“Though its creative gameplay ideas are less spread out, Thirsty Suitors offers a charmingly nuanced coming-of-age story about messy adults.”
creative coping and cooking
The overarching narrative is weak
Gameplay becomes repetitive
Skating feels isolated.
If you feel unwanted in your hometown, wait until you meet Jaala. star of thirsty loverA new narrative skateboarding RPG from Outerloop Games, she finds a homecoming when she returns to the childhood town she left behind without a second thought. He must face not only his frustrated mother and angry sister, but an entire fleet of despised exiles seeking revenge – or at least a little closure. It’s enough drama to inspire someone to do a 180 and skate out of town.
Like a pitcher full of water, thirsty lover Explores that devastating moment where all our chaotic life choices finally come to an end. Small problems turn into larger-than-life battles in a unique adventure that blends the grandiose excitement of Indian cinema and the bleak honesty of Scott Pilgrim. But it’s not the creative RPG battles or over-the-top cooking interludes that make it special; It’s these mature moments in between where Jaala gets a chance to heal the wounds she’s inflicted.
Like your hero, thirsty lover A charmingly messy game that engages a little more than it can handle. Its multifaceted gameplay loop oscillates between inventive and repetitive over the course of its eight-hour story. However, what it lacks in sparkle it makes up for with a subtle narrative about how the past isn’t always a scary ghost to hide from.
web vs world
thirsty lover Doesn’t waste time in unloading emotional baggage. As soon as I pick up the new game, I’m immediately forced to confront the horror of Jaala’s hometown. Part of it is a cultural battle, as the quirky skater punk returns home to a Tamil mother, who doesn’t hesitate to tell Jaala that she betrayed her family and culture by suddenly leaving town years ago (her TV-loving Sri Lankan fathers are much) more relaxed about the system). However, at least mom is kind enough to say it to her face; Jaala’s sister has chosen to behave quietly, even excluding Jaala from her upcoming wedding. It’s a ground-breaking story made of entangled threads that uncover yet another piece of Jala’s history as the story progresses.
No Battle portrays Jaala’s lovers not as evil obstacles hindering her progress, but as real human beings…
Jala’s fight is not just symbolic. On top of everything else, his former teammates have joined together and are hell-bent on holding him to account for his reckless past. It’s a setup that clearly inspires Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, but one that is adopted with greater maturity. Each ex (and their heartbreak) paints a holistic picture of Jaala’s evolving views on relationships and where she sees herself in them. What starts out as a harmless reconnection with her third-grader Sergio leads to a more soul-searching reconciliation with her most recent ex, Tyler. No Battle portrays Jaala’s lovers not as evil obstacles hindering her progress, but as real human beings trying to understand what happened.
those moments build the heart thirsty lover‘ story, each time Jaala encounters a piece of her past she learns more about herself. Battles are not won simply by reducing the enemy’s health level to zero; Each ends with a “make up” sign, giving both of them permission to move on. After each turn, Jaala gains palpable confidence that she still needs to heal major family wounds.
It’s not always the cleanest story. An overarching plot about an urban youth cult (led by a man in a bear suit) tries too hard to ramp up the stakes and some major storylines start and stop abruptly. I get the sense that Outerloop Games sometimes tried to pack in more narrative than its small indie scale would allow. The entire adventure takes place across three small locations, populated by side characters who fight for limited screen time. I almost understand why Jaala was so eager to go, while so many people fight for my attention.
Despite this, it’s the one-on-one moments with Jala’s former teammates that make thirsty lover‘The story is meaningful. It is a strange story of a woman balancing her responsibilities to others with her personal needs and self-expression. As the web of life descends, there is room for it all; He just needs to find a balance.
spread it thin
Whereas thirsty lover It tells a grounded story, equipped with over-the-top gameplay that takes things to a bigger scale. It starts with its inherent RPG hook, as Jaala fights both her former teammates and arranged lover in turn-based battles. It’s an instantly endearing system, as Jaala inflicts status ailments like “Thirst” on his enemies and (symbolically) crushes them with his skateboard. The attacks are also interspersed with vocal sarcasm as Jaala and his former comrades end their previous fight mid-fight. It’s a clever use of the RPG framework that turns a visual novel into something more active. those fights bow out thirsty lover‘ Stylized panache too, as Jaala unleashes charmingly exaggerated attacks presented in a vibrant pop art style.
No real coping skills after a while…
Outerloop Games takes notes from Mario RPG to make it a success. Each attack is executed with quick minigames in which players press buttons or move their joystick at the right time. It’s more fun than choosing a move from a list, although that system gets repetitive quite quickly. There are only a few attacks that Jaala can learn, and their signals never change. After a while there’s no real skill to it, as it just becomes busywork that makes an already long fight even longer.
Even individual exiles don’t quite shake up that formula. The strategy is more or less the same in almost every fight: inflict a status effect that weakens the enemy, build momentum with that type of attack, and land basic attacks to restore willpower. The occasional dancing minigame or narrative twist punctuates some of the battles, but there isn’t much depth to be found once the system is fine-tuned. Luckily, there aren’t a ton of battles either, as this is a light RPG with a handful of central battles rather than ones that require grinding.
That idea of great gameplay concepts is slowly being spread thirsty lovers‘ Other components. Between battles, Jaala can cook with her mother to create consumable items that boost battle enthusiasm. This is another simple creative idea as Jaala works to win her mom’s approval with each recipe step during a Cooking Mama-style minigame. It also includes some hilarious cultural in-jokes, as Jaala may try to gain a bonus by praising her mother – a move that may backfire, as the game notes that Indian mothers are difficult to predict. Like the combat, that playful loop also becomes stale because it doesn’t mix up its button timing minigames or exuberant animations even between dishes.
Skateboarding is more diverse than cooking and combat, although it is the least important to the experience overall. Jaala travels around the city on her skateboard and Outerloop Games tries to make it as intuitive and satisfying as possible. Players can’t actually wipe out, which allows them to string together massive trick combos like a Tony Hawk game. Players can test those skills even further with optional challenges that reward cash, battle items, and cosmetic gear, which lets them change Jaala’s style. It’s a fun way to pass the time between larger story developments, though it does feel detached from the experience at large.
thirsty lovers Never completely loses its balance, as it does everything it does wholeheartedly, but it also makes the whole package feel like Jaala itself. During her journey home she is pulled in many directions as several people fight for her attention. How can she be expected to maintain every relationship neatly? He is only human. After all that’s what’s so lovely about her journey, like thirsty lover Never demands perfection from Jaala. It’s comfortable to show players a messy character who is trying her best to deal with her complicated life. The fact that she’s able to persevere through it all is a small victory worth celebrating. I’m willing to extend the same compassion to an ambitious indie who dares to dream beyond the restrictions of their small town.
thirsty lover Testing was done on PC and Steam Deck.