A Game Where You Bet On Whether Historical Figures And Indie Game Heroes Will Fall In Love

Illustration for article titled A Game Where You Bet On Whether Historical Figures And Indie Game Heroes Will Fall In Love

If you’ve ever wondered whether or not Abraham Lincoln and Napoleon Bonaparte would hit it off on a date, the answer is yes. According to AI dating game BadCupid, Lincoln is a charmer whether he’s chatting up reanimated French emperors, Roman goddesses, or Necrodancers. Sherlock Holmes, though? He’s a much pricklier sort.


BadCupid is a new experiment from Boyfriend Dungeon developer Kitfox Games in which AI-powered characters go on dates and spout procedurally generated dialogue at each other. Players can use an in-game currency called “arrows” to place bets on whether or not this collection of real-life historical figures and notable fictional characters, including Jane Austen, Henry VIII, and a gaggle of indie game protagonists, will seal the deal or go their separate ways. If you’re familiar with ageless Twitch sensation Salty Bet, it’s a lot like that, but with smooching instead of punching.

The game, which players interact with via streaming service Mixer, is silly fun—if largely a novelty at this point. Characters have stats (which you can only view if you’re a subscriber to BadCupid’s Mixer channel), but much of their dialogue verges on nonsensical. If you watch long enough, you’ll begin to notice patterns emerging between certain characters. Other times, the procedural generation creates exchanges that are pure gold. For instance, at one point I watched Gary (a ghost monster who’s either very nervous or in the process of melting) tell Sherlock Holmes that he liked “your eyes lots,” to which Sherlock immediately replied, “YOU JUST WANT MY BODY. ADMIT IT!”

Needless to say, things did not work out between them.

BadCupid is still in an “early testing phase” right now, so it doesn’t have a consistent streaming schedule yet. In the future, though, it’ll settle into more of a routine, and developer Kitfox says it’ll add more characters, too. You can even submit your own, as long as you’re OK with the idea of them inevitably joining Abraham Lincoln’s polyamorous sex cult.

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.



Saltybet: The Dating Sim?

Sure, why not.