Pick up artists aren't a new thing, and the idea of a shortcut to success scheme isn't either. Back in 2007 VH1 aired the popular yet controversial reality show The Pick Up Artist in which nine contestants would compete in various social acts to see who was the best pick up artist. This was probably the first major exposure for many to the art of "Picking Up," "Peacocking," and a multitude of other acts involving funny hats and emo hair. While the entire thing seemed like a bygone fad by the end of the early 2000s, with the rise of social media and swiping right to find your soul mate, some people still hold on to the "PUA" lifestyle and its teachings. In the video below, Alex Parker and I spend about 30 minutes discussing Super Seducer with as much of an open mind as we possibly can.
Super Seducer isn't a video game; it's a crash course on ice breakers, when its okay to ask for personal information, and how to approach strangers wrapped in a bare bones FMV choose your own adventure game that chooses sex appeal over genuinely good information. For me, the biggest surprise from this game was the fact that it has some actually useful information in it that plenty of people could benefit from when dealing with how to become a more social and genuinely enjoyable person. The problem is that for every good piece of advice given by Super Seducer's host and creator Richard La Ruina, you're "rewarded" with two women off screen who are more nude depending on the choices you made. If you make the right choice, they're in their underwear laying on a bed next to La Ruina, but if you make the "wrong" choice (like showing your privates to a girl you just met in the park) you're "punished" by a long monologue about how that's an awful thing to do (which is good advice) and the women are absent. More bafflingly, if you make an okay choice, you will get a response from La Ruina, but the women next to him are clothed in what can be best described as business casual.
This is where I have a problem with Super Seducer. While the game itself is terrible and lacking music or any sense of urgency in my choices, the content itself isn't as bad as people have made it seem. Yes I understand that a title such as Super Seducer isn't the best thing to release in the current climate, but with an open mind there's actually a ton of useful and honest information in here, and quite frankly that's why I'm more disappointed than anything. A game like this could have been a wonderful playbook of sorts for those of us who are just looking to get out there in the world and make friends, do better at our jobs, and feel more confident. Instead, we're stuck with an experience that rewards us for getting a woman's phone number and playing hard to get. In a perfect world, Super Seducer would have focused less on making the player into the ultimate stud, and more into the most likable person in the room.
Super Seducer could have been so much more, but ultimately feels like an ill-advised step backwards with production values of varying degrees, unneeded sleaziness, and a deceptive subject matter. If you're curious about the game and still want to play it, then go ahead. If you genuinely feel the need to get help to do better in social situations, then Super Seducer or any Pick Up Artist media isn't going to help you much. Go outside, join a club with like-minded people, pick up a sport or crossfit—do something. Just please don't think that a silly game with low production values and lack of menu music is going to help you find the one.
Super Seducer was played on Steam with a code sent by the game's developer. It's also available on Mac.
What do you think about Super Seducer? Is it as bad as people say it is? Was Nick being too nice? Did it deserve to be denied by Sony? Let us know in the comments below!