Thirsty Suitors mini-review: Fixing what you broke | Kaser Focus


Usually when I play a relatively short indie game, I find more often than not that its length is satisfactory (see: Jusant). Rarely do I think “That needed to be at least three or four hours longer.” But Outerloop’s Thirsty Suitors is a rare exception, because I wanted more room for everything this game was trying to do. As it is, the game feels exceptionally overstuffed with gameplay, story and culture (for lack of a better word). Thirsty Suitors is an absolute riot, in the sense that it’s a chaotic mix of color and sound and that it’s hilarious. It’s not perfect, but its flaws come from trying to do too much rather than overt minimalism.

You play as Jala Jayaratne, a South Asian American woman returning to her hometown with her tail between her legs years after disappearing on both her strict-but-loving family and her legion of exes. Now she must try to make amends for her years as a heartbreaker and prove herself to her disappointed parents in the main story, while doing such side quests as investigating a skate-park cult, fending off her grandmother’s well-meaning matchmaking attempts and cooking a mouthwatering variety of South Asian food.

Everything in Thirsty Suitors is an exaggerated take on real experiences — in particular, the boss battles with Jala’s exes take place in their inner worlds where their arguments are imagined as turn-based battles. But that’s not to say the actual experiences themselves are taken lightly. On the contrary, Thirsty Suitors delves into the kinds of story topics that games rarely touch upon and in a way that makes it easy to understand and relate to, even if you don’t share Jala’s particular cultural background.

One thing I liked about Thirsty Suitors is how it doesn’t shy away (or indeed, allow Jala to shy away) from the fact that the main character is the villain of the story. Jala has been thoughtless and self-centered. She’s only making an effort now because she’s finally run out of luck, and absolutely no one is willing to let her forget that. But at the same time, the story also gives her a little grace and allows her to confront some of the forces that made her this way, including the suffocating expectations from her otherwise-loving family. Even her exes are willing to hear her out, if only after a knock-down, drag-out mental fight.


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In personal news, I hope everyone who celebrated had a pleasant, drama-free Thanksgiving and got what they wanted on Black Friday if they partook. I’m still in the early phases of my end-of-year cleanup, where I try out games I didn’t get to play earlier in the year. This week I’ve been hitting indie games on Game Pass, including Cocoon, Venba and Sea of Stars. Goodness knows how long the final, end-of-year list will be, but it’s going to be fun to write!

What to play this week

What’s new:

  • Jurassic Park: Classic Games Collection
  • In Stars and Time
  • Worldless
  • Evil Diary
  • Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous – Lord of Nothing

New on subscription services:

  • Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme vs. Maxi Boost On (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Dead Island: Riptide Definitive Edition (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Superliminal (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Nobunaga’s Ambition: Taishi (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Alternate Jake Hunter: Daedalus The Awakening of Golden Jazz (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • River City Melee Mach!! (PlayStation Plus Extra + Premium)
  • Grandia (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Jet Moto (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Up (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Klonoa Phantasy Reverie Series (PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • PaRappa the Rapper 2(PlayStation Plus Premium)
  • Breathedge (GeForce Now)
  • Bridge Constructor: The Walking Dead (GeForce Now)
  • Bus Simulator 21 (GeForce Now)
  • Chivalry 2 (GeForce Now)
  • Dungeons 4 (GeForce Now)
  • Hexarchy (GeForce Now)
  • Hearts of Iron IV (GeForce Now)
  • I Am Future (GeForce Now)
  • Imagine Earth (GeForce Now)
  • The Invincible (GeForce Now)
  • Land of the Vikings (GeForce Now)
  • Saints Row IV: Re-Elected (GeForce Now)
  • SHENZHEN I/O (GeForce Now)
  • Supraland: Six Inches Under (GeForce Now)
  • The Surge 2 (GeForce Now)
  • Thymesia (GeForce Now)
  • Tropico 6 (GeForce Now)
  • West of Dead (GeForce Now)
  • The Dungeon of Naheulbeuk: The Amulet of Chaos (Prime Gaming)
  • Black Widow: Recharged (Prime Gaming)
  • Delicious – Miracle of Life+ (Apple Arcade)

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