“Table Manners provides a blunt and brutally frank demonstration of just how much the little things matter when it comes to first impressions.”
Table Manners is a quirky dating sim crossed with outrageous physics mechanics to create a hilarious hybrid of chaos and cute dinners. From the creative minds at Echo Chamber Games and published by the popular Curve Digital, Table Manners channels the essence of games such as Surgeon Simulator into a new but equally volatile environment…
Ok, so it might not be a life or death situation in the balance here, but Table Manners certainly makes you stake your reputation on your not-so-steady actions. You start by finding yourself the perfect date on an in-game app that looks suspiciously like Tinder, before crusading your way to the dinner table and attempting to impress your love interest by calmly and sensibly completing menial tasks. From passing the salt to force-feeding brownies to your new-found bae, time and care are of the essence as your opposite number judges your every move. Took too long to light that candle? Say goodbye to a second date, then. Failed to pour the wine? Then I’m afraid it’s a no from them. Table Manners provides a blunt and brutally frank demonstration of just how much the little things matter when it comes to first impressions.
The predicament of controlling your apparently gangly limb towards dating prowess is a tough one. It’s not all on you, though, as the control scheme in Table Manners does little to aid your early dating successes. Whilst the number of controls is fairly few, navigating the concepts that depth and width are controlled by the mouse whilst height, rotation and grasp are controlled via the keyboard were initially baffling to me. As with any process, time and practice saw some improvement. That being said, even after a longer period of play, my mistakes were more frequently down to control blunders rather than genuinely more challenging tasks being presented. This caused frustration, but perhaps not the humorous sort that the game intends.
Beyond a control scheme that may prove too much for some players, though, Table Manners offers a lot to enjoy. A simple premise is presented in the form of high-quality design and build, with agreeable graphics and enjoyable mechanics. Goals are clearly displayed on the screen, alongside a timer showing how long you have to complete them. Your date will also indicate, at times, the progress of your meeting thus far. If anything, the depth perception factor is the element which takes some getting used to, but well-modelled objects and learnable consequences to actions allow you to learn and improve. The style and layout of in-game scenarios, in fact, look almost as though they had been designed to be enjoyed in VR; and truly the game would be well suited to this means of play. Nevertheless, Table Manners remains wholly playable with a standard PC setup.
Moving on from controls to content, Table Manners offers a surprising amount of gameplay and progressive difficulty for players to enjoy. Starting off simply with passing objects around the table but moving swiftly on to placing orders and tighter timescales, the game steps up its challenges in reasonable steps and at a steady pace, allowing you to track a story which develops through increasingly tricky but enjoyable tests. Certainly, Table Manners consistently makes you want to keep playing along; both to see what comes next, and to see what goes wrong next. Entertainment is constant and enjoyment is guaranteed. The only problem? Much like the inspiration for the game that is Surgeon Simulator, you eventually reach a stage that there isn’t much left to add to the same old story; other than to simply make it harder…
Table Manners is fun while it lasts and successfully provides a flurry of hilarity and progression, but beyond a few hours, the game has little new to bring to the table. Fans of Surgeon Simulator will undoubtedly enjoy what feels like a natural progression of familiar mechanics. Indeed, if you are looking for but a few hours of honest fun, challenge and enjoyment, Table Manners may be for you. If you can take a dose of frustration along the way, then the game will certainly not disappoint. However, if you haven’t got time for the learning curve or are looking for longer-term longevity, it may be worth waiting for the next Steam sale…
Table Manners was reviewed on PC
Table Manner was developed by Echo Chamber Games and published by Curve Digital
You can purchase Table Manners for PC on Steam here – https://store.steampowered.com/app/1019450/Table_Manners_PhysicsBased_Dating_Game/
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Table Manners is a physics-based dating game (Surgeon Simulator Meets Blind Date) where players can take out whichever dates they choose in an escalating array of challenging scenarios.