It may be easy to dismiss online dating sites and other such manufactured match-making institutions as sad repositories of the desperate, lonely and, quite possibly, ugly, but you can't deny that such things are big business.
Date Doctor drills into this market, offering step-by-step dating advice that'll see you nabbing yourself a supermodel partner within a single trip to the nearest Pizza Express. Or that's the idea, at least.
When you start up the application for the first time, you have to enter some personal details, namely your gender, age and name. After you've set up this profile, you get to explore the six sections that make up the Date Doctor experience.
The first of these is Dating Basics. Here, you answer a number of questions about either yourself or your potential dating prey to find out what you're both like. After this, Dave the Date Doctor will give you some handy tips on how to find your way into his or her affections. A true expert in the dating field, the Doctor will give you such priceless nuggets as "Don't stare at her breasts" and "Unless you're in the navy, cut back on the swears".
Date to Success, the second section, teaches you how to become a 'Master Seducer'. This training takes the form of a series of questions testing your knowledge of good dating practice. A little less conservative than the advice offered in the first section, here you're encouraged to have a cheeky look at a woman's cleavage as part of the all-important flirting process. These flagrant contradictions may confuse all you dating novices out there, but we'll give Doctor Dave the benefit of the doubt here, since he's a professional and all.
In a similar vein, Practice Dating puts you in an actual dating situation, simulating the patter of a first date. Much like the last section, the focus here is on flirting instead of avoiding a slap, so the cheesy lines you can choose from generally go down well with your AI love companion, even though we can't see such gems as "Do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk by again?" working in the real world.
The Strategy section lets you review what you've learnt about your potential partner from the first section, while Your Profile lets you see what you've learnt about yourself so far. The last feature is Seduce by SMS. This compiles a creaky come-on text message for you to send to your admiree. We didn't have the guts to test this out properly, but if you do, please do let us know how you get on.
Date Doctor isn't really a game as such. More an interactive manual, it's not particularly comprehensive and is fairly humourless throughout. However, it's fairly well presented and if you haven't been put off by the descriptions of what's on offer above, you may well have some fun. Just don't go expecting too much in the way of real-world results. Just because Date Doctor takes itself seriously, it doesn't mean we should.