S keys on the keyboard to move your hand up and down, and your mouse is used for the rest. You can use the mouse to move forward and backwards, right click and drag to turn the hand and left click to grasp an object. You will need to hold the left click and let it go when you want to drop the object. It sounds very simple, and it is. However, when you are playing, it doesn’t feel simple.

Frustratingly Fun

Table Manners offers players a silly, simple simulation that is extremely fun to play. Sometimes you will find yourself trying to annoy your date because it is absolutely hilarious. When you mess things up and fail to impress your date, it is hard to be annoyed. This is because you can simply try again with a different date. However, when you are in the moment and the timer is running out to complete an objective, you can feel the pressure. I found myself shouting at the screen a few times because I couldn’t get the tomato sauce out of the bottle and onto the plate. After each level, you can laugh about your failures, but at the time it can feel very frustrating.

Table Manners Overall

The main issue with Table Manners is that it seems to be built for virtual reality, but it isn’t available to play on any of the virtual reality systems. It is only available to play as a regular game via Steam. The game would have actually been even more fun if it was available for virtual reality. The game can also be extremely frustrating because the physics-based aspect of the game is taken to the extreme.

With that being said, the gameplay and movement are simple and easy to understand. The premise and game itself is also extremely easy to grasp. It is very fun to play and gave me plenty of laughs. I have put quite a few hours into the game, but I hit a point where I just kind of got a bit bored of playing it.

Even though the game gets more difficult the more you play it, and it introduces new things throughout, there isn’t too much that makes me want to go back to it. As a personal preference, I like games that have a story to them. Like most simulation games, Table Manners doesn’t offer that.

Developer:  Echo Chamber Games

Publisher: Curve Digital

Platform: PC via Steam

Release Date: 14th February 2020

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