Love and dating in games feels a bit wrong – especially when you’re sitting alone in a darkened living room, with a packet of Pringles in one hand and a cup of cocoa in the other, left trying to seduce an alien NPC in Mass Effect. Don’t get me started on sex scenes in games, especially not when your partner walks in and asks what’s going on. There have already been some dodgy dating sim games on Xbox previously, but now Mr. Massagy: Mayo Edition is here to try and take the crown. It’s an eerie and weird take on the dating game, so are you ready to get down, dirty, and covered in mayo? You have been warned.
Mr. Massagy: Mayo Edition doesn’t need a huge setup and explanation – it’s quite clear what you have to do from the first minute or so. However, there are actually two games on offer here; the first of which covers the dating sim lines. That’s what we should talk about first.
You play as Johnny – a recent bachelor who for some reason has a best friend called Oliver, who is an Australian parrot who sort of acts like a dating adviser. He advises you to get on a new dating app and put yourself out there. Before you can say “Polly wants a cracker” you’re out there on your first date.
The gameplay consists of you controlling a giant, pretty disturbing finger as a sort of cursor for the game. You pick who you want to go on a date with from a limited number of options, before seeing progress deliver stars which will unlock further dates. When you go on the date the person in question will be displayed in a specific location, leaving you and them to have a chat. You need to basically choose the right answers from a dialogue tree to make your date happy. It’s a bit trial and error-y as to what makes the date happy, but reading their profile will give you an idea of their turn-ons and turn-offs. Once you get a successful response to your dates you get rewarded with stars; the more stars you get at the end, the more dates which unlock.
The massage element of the game title comes into play at the end of the date when you – now, bear with me – press the weird finger cursor thing on the date’s face several times, leaving your controller to vibrate. The actual instructions tell you that maybe, just maybe, you may want to use this vibrating controller to massage your shoulder or “other things”. Personally, I was just worried about my batteries running out.
While Mr. Massagy starts off a bit creepy and makes you want to squirm, it then takes a surprising and funny turn. You see, one of your dates may well be a werewolf and if you say the wrong thing they will eat you. Then there’s a date who is a cow in a hat, and if you mention she’s a cow the date will end. You might even have the opportunity to date a ghost, then someone who is very predatory, or maybe an actual jar of mayo. Yes, you heard me right – you will be dating a jar of mayo. But in all seriousness, it’s here where the game goes left field and becomes very strange, yet it is where it’s at it’s best and the humour comes into its own. I genuinely laughed out loud at some of the writing, and for that, putting aside the utter weirdness, I enjoyed this very short experience.
The second game offered in the whole Mr. Massagy: Mayo Edition package is a clicker game; a game that some of you sadists out there will love. You are presented with a jar of mayonnaise and you have to furiously click on it to get points and achievements. 50 clicks might get you an award like a random fact about dating or a red bikini skin for your jar of mayo… if that’s what you’re into. How long this secondary option lasts will all depend on how much you like clicker games, or how important picking up achievements are in your life.
The visuals of Mr. Massagy are nicely drawn, with very colorful backdrops and some good animation in regards to the characters and menu screens. You’re not going to be blown away, but then you’re here for the massages, not the graphics. The sound effects and music do however come with a hugely over-the-top feel, with a sort of lounge groove to the soundtrack which is perfect for a game like this.
In conclusion, and never in a million years did I think I would be uttering these words, but I kind of liked playing Mr. Massagy: Mayo Edition on Xbox One. It made me laugh a lot – especially when it got strange – and the colourful characters are a lot of fun to spend an hour or so with. I’m not too bothered about the clicker game, but for a double-dip it’s a cheap as chips purchase. If you are looking for something highly original and you need to urgently massage your shoulder, then change your controller batteries and play a bit of Mr. Massagy: Mayo Edition.