I Love You, Colonel Sanders


Do you dream of a life filled with fried chicken and romantic clichés ripped from an anime? Have you dreamed of a tall gorgeous man with well-trimmed facial hair and a white suit whisking you away on a stallion that smells of a secret blend of 11 herbs and spices? Have you ever wanted to date a famous fast-food mascot? Probably not, but now you can live out that weirdly specific fantasy in the KFC licensed dating simulator, “I Love You Colonel Sanders.”

Presented as the adventures of a faceless, genderless protagonist entering a rigorous three-day culinary academy, “ILYCS” appears to have all the surface level components of a standard high school dating simulator. Quirky best friend/sidekick? Check. Rivals/bullies? Check. Interactive dialogue trees? Check. A fun, bright art style that makes The Colonel look like an Anime DILF? Check. All the base ingredients for a decent game were present, but the developers left out a key ingredient.

While dating sims are rarely hailed as masterworks of narrative craft, the best entries in the genre have a surprising amount of heart in their writing. Even though you are playing a simple game with a primary gameplay loop of “choose dialogue” options, the characters you encounter often reveal loveable and intriguing traits that make them interesting. I felt none of that heart while I was playing “ILYCS.” The dialogue was a bland series of advertisements rather than anything of substance. Instead, I saw an overreliance on cheap random humor. In an already quirky, out-there experience, this just felt like a bloated 2-dimensional mess and little else.

When I first saw ads for this game pop up on Steam, I could barely believe my eyes. Of all the corporate f****ry that is heaped upon us daily, I thought that making a dating sim would be out of the realm of possibility. I was right. This is nothing more than a really quirky attempt at advertising.