Tinder users attempted to forget about the pandemic for a moment with the latest season of Tinder’sinteractive movie ‘Swipe Night’. The three-episode event, which happened between Sep. 12 and 27 every Saturday and Sunday night, had its original release date postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Directed by Karena Evans, who also directed Drake’s music video for “God’s Plan”, ‘Swipe Night’ first debuted Season One in October 2019 to boost user interest and provide something new for users to converse about.
The viewer becomes the protagonist in a pre-apocalyptic decision-based story in both seasons of ‘Swipe Night’. Each choice (or swipe) during the video leads to a new event in the storyline, with decisions affecting the overall outcome of the story. Critical choices made show up on users’ profiles, potentially increasing the odds of having new matches based on similar decisions.
Season Two, which was initially going to be released this summer, now offers users the ability to chat about something other than quarantine and facemasks.
This season of ‘Swipe Night’ follows a young adult friend group — the player character, problematic couple Lucy and Graham and controlling and outgoing Molly — as they attend a seemingly normal house party. Things quickly turn bad when everyone receives an urgent alert on their phones, announcing a meteor is about to impact on their location. All hell breaks loose as everyone starts panicking and trying to evacuate. The first decision comes soon after: swipe left to help the girl down the street, or swipe right to follow your friends in the other direction.
As with other decision-based story games, ‘Swipe Night’ Season Two has multiple storylines a player could potentially encounter as they make decisions. These choices can help or hurt the overall progression, and could lead to eight possible endings, including one featuring rapper Rico Nasty.
One of the most interesting things about ‘Swipe Night’ is the viewing style. The video takes up the entire vertical phone screen, including pseudo texts and alerts which drop down from the top of the screen like real life notifications. Viewers might even have to do a double-take when reading the messages just to make sure that they are not real. This new and unfamiliar style makes it easy to get immersed and one of ‘Swipe Night’s’ major strengths.
While the experience of ‘Swipe Night’ may be interesting, the five minute episodes may only be entertaining to a younger audience. When playing along, the storyline tended to feel more like a Freeform drama than a worldwide Tinder event. While making everyone happy is impossible, Tinder could have done a better job with relating to a wider audience.
No matter the opinion of this particular user, Tinder has certainly created a new trail of endless possibilities for the digital world and heightened expectations for other competing dating and social media apps. Many people have felt especially isolated during this pandemic, and Tinder’s ‘Swipe Night’ has offered their community a new way to meet people and feel involved. Hopefully, Tinder will be back with new ‘Swipe Night’ episodes or other fresh and exciting new projects soon. Until then, happy swiping.