Over the past few years, various celebrities ranging from Sean Astin to Reba McEntire have assumed the role of Colonel Sanders in a series of offbeat commercials. Now, a new and unexpected video game from KFC itself is set to reposition the classic colonel not as comic relief, but some sort of anime sex symbol.
That’s because Kentucky Fried Chicken, is, in fact, launching a computer dating sim later this month. Dubbed “I Love You, Colonel Sanders! A Finger Lickin’ Good Dating Simulator”, it’s an officially-sanctioned Mac and PC game produced by developer Psyops that’s set to hit Steam, an online gaming marketplace, on September 24th.
In the game, players will navigate the trials and tribulations of culinary school alongside a slim and downright seductive avatar of Colonel Sanders across three acts and multiple hours of gameplay. “Throughout your journey, you’ll be faced with life-changing decisions that will affect your chances of friendship and love,” the game’s description on Steam reads. “But be careful! Your choices have real consequences with real animated characters’ feelings at stake.”
Along the way, players can expect cooking battles, 11 herbs and spices, “cute miniature food”, and, most crucially, a “dateable Colonel Sanders,” among other features. Screenshots also suggest you’ll be taught the ins and outs of cooking chicken by a bespectacled, chef-hat-wearing dog named “Professor Dog”, so that’s fun.
Dating sims are a traditionally Japanese video game genre that has gained traction on this side of the Pacific in recent years. As evidenced by the trailer, the aesthetics of KFC’s take is heavily indebted to anime, full of colorful characters and frenetic animation.
The existence of a KFC dating sim isn’t as shocking as you might think. KFC has had a foothold in Japan since 1970, and the country is third behind only the US and China in terms of KFC locations, boasting well over 1,000 locations. Japan has been known to test out some interesting variations on Kentucky Fried Chicken, so the existence of a dating sim available for gamers in America (and presumably across the world) registers as a bit of culinary cross-cultural exchange.
Do you have what it takes to both woo Colonel Sanders and eventually go into business with him? You’ll have to play to find out. Let’s just hope this doesn’t inspire some kind of Ronald McDonald clown horror simulator next.
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