Twitter can be a pretty awful place. The Subtweet Game makes the worst parts of it into a romance game.
The Subtweet Game was made in a month for the NaNoReNo game jam, and it perfectly captures the feeling of flirting on Twitter by faving any and everything that sounds like it might be flirtatious. Subtweets are the practice of passive-aggressively tweeting about someone else while not mentioning them by name or username. In life, that’s usually reserved for friendship-ending fights or call out posts, but in this game, subtweets are all about love.
In The Subtweet Game, you play as a Twitter user, scrolling through your timeline and doling out faves to your preferred Tweeter. The other users all have distinct personalities—one is incredibly horny, one is cranky and always complaining, one of them is a bot—and they react to your faves and interact with each other.
The game is short, and the gameplay isn’t too tricky to figure out. Just like in life, you just have to fave the object of your affection as much as you can. But what’s neat about this game is to see Twitter, as a platform, distilled into a game. One user, Tsunderegg will grouse about how they changed the fave icon, while LostInTheShell fishes for compliments by saying they wish they were as talented as “some other people on here.” The flirt bot breaks, and @thirstyAF starts tweeting peach and eggplant emojis at it. All that’s missing is someone sliding into your DMs.
The most fantastical element of the game is that it makes subtweeting seem fun. The moment when you realize that the Twitter user you have been romancing is subtweeting you, the player, it feels warm and fuzzy, entirely unlike when people subtweet you in real life. It’s refreshing to have a version of Twitter that ultimately makes you feel good.
The Subtweet Game is playable in your browser on itch.io. I recommend romancing the bot.