Thirsty Suitors Review – If Scott Pilgrim Were Filmed in Bollywood
Thirsty Suitors is a musical game about vengeful exes, cooking and skateboarding, with turn-based combat and platform challenges. Such a cocktail can be both amazing and completely indigestible. In this review, we’ll tell you how the title can surprise you and why, on the contrary, it can disappoint you.
- Developer: Outerloop Games
- Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
- Platforms: PlayStation 5 , PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series, PC
- Release date: November 2, 2023
Jala returns to her hometown after several years of absence: the girl once ran away with her friend without explanation, which greatly angered her family and friends, including her former lovers. Now that the heroine has failed relationships and not the most pleasant life experiences behind her, she wants to make things right with those whom she abandoned in the past.
But, of course, not everyone goes along with the protagonist. Her own sister doesn’t even want to hear about her, especially since she is now busy preparing for the upcoming wedding, and her “exes” are uniting in a coalition and taking turns challenging her. In parallel, a story is developing about a cult of skateboarders, the leader of which probably has not entirely good intentions – one of the exes is involved in the investigation of his activities. In general, there is a lot to do.
It sounds like the premise of a soap, and it’s actually something to expect from Thirsty Suitors. This is Scott Pilgrim, Bollywood style: an incredible mishmash of musical numbers, references to Indian culture, family and romantic relationships, battles and squabbles with exes.
The latter, by the way, turned out to be the highlight of the game. The characters exchange barbs: the player can choose response options in the dialogues in order to offend the opponent or, on the contrary, flirt with him. In these verbal duels, the details of Jala’s past and the characters (superficial but vivid) of her partners are revealed, and in the finale of each boss fight with the ex, the heroes come to reconciliation, which gradually moves the protagonist towards the closure of all gestalts.
Meanwhile, these brawls would be more interesting if they were limited only to verbal battles – as, for example, during fluting in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla . However, in Thirsty Suitors there is a combat system attached to them , and if at first it seems quite fun and exciting, then very soon you realize its monotony and lack of development.
The combat here is turn-based: the heroine has a basic attack, provocations, skills and consumables. A normal attack does little damage, but allows you to restore willpower, which is used to use skills. Provocations are necessary to weaken the enemy: it is necessary to find out or guess his vulnerability and play on it – to impress, anger, seduce, and so on. The debuff lasts for several turns, and during this time, skills corresponding to the active provocation will cause increased damage, while the enemy will skip moves or miss – in general, screw up in every possible way. Well, consumables make it possible to replenish health, activate immunity to other people’s provocations, and so on.
It’s quite simple, but gets boring quickly. The use of provocations and skills is tied to QTEs, and since they are repeated very often, you begin to get tired of them already in the third hour of the game. The most effective skills are soon discovered, so you have to focus only on them, ignoring others. Accordingly, you perform combinations to perform these skills automatically.
So battles become routine, and the need to get into unnecessary skirmishes to level up is perceived as punishment. Only boss fights are entertaining, but in order to defeat the boss on a difficulty above average, you will first have to level up – and this means that you need to go punch the faces of obsessive boyfriends and skater-haters.
The only good thing here is that the battles in Thirsty Suitors are very comical. The funny way angry opponents dance brings a smile even after the hundredth fight. And in general, the game can impress with how spectacular the most ordinary actions can be. Jala does absolutely everything as if she were a superheroine, so she washes her hands with a somersault, sits on the sofa with a somersault, and when entering a fight, she literally jumps out of her jacket. Other characters, however, are not far behind: in its best moments, the project can compete with the craziest (in a good way) Bollywood films .
Besides combat, the game has two other mechanics: cooking and performing skateboard tricks . You need to cook in story missions and just like that – various goodies are sent to your inventory in the form of consumables. Cooking challenges, like battles, are based on QTE sequences, but they are saved by the fact that they are accompanied by interesting dialogues with Jala’s mother and father, so the cooking does not get boring.
The mechanics of skateboarding are reminiscent of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater on minimum wage: Jala’s board automatically sticks to ramps and wires, and the girl demonstrates various tricks by pressing a couple of buttons. In the skateboard park, one of the three locations available in the game, you can practice by participating in the tests of that very head of the cult, and among them there are both easy ones that can be passed the first time and quite difficult ones that require a dozen or two attempts. An inconvenient control scheme plays an important role in this: the heroine reacts very sharply to the movements of the stick, and strives to turn somewhere in the wrong direction.
Thirsty Suitors is far from a perfect game: slightly sloppy visuals, crooked character models, tedious combat, and unruly skateboard behavior. However, these shortcomings can easily be forgiven as soon as the catchy beat starts playing, the characters engage in elegant verbal skirmishes, and the environment begins to shine with all the colors of the rainbow (by the way, there are “rainbow” themes in the game, so be careful). This is a fun, light adventure with a pleasant atmosphere and great humor.