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Speed dating is something that has never appealed to me. I have enough awkwardness and anxiety when meeting a single person, let alone several in quick succession. So I can’t say how realistic speed dating simulator Hot Date is.

One thing’s for sure though, I don’t think I’d ever have the opportunity to speed date a succession of pugs. Hot Date sees you sat at a romantically candle lit table, accompanied by inoffensive musak, as you try to connect with a never ending supply of lovestruck pugs.

Though, in fairness, none of them seem particularly lovestruck. Or interested in actually being at the speed dating event at all. Conversations are almost always awkward; at times, you might think you’re about to break through their veneer of disinterest, but the rug is almost always pulled out from under you by the end of their answer to your question.

After an awkward back and forth, exchanging questions, answers and small details, time is up and another pug comes along, so you can do it all again. The pugs all seem to be snarky, sarcastic, somewhat insulting and standoffish; despite this, they’re often quite charming to watch, with their air of endless disappointment and struggles to make eye contact.

It’s at this point that I’m reminded of a saying: if you run into one asshole during the day, they’re an asshole. If you keep on running into assholes during the day, you’re the asshole.

So maybe it’s not the pugs at all. Maybe I’m the asshole. Sorry pugs, it’s not you. It’s me.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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