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Hot Date took me on the worst romantic encounters of my life

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Like anyone who's hit the dating scene hard, I've had my share of weird, awkward or just plain bad times. But nothing quite compares to my experiences in Hot Date, where I encountered only dogs. But like, really.

Hot Date is a pug dating sim from George Batchelor, a U.K.-based developer. It's essentially a game of speed dating — a timer is set, and you bumble through questions in hopes of sussing out your soulmate. It sounds as weird as any other animal dating sim, but it's worth a try; the game is available for Linux, Mac and Windows PC at a price you name.

Like finding love in the real world, it ain't easy. I shotgunned through a dozen dates, and all I found were jerks. "No, I don't want to see your piteous collection of R. Kelly merch," one pug told me haughtily. Listen, buddy, I didn't judge you when you said you were a lifelong Backstreet Boys fan. I even offered you a hug during your weird existential crisis. For God's sake, you're almost seven years old. How do you not have your life figured out by now?

Other dates started with promise — discussions came alive with talk of Lil Jon (neither of us are fans) and our deep fear of vacuums ("Aren't we all a little afraid of vacuums...") but usually took a sharp turn. One pug informed me that my name was for losers, while another just got downright ... creepy.

hot date

But among the pugs who bragged about going to the moon, or the ones who turned up their stubby noses about TV watchers, I found someone special: A pug who also thought a lot about food. A pug who agreed that the best question to ask a time traveler is about the state of toilets then and now. Nervously, I popped The Question: What is your ideal starting Pokémon? My date responded thusly:

hot date

Love is a lie. We all die alone anyway.