Welcome to Romance Roundtable: a feature where the editorial POME Crones gather together to discuss
a Harlequin romance manga romance manga romance, just, like, in general. In the spirit of POMEpress’s new & upcoming project COMRADE HIMBO, this time we’re chatting about Dream Daddy: 2017’s #1 Being A Dad Dating Cute Dads dating sim. This whole piece is 100% full of Dream Daddy spoilers so proceed with caution!
CC: I gotta say, this might be the romance roundtable that I’m the absolute most stoked about
I wanna know ALL ABOUT what each of y’all think about every single daddy
I want!! every!!!! detail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
playing while knowing that I get to dish about it with y’all made it so much more worthwhile
Jenny: do we want to break it out by daddy? like go down the list? or do we want to freeform?
CC: ok so the first thing I want to know is which daddy was your favorite, and which daddy was your * second * favorite
I’d ask about your least fave but I have a feeling there will be a lot of consensus there
Jenny: lol yeah, but maybe best to start w a quick rundown of the options
for those of y’all who may not’ve heard about this game, we reviewed it back when it came out
(NOTE: this review does not have spoilers but the roundtable you’re reading right not definitely does)
and replaying this week has def proved to me that it 10000% holds up
CC: ok to be clear, Jenny reviewed it amazingly and this review really does also 100000% hold up too!!!
Jenny: You and your daughter, Amanda, move to a cute new neighborhood during her last year of high school. Your new home is located in a cul-de-sac which contains seven other hot and romanceable dads.
Bad Dad (ROBERT), Goth Dad (DAMIEN), Sports Dad (CRAIG), Jesus Dad (JOSEPH), Music Dad (MAT), Professor Dad (HUGO), Grill Dad (BRIAN)
CC: oh dang ok I have a great idea yall
before we start listing our favorite dream daddies, what if we swap notes about who we think everybody else’s favorite daddy is
for scientific research purposes, naturally
Ashley: hello i have returned from my unexpected bathroom journey
i guess that tells you a lot about my fave daddy to start
Jenny: lololol ok, here’s my guesses:
CC-Damien (Goth Dad)
Rachel-Craig (Sports Dad)
Ashely-Mat (Music Dad)
CC: ashley – damien
rachel – craig
jenny – hugo OR brian
Rachel: CC – Damien (goth dad)
Ashley – Hugo (Professor dad)
Jenny – Brian (grill dad)
Ashley: Rachel – Mat
Jenny – Leaning Brian over Hugo
CC – Damien
CC: oooooh wow y’all really nailed mine!!!! but it took me a long time to decide on him, too!!!
Ashley: we knew you were smitten when you told us about the polo
CC: ashley I guessed damien bc as a gemini I thought u would appreciate his dualities (is that how astrology works?? I am still learning)
I can confirm that damien is my fave tho, although at first I was all about music dad bc imo he is objectively the hottest dad in the game
Ashley: as a gemini i invoke my legal right to choose two dads! damien didn’t make the cut but i do love him actually
Jenny: can agree that mat (music dad) is def the hottest, objectively
CC: (i also know rachel loves a stronk hunk & jenny loves an everydad but also a nerd who moonlights in a hot sport)
Rachel: Lol yes I love a fit dad who can bench his twin daughters
Also his workaholic nature was v relatable to me specifically lol
CC: sports dad reminds me of Liam from Mass Effect: Andromeda, who was also a sports babe with a big heart
and who I also know you love!!!
Jenny: v fair but need i remind you
Ashley: AHHH JENNY YOUR DAD IS SO CUTE
Jenny: lololol thanks! his name is Bigg Chungus (i let loren design him)
Rachel: ahh I want to see all your daddies
Unfortunately I don’t have my save anymore
CC: i love egg
Ashley: craig has strong himbo energy, but he is also smart!
Jenny: that’s true
Rachel: Yes!! Also love someone who is on good terms with their ex
It makes me trust them more???
Ashley: also yeah just like the hardest working dad. 3 BABIES
CC: ok i’m dying to know: jenny and ashley, pls confirm your top dadd(ies?)
Ashley: hugo and robert
Rachel: YES BAD DAD
he was my #2 actually
Jenny: robert is honestly p great
Ashley: his “perfect” ending is really good imo
which is what reallys sold me
CC: yeah agreed!!!!
Jenny: it IS a little rough that you can’t actually end up w him, but def i think his ending is the most emotionally complex
CC: it’s really nice that he’s working on it
Jenny: rebuilding a relationship w his estranged daughter!! you love to see it!
Rachel: I choose to believe they get together at a later time
CC: I also love that he’s a goof who loves cryptids and being goofy on a ghost tour
Jenny: truly the cryptid/ghost angle really did it for me
Ashley: also his daughter is hot and cool
Rachel: LOL YESS
CC: dream daddy sequel where you can romance mary or robert’s daughter
Ashley: yes please
Rachel: Also Ashley I chose Hugo for you because I thought it would appeal to your academic bend
And also the good high brow/low brow combo
Of academia and wrestling
Ashley: yes!!! haha i could not resist! his nerd enjoyment was 100% my shit
CC: ok I have an interesting question
Rachel: I know I said it already but I love bad dad
Jenny: i think Mat (music/coffee dad) was my second
CC: for me it was music daddy bc I love puns and also he is very very hot
Jenny: the puns, the hottness, but also he really appeals to the nostalgia of when i used to be cool and go to shows
Rachel: Wait did we confirm Jenny’s #1?
CC: OH SHOOT
Jenny: lol np idk that it’s any big secret! i love hugo!! i love books and also wrestling! he also loves old timey horror movies!! he’s perfect!!
Ashley: he really is, is the thing
and he is so cute in his wrestling shirt, omg
CC: omg he really is!!! I love the wrestling shirt!
Ashley: AHHHHH YES OMG
Jenny: he loves a cheeseboard, he loves wine, he hates middle schoolers
what more could you want??
Ashley: also he will call his shithead student a little bitch lol
that was the clincher for me
CC: yeah when I got to the end I really felt like he was designed in a lab at Jenny Labs, Inc
CC: he appreciates all the finer things in life
and also dunking on middle schoolers, esp after his post wrestling match confidence boost
Jenny: his dad book profile ideal date: sitting on opposite ends of the couch reading different books
i love him
Ashley: just, perfect
Rachel: Ok the #2s now
Jenny: yeah — cc and i agree on mat as #2
CC: now that’s what i call art, baby
Jenny: and rachel said robert
ashley are you splitting your joint #1? or do you have a #2?
Ashley: i guess i have to technically pick a third dad because i contend that i love hugo and robert in equal measure
but the final addition to our polycule is brian
Jenny: love brian!!
Ashley: i actually love brian the character, but not his storyline/ending that much
Ashley: like, an independent contractor who is also soft and has an amazing dog and nerdy kid?
Jenny: inception whomst?
Ashley: YES JENNY
Jenny: he’s just a great dude!!
CC: Big Feels Brian
love that his turn ons include like, vulnerability
or was it intimacy?
Ashley: yes! but is also so brawny and outdoorsy and BUILD STUFF
make things for meeeee, the soft hermit crab
Jenny: i think my biggest hangup w brian is the competitiveness, which–i know it gets addressed, and it’s not really that he’s That Guy who always has to 1-up–it’s just that i feel like as much as i love him, he would make me the worst version of myself. see:
Jenny: i don’t need this energy indulged
it’s too close to home
Rachel: Reasons why we don’t date people too similar to ourselves
Ashley: see, i really have zero competition energy so we balance. go take that out on some fish or the yard
CC: I was very surprised to learn how much my daddy cared about lawncare thru this romance
CC: do we know that our OC daddy’s,,,,,job is? does he have a job? I was guessing freelance writer bc he seems to be at least working from home
and also the word jumbles
Ashley: yeah, i think freelance writer? he does not code
Jenny: yeah it’s not super clear? i think the biggest hint was when you go on the 2nd date w craig, your player character daddy says that he’s wearing a shirt from a writer’s summit he went to 20years ago
Ashley: OH i missed the writer’s summit part ha
Jenny: but when goth dad asks if you’re a writer on date 1, you just answer “of sorts” which — vague
CC: which date with craig was the date at the lake?
i died on that one
Jenny: lolololol that’s craig’s 3rd date
Rachel: LOL yes
Jenny: sports are dangerous!!
you can die!!
Jenny: some broventure, amirite
Rachel: I was doing some pre-romance round table research and apparently the writers watched Brokeback Mountain as inspo for the camping scene but got too emotionally compromised and couldn’t write for days
Jenny: LOLOLOLOLOLOL rachel incredible
CC: omg rachel ;__;
that’s so intense
but also good to know ha ha ha
I really like the “old friends” nature of craig’s romance
Jenny: def! that, mixed with the constant bro-ing really scratches an itch
Ashley: can relate to that experience. and yes the friends-to-lovers thing is especially satisfying with bro flavor!
CC: also doesn’t hurt that as rachel said, he works so hard!!!!
Rachel: He needs to take some time for himself!!
Dadsona can help!!
Ashley: it’s true!
Jenny: truly!! i loved that the 3rd date is just like you encouraging him to carve out some time to relax and treat himself
have a single weekend when you don’t have to be responsible for literally everything
Ashley: it’s nice to imagine being in a place to give that gift i think?
finding it surprisingly tough to express my tender feelings toward all of these dads
somebody who already knows him so well…..from his “eating spaghetti sauce like soup, right out of the can” days to his fit small business owner dad days!
Jenny: they are all v complex!! almost like real people!!
Ashley: it’s odd, there are parts of each story and play that i could take or leave, but they’re all great characters
did anyone play all the way through with joseph?
Rachel: I DID
CC: Y E S
including secret ending
Ashley: secret ending!! wait i can’t remember…
Jenny: i watched a playthrough of the secret ending
Rachel: The one where he’s a cult leader lol
Ashley: okay i def did not get that ending
OH MY GOD
CC: yeah at least for the switch, you need to make a jimmy buffet dadsona
to enter the margaritazone
in order to access it
Ashley: ohhhhhhhhhh okay
CC: it has to be exactly right and also named jimmy buffet to work
Jenny: his regular ending is just you go out on his boat and have sex, but he won’t leave his wife
CC: I goofed it up like twice before I got it working haha
Ashley: i automatically rebuffed all jimmy buffet-related speech
CC: I saved joseph for last and hated romancing him
hated to disappoint mary
and also robert
Jenny: really love mary tbh
CC: who Knows His Game
Jenny: robert is great though for real
CC: he might be The bad daddy but he is a good man ;o;
Rachel: Yeah Joseph was my least favorite, mostly cause I didn’t trust how cheery he was???
Also maybe I distrust youth pastors
Or figures of religious authority generally
Jenny: i mean hard same
Jenny: but this felt v relatable
CC: yeah the game said “youth pastor” and i was just like…….uhhhh
Ashley: lol exactly
CC: I WAS very curious about where it was going
Ashley: no version of that is actively desirable, but yeah i think it’s kind of fun that there’s an evil paster
Jenny: the really did the most w what they had
Ashley: re: robert as a bad dad, obviously they have a shitty relationship but also val is doing GREAT so
Jenny: a fair point — all of joseph’s kids are terrifying
Ashley: i dislike them lol
Jenny: that was the most bittersweet part of deciding i couldn’t really get behind brian–i love his nerd daughter so much!!
Ashley: she’s so cute
CC: she really is!
Jenny: won’t dig for buried treasure w/o the appropriate permits!!
i love her!!
Ashley: i like how she and amanda do kid stuff together tho
like, my own nerdiness as a child prevented that kind of play with others i think??
CC: if a Cool Teen ™ expressed any interested in my nerd opinions at that age, I would have died LMAO
Jenny: she’s a great role model for those kids!!
Ashley: i will say that my proudest moment in the game was when i remembered all her friends correctly
CC: BOTH emmas????
Jenny: oh def! and this is something i really wanted to talk about w this game!
your dadsona’s relationship w your daughter, amanda, is, like, really the main storyline–i think to a greater extent than the romances
like, you can fuck up being a good dad and you can get a shitty ending where your daughter goes off to college feeling Not Great
CC: oh yeah I definitely feel ready for fatherhood now
Jenny: all you have to do is bake, i guess!
i can totally do that!
but tbh this moment was so sweet
CC: also push the right amount but not too toooooo too hard
yes it really was!
Ashley: yeah, it’s true, i felt like the choices you made regarding your relationship with amanda are more subtle?
it’s harder to know what the “perfect” answer is
Jenny: yeah! bc it didn’t have any emoji splashes to let you know you got it right!
Jenny: i guess like real fatherhood!
who’s to say if you’re making the right decisions in the moment! you just kind of have to wait and find out!
Ashley: and that is why i will never be a father
Jenny: the stakes do seem really high
CC: i mean if this game has taught me anything, it’s that puns are really a good 30% of it (jk)
Jenny: lol puns and emotional vulnerability with just a splash of authority; a delicate blend
Ashley: ugh i really felt that
CC: I love the ending with damien where ernest gets that big ol dog
Ashley: it’s funny, when i played this when it first came out, i didn’t keep going with hugo all the way
Jenny: i def love how the storylines interact w each other!
Ashley: my attention dropped off and i didn’t like his thing with ernest, but it develops a lot more on the later dates
CC: I wish you could get the dog for ernest in the other storylines too lol
Ashley: hahah yes!
Jenny: but def the earnest part feels like the most complex bit that you have to deal w on hugo’s playthrough
Jenny: when the cops come here and robert steps in to pretend to be earnest’s dad! a good moment, but also this fucking kid!!
Ashley: hahaha yes
Jenny: he sucks!! middle schoolers suck!!
Ashley: he really does and they do, i did
Jenny: and the whole 1st date when you have to chaperone that field trip!! so stressful!!
Ashley: OMG haha for real
Jenny: i just wanted to fight the children, but i could not! i could only bribe!
CC: lol same!!!
Ashley: honestly it’s a miracle he had cash in his pocket
CC: look, aside from the wrestling date, hugo’s other 2 dates stressed me out so much
god i hate trivia nights
Ashley: LOLLL I ALSO HATE TRIVIA
Jenny: lol provolone 2: lost in new york is tough to beat
Ashley: the names are very cute, unfortunately trivia in real life doesn’t feel as nice and rarely does it come with fancy cheese and wine
Jenny: yeah where can i find charcutie pie, the wine and cheese restaurant, in the real world??
CC: but does often come with a v awk trivia host!!!!!
Ashley: too real
i did not appreciate the player’s role in that guy’s marriage lol
CC: the last time I was at a trivia night (on accident, bc I was in a restaurant and it just randomly started?????)
the trivia host made a joke about nick cannon enduring dating mariah carey bc she is older than him?????
and ever since then
ever since I heard a man have such an awful opinion on a microphone in public, ruining my meal
I have harbored this grudge against trivia hosts
Jenny: oooh yikes
yeah i went to one where like 3 teams had tied by the end and so the quiz master just had everyone guess his assistant’s age?
Ashley: OH NOOOO CC it’s the worst when you assume that you are going to a regular restaurant and then the trivia pops up
CC: i just want to eat bar food
i am a simple woman
with simple tastes
i want hot sauce and french fry
Ashley: buffalo dip
CC: no questions, only buffalo dip
Ashley: just having an overwhelming flood of sports bar memories from childhood
so much buffalo dip and the pinball machine
CC: also: same tho ha ha ha
but another thing real quick: can we talk about damien?? i want to talk about vampire dad
Ashley: YES he is so sweet
CC: he is so good and sweet
Jenny: he’s great tbh
Ashley: like, he’s sooo dorky but he takes it to a hot level
Rachel: I thought i wouldn’t like him much, like he’d be cliched? But he’s great!!
CC: augh I know!
going into this game he was bottom tier on my prospective dream daddies
Jenny: love the leatherbound naruto fanfic
really sealed the deal for me
CC: and to be fair, as a person whose english major was comprised of mostly victorian studies
every time he was like
“well u know, the victorians….”
i was like
CC: but also by the end I was like
yes I too really appreciate the victorians bc they were messy people who lived in a messy and chaotic time???? bad for the world but full of dualities???? I can get on the level
also loved him way more for being a “boring” nerd with his leatherbound fanfics and volunteering at the animal shelter and best friendship with mary
ALSO what a good and sweet dad to his oregano dealer son
Ashley: HAHAHA yes
CC: a teen procuring JNCO jeans in 2017
good for you kid
Ashley: they’re vintage and cost him $120
he literally could not shoplift them he would have to get them on ebay
Jenny: i say this w love, but i did literally just have to google jnco jeans
Ashley: you sweet summer child
CC: oh my god they really do go for like $100 on ebay
brb, returning to the sweet earth that made me
laying my old bones 2 rest
Ashley: folks, i went to literally the largest middle school in america in miami FL in the year 2001
i was in the jnco trenches okay
CC: L O L
CC: i remember my high school days being really full of those tripp hot topic pants once a hot topic finally opened in the killeen mall in like, 2005
it was a really great day for our city
Jenny: ok i DO remember tripp pants
Rachel: I wanted a pair of jyncos so bad in middle school but my parents would not oblige me
CC: jncos with a pair of those wheelie sketchers
god tier early aughts tween aesthetic
Ashley: did anyone actually know anyone with wheelies???
i did not
our parents would not spend their hard earned money, etc
Rachel: No and also I didn’t see the appeal
Like I knew how clumsy I was, and I knew it was not cute
And I didn’t not wanna eat dirt
Ashley: HAHA same, i was like, this is a recipe for breaking my face
CC: i had a rolly backpack and thought that if I had wheelies i could go so fast
big brain though
CC: how i escaped middle school without getting even one swirly is beyond me
i mean jenny you and hugo are right
middle school really is the worst
nobody escapes unphased
Rachel: Lol well with that, do y’all wanna go to final thoughts?
Jenny: yeah i’m ready
Rachel: Because I have a cool thing from my pre-round table research!
Jenny: oh yeah! i think he v casually mentions his binder?
Rachel: Love trans goth rep in video games!
Jenny: def! and in the text!
Rachel: He does! But it was also a My Chemical Romance ref so i didn’t catch it at first
Ashley: omg 🤩
Rachel: Just v cool, u love to see it
Jenny: yeah my final thought was really just that these writers/devs really hit it out of the park
like, all of these characters are complex and also v precious
and then all of the jokes are also super good too!!
Ashley: it’s pretty great — there are a lot of fun surprises
i think this is also the only exclusively gay dating sim i’ve ever played?
as in, there’s no single hetero romance option
CC: yeah same!
Ashley: yes!! i think it’s worth mentioning that validate is the main reason we were inspired to choose dream daddy!
the seal is broken on bringing dating sims into RR
CC: ooh ok to piggyback off of this idea, my final thought is that we should do a roundtable for ValiDate at some point in the future
Ashley: oh yes! i backed it, can’t wait to play
Rachel: And if anybody has any really good queer dating sims they’d recommend, please hit us up
Ashley: my final thought is just that i’m glad this game was a big hit and holds up well from the Long Ago days of 2017
i think i appreciated it even more when replaying it recently
and i am very looking forward to reading the comics — i got them a while back but never read them!
i’m excited for how much more depth comics can bring to characters
CC: ahhh I’m excited to learn even more about all of these daddies
CC: and just as excited to read these comics and then talk about em with y’all!!!!
I feel like there’s so much more to say and explore about each of them!
Rachel: Ahh can’t wait!!
Join us next time for even more love story shouting in our next Romance Roundtable! In the meantime, check out our Patreon for just a few bonus goofs that didn’t make it into today’s roundtable, as a treat. Plus: bonus pics of each of our daddies, each complete with excellent dad joke names.