Like most people – or at least, I sincerely hope ‘most’ is applicable here – I really like helping out my friends and rarely decline a request for assistance. Much like Leo in Save My Date, when his “hopeless romantic best friend”, Beau, is in dire straits: he’s going on a date, and making a good impression on the lucky guy is of the utmost importance… which of course results in him struggling to pick the right outfit. Bestie to the rescue!
It makes perfect sense for Beau to call on Leo for help in getting ready and making sure he looks as smashing as humanly possible for the date, seeing how they’ve known each other for a long time. Little tidbits here and there reveal small details that show the two really are the textbook definition of best friends. Leo knows certain things about Beau and has seen sides of him that feel like the kind of stuff you only share with someone after a bond has been built, which is something that takes time and effort.
The two also seem to be polar opposites. An example of this would be how Leo takes a decidedly relaxed approach to things like keeping his bedroom tidy while Beau almost obsesses over cleanliness or the fact that Beau is outgoing, bubbly even, according to Leo, who’s instead the shy, quiet type. They get along just fine though, and as previously noted, in spite of Beau’s frequent – and undoubtedly harmless – teasing, Leo agrees to help him get ready for his date.
Since I did mention how Save My Date has two different endings, it probably goes without saying that there are also several decisions to make throughout the story; choosing Beau’s outfit, among other things. Remember, he wants to dress to impress and that kind of thing is either A or B – either it hits all the right notes or it doesn’t. No second chance, no do-overs, no “excuse me while I go change since you don’t like this one”. Three different outfits. Three very different outfits, in fact, and as it turns out, Beau isn’t overly great at making decisions involving his love life, meaning Leo’s job here is far from done.
Now, while I’d like nothing more than to go into even greater detail, as is often the case with visual novels, this entry also relies so heavily on plot elements that sharing more details would spoil… well, far too much. So instead, how about its character design and/or art style? Were I to describe how Beau is drawn with a single word, it would be ‘androgynous’, and no, I do not mean that in a negative way. There are bound to be some who prefer male characters depicted in a more masculine way, to the point where it’s almost too obvious that they are, in fact, men, and manly men at that. But we’re in 2023, not 1423, and I’d like to think that appearance can be left entirely up to each individual (or in this case, the artist).
This also goes for opinions. Whether we’re interested in openly expressing it, one such is going to form in our brain the moment we see or hear… something. Anything. In this case, a relatively short visual novel about Leo helping his best friend, Beau, get ready for a date with some lucky guy who mustered up the courage to actually ask him out. Does the date go well? Did Leo’s fashion advice help or hinder Beau? Did I enjoy Save My Date? Why so many questions? Are there more? Right. Speaking of opinions, I do have an answer for that last one: yes, I did. A handful of odd typos is the only negative of note, and it’s certainly not so severe as to ruin or even mar the experience. I just bring it up to balance the review with at least one not-quite-positive thing. Now, go help Beau get ready for his date!
Save My Date is available on itch.io.