Thirsty Suitors title card

‘Scott Pilgrim’ Fans Are Going To Want To Check Out ‘Thirsty Suitors’ Next

They say you can never go home again, and that’s especially true for Thirsty Suitors protagonist Jala, who ran away from her hometown three years ago with a white woman 10 years older than her. She returns after their breakup hoping to make amends with her parents, her older sister, Aruni (who’s getting married at the end of the month), and—perhaps most of all—her ex-best friend turned ex-girlfriend, Tyler.

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Unfortunately, Jala has burned her bridges. Returning to Timber Hills means facing off with her six exes in Scott Pilgrim-style battles that take place in each ex’s “Inner World.” In this video game, they run the show, and Jala has to defeat them despite invulnerability and special skills if she wants to form mature, adult friendships and prove she’s not the heartbreaker she used to be.

Diya in her Inner World in Thirsty Suitors
(Outerloop Games / Annapurna Interactive)

Meanwhile, some guy in a bear costume is recruiting teenagers into a skateboard-themed cult based out of the ruins of the local amusement park, and Tyler enlists Jala’s help in getting to the bottom of it. As Jala skateboards her way around and interacts with her exes, she also attempts to connect with the kids in the cult—many of whom are queer—to stop them from going down what seems to be an especially dangerous path.

Oh, and as for her parents… Jala tries to reconnect through cooking lessons, in which she tries to earn back their approval. Her Auntie Chandra offers unwavering support even as Jala’s grandmother sends an army of potential suitors to town ahead of her arrival for Jala’s sister’s wedding. Speaking of, Aruni has spent six months texting and calling Jala with no reply … so she’s not interested in connecting now, so close to her wedding. Oops.

Thirsty Suitors queers story elements of Scott Pilgrim

If you love Scott Pilgrim, you’ll love Thirsty Suitors. Rather than fighting off someone else’s exes to be with them, Jala battles her own exes—not to send them running with their tails between their legs, but to approach her past with more emotional maturity and empathy.

That said, her intentions don’t always have the desired impact. Depending on the dialogue choices you make, your gameplay will shift toward one of three “Thirstsonas,” each with its own boons and disadvantages. These impact how you fight and interact with the story, as well as where Jala will end up once the dust settles.

The three core mechanics in Thirsty Suitors are combat, skateboarding, and cooking. The illustration and animation styles don’t necessarily invoke Scott Pilgrim, but the drama and over-the-top fantasy elements absolutely do. Diving into other characters’ “Inner Worlds” allows you to see how their relationships with Jala affected them more deeply than the barbs they exchange verbally. Similarly, cooking with her parents requires quick actions from the player that affect how well the dish turns out and how much approval Jala earns. These dishes, in turn, heal Jala during ex battles, restore her willpower for more powerful attacks, and/or give her temporary stat boosts.

Jala may not be in a band anymore, but Thirsty Suitors has an incredible soundtrack and a phenomenal voice cast. It’s a delightful play experience through and through, and there are several accessibility options available. In addition to its distinctive Scott Pilgrim vibe, the game also has hints of Polite Society, which is an especially great combination.

Thirsty Suitors is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S (including Game Pass), and Steam for PC.

(featured image: Outerloop Games / Annapurna Interactive)

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Samantha Puc
Samantha Puc (she/they) is a fat, disabled, lesbian writer and editor who has been working in digital and print media since 2010. Their work focuses primarily on LGBTQ+ and fat representation in pop culture and their writing has been featured on Refinery29, Bitch Media, them., and elsewhere. Samantha is the co-creator of Fatventure Mag and she contributed to the award-winning Fat and Queer: An Anthology of Queer and Trans Bodies and Lives. They are an original cast member of Death2Divinity, and they are currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative nonfiction at The New School. When Samantha is not working or writing, she loves spending time with her cats, reading, and perfecting her grilled cheese recipe.