So, my favorite dads and other characters. Spoilers ahead.
There are a lot of characters. Moving this from 2 to 3 parts to include them all without having any post go too long.
First of all, I think most of them are cool in their own ways. Different dads are my favorite in different categories. My favorite that I would actually want to be friends with in the real world is definitely Mat (Hip Music Coffee Dad), but I don’t think he makes a good romantic match for the playable character. My favorite romantic storylines in the game are Hugo (Teacher Dad) and Damien (Goth Dad), in that order. The one I would actually want to date in real life is Brian (Competitive Dad), but playing through those dates is PAINFUL the way it’s set up in the game. Robert (Bad Dad) and Mary (Married Youth Minister Dad’s Wife) are adorable and I love them and I want to replay all their scenes in every playthrough because they’re hilarious.
But “I like them all!” doesn’t really give me a ranking system. 😀 So I’ll go with how much I like playing their storylines as my main metric and then give them all a “best ____” award. Starting at the bottom.
Last Place: Joseph. Ugh, Joseph. (AKA: Married Youth Minister Dad)
Sooooooo…admittedly I’m biased, because I liked Joseph when I first saw someone meeting him in the game but by the time I actually started playing I knew about a secret Terrible Bad Ending that isn’t actually reachable in the game and had read that as the actual canon story. Which means that as soon as I met Joseph in the game I’m all “Someone get this creep out of here.” I did not want to ever go on a single date with him, but there was some disagreement on whether a “good ending” is possible with him and I thought I had the requirement someone said gave them that ending so I thought if it existed this would be the time to try. As far as I can tell, it definitely does not actually exist. But frankly, even if there was a “yay, I get to marry Joseph!” ending, it would not be a good ending. There are no good Joseph endings. Joseph is gross, stay away.
I’m really glad there isn’t a “good ending” for him. Besides that he’s a sleazeball and I don’t personally like him, I think it’s nice that everyone isn’t actually just an equally perfect match for your character. And that, you know, there are consequences to getting involved with a married person, even if he is deeply unhappy in the marriage and his wife would also be much better off without him. Like, especially then, honestly, because if he’s that dedicated to putting on a happy face and pretending everything’s okay in a terrible relationship instead of ending things first, how could you ever trust your own relationship with him? Joseph is bad news all around, regardless of the canonicity of the Bad Ending. I felt gross my whole time playing through to try and get that ending and will almost certainly never play his storyline again. Ok, maybe if the speculation is right and the cult ending is a Halloween DLC or something, that might be worthwhile. Maybe.
Best: …I dunno, waste of space? Face to appear on a target for kickboxing?
(Honestly, the Bad Ending is probably the most reasonable explanation for many things that happen in the game so I suppose I can at least give him Best Plot Device.)
Craig (AKA: Fitness Dad)
I…didn’t actually go on any Craig dates yet. But I’ve watched them at least 3 times because I swear every single person I’ve seen play this game on YouTube loves Craig. I don’t get it, personally. I mean, he’s a fun character and everything, and if there were “hang out as friends” options I’d be all for that. But not really interested in seeing the romance play out.
Best: Multitasker? Hope that college friendships live forever? Take your pick.
Robert (AKA: Bad Dad)
I LOVE Bad Dad. He’s hilarious and fun and weirdly sweet and I just love every second of his scenes. I don’t think he’s great dating material, and the game seems to agree with me, but he’s a good character and a cool person for your character to get to know.
As far as I know, he’s also the only one your character has the option of a casual hookup with. So if that’s your thing…yay? But you can also skip it entirely and have at least 2 opportunities to shut it down if you go along with it at the start but change your mind. (Explicit consent! And multiple checks for consent when things seem uncertain! Yay!) I don’t know if your decision there has any effect, good or bad, on your chances with Robert. It might count against you if you sleep with him at the start, based on something Joseph says on date 3. But then, it’s Joseph and he’s covering up for his own shady stuff, so who knows.
Mat (AKA: Hip Music Coffee Dad)
Ah, Mat. I so want a friend like Mat. I want to go to record stores with him and let him teach me all about cool music, then we could go to comic stores and I could tell him about cool comics, and we’d be such well-rounded little nerds.
But it is SO. HARD. to do well on his dates. I got a D on my first date/first playthrough with him when I was just picking whichever options seemed cool to me, then a B on my second attempt where I was actually trying to choose the “right” one. He has the hardest minigame and also the player character knows absolutely nothing about the bands and other stuff he’s into. And if you order decaf he looks at you like you kicked his favorite guitar. (To be fair, one of the loading screens warns you that the only time and place for decaf is “never and in the trash,” so it’s my own fault for not taking the dad advice seriously enough.)
Best: Person. Does that count? Like not even a category at this point, just all around the best coolest nicest person in the game.
Alright, this is pretty long. Other half tomorrow.