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Thirsty Suitors is an Action RPG video game developed by Outerloop Games and published by Annapurna Interactive. Players control Jala, a second-generation South Asian American who returns to her tiny home town for her sister’s wedding. There, she’s confronted by her parents’ disappointment, a cult of skate-punks, and all her old suitors, many of whom harbor old wounds and emotions. Now Jala must confront her former lovers in increasingly strange boss battles if she is ever to find any closure.

The game released on November 2, 2023.

Previews: Reveal Trailer, Gameplay preview


Tropes:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Jala's father calls her "idli" and "Jala-wala".
  • Alliterative Name: Jala's full name is Jala Jayaratne.
  • Ambiguous Time Period: In this game lingo from The New '20s is intermixed with references to Nokia phones and AOL.
  • Amicable Exes: Jala confronts and reconciles with all her exes as friends.
  • Arc Words: A recurring statement is how the exes Jala burned thought confronting her would make them feel better, but that it isn't nearly as cathartic as they hoped.
  • Better as Friends: Jala and Tyler reconcile in that, before they started dating, they were friends and family first, and resolve to maintain boundaries against romantic relationships while remaining close and supportive in the future.
  • Big Beautiful Woman: Diya is the most rotund of the exes, but also very hot. Jala herself can't help but thirst after her very wide hips a few times.
  • Big Sister Worship: Jala clearly looks up to her sister, as the voice of reason in her head takes the form of a glamorous rockstar looking version of her.
  • Birds of a Feather: Tyler and Andile's friendship is strengthened by similar experiences with their gender identities, Tyler being trans and Andile being nonbinary.
  • But Not Too Black: Implied. Jala claims that Paati favoured Aruni over her because Aruni had lighter skin.
  • The Chain of Harm: A major plot point of the game is that one of the major reasons that Jala treated her exes so badly was because her grandmother's influence on her mother led her mother to project her upbringing and insecurities onto Jala, making her terrified of love, even though she grew up in a loving household.
  • Cooking Mechanics: As the plot progresses, cooking mini games where Jala works to create a number of South Asian dishes to impress her parents are unlocked.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: According to Auntie Chandra, Jala's grandmother was pissed that her daughter married a non-Indian man. She also objects to Aruni dating Ahmed because he isn't Indian.
  • Disappeared Dad: According to Sergio's Suitor Status screen, the reason why he is so obsessed with Jala is because of his overbearing mother and his absentee father.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Diya chastises Jala if you choose to sympathise with her after she reveals that her parents kicked her out after she came out as gay.
  • Dumped via Text Message: Jala did worse to Tyler when she eloped with Jennifer three years prior; she dumped her by pay phone, calling collect.
  • Former Bigot: Downplayed. Jala's father admits that he didn't talk to his sister for a few years after she came out as lesbian, but has since reconciled with her. Additionally, he is supportive of his daughter liking girls and her girlfriend Tyler's transition. He also gets really angry when Jala tells him that Diya's parents kicked her out for being gay.
  • Former Teen Rebel: While not nearly as dramatic and being settled now, Jala's parents had quite the storied youth themselves, meeting at a protest rally during The Emergency, and eloping to America. Jala's dad even admits to have caused some mischief with friends afterwards.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Paati gives Jala one after Jala comes to a Heel Realization that Paati was the one that made Jala scared of love.
    Paati: JALA JAYARATNE! It's TIME to CALL YOUR MOTHER!
  • Gayngst: Jala's Aunt Chandra and her ex-girlfriend Diya were both kicked out of their homes when they came out as gay.
  • Generational Trauma: All of Jala's issues surrounding her feelings about love stems from her mother's tumultuous relationship with her grandmother. The music for the fight against her Paati is even called Generational Trauma, and the imaginary version of Tyler from that fight discusses the Chain Of Harm the oppression of women in marriages has caused.
  • The Ghost: Though their influence drives the plot, we never see Jala's ex Jennifer or Aruni's fiancé Ahmed.
  • Hates Being Called Cute: Diya and Shah Rukh, Irfan's cat.
    Jala: You were always so passionate. Even in middle school. It's cute.
    Diya: Cute? CUTE? I'm not cute I'm DANGEROUS and SEXY.
    Jala: I've never met a cat who was a guard dog before. Cute.
    Shah Rukh: I am not CUTE. I'm a TERRIFYING SPECTER. I'm going to HAUNT YOUR DREAMS.
  • Identity Breakdown: Andile has internal conflicts over their cultural heritage, their identity as an American and how their nonbinary identity slots in with either. During their battle with Jala, Andile will change color and their name will become Kwame then Andi to illustrate the polarization of their identity. Jala helps talk them through all these parts existing in concert, not conflict.
  • Imaginary Friend: Jala has a more punk rock looking, imaginary version of her sister labeled the Narrator that comments on the events of the game as they unfold. For some reason, Tyler can respond to her comments as if Jala herself is speaking them, which raises some questions.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Andile opens with some humblebragging on how booked and busy their professional life is, but it becomes clear that they're also carrying some major insecurities over issues in their personal life.
  • I Shall Taunt You: Part of the combat system is using taunts to inflict status effects of sorts. Jala can taunt and be taunted by her opponents, while the former has moves that deal extra damage for each status.,
  • Killer Yo-Yo: Some of Jala's attacks include using her phone as a yo-yo to attack her foes.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Jala does a lot of flips and flourishes while cooking. When her mother questions this, she's justifies it as having a little fun.
  • Malicious Misnaming: Aisha calls Jala "Jerkaratne", a corruption of her actual last name, Jayaratne.
  • Maligned Mixed Marriage: Jala's grandmother isn't fond of the fact that her Indian Tamil daughter married a Sri Lankan Sinhalese man or that her granddaughter is marrying a non-Indian man.
  • Mental World: All of Jala's exes (including her grandmother) have the ability to pull Jala into their inner worlds, the inner worlds where they see themselves as.
  • Missing Mom: Irfan's mother died when he was a kid.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Relationship drama and arguments made into full on RPG battles, acrobatic flourishes used for taking off your jacket and shoes at home or cooking, Jala certainly knows how to keep her life exciting.
  • Panthera Awesome: Irfan's pet cat, Shah Rukh has the ability to transform from a mere cat, to a ferocious tiger in Ifran's inner world.
  • Promotion to Parent: Irfan essentially raised his sister Aisha by himself after their father was diagnosed with cancer and his mother died when he was a child.
  • Punny Name: Hints are dropped throughout the game by a figure named Uncle Hinti.
  • Queer Colors: Jala's starting outfit is a pink and yellow jacket with blue jeans combo, the colours of the pansexual flag, and Auntie Chandra's top has a pattern with the colours of the lesbian flag on it.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: Deconstructed; Jala has Commitment Issues that led her to running out on Tyler and starting whirlwind romances with multiple other people. This contributes to Tyler feeling insecure about not being good enough for her, as well as self-loathing that she keeps taking her back.
  • Shoe Slap: Jala can summon her mother in battle to dispatch enemies with a whack of her chappal.
  • Skate Heaven Is a Place on Earth: The gameplay preview shows that Jala will be able to skate board all across the town as well as in an abandoned theme park called Bearfoot Park.
  • Type Caste: Diya's family are mentioned to be Brahmin.
  • The Un Favourite: Auntie Chandra says that Jala is somehow the third-most favorite child despite only having one sibling, explaining that they like Jala's ex-girlfriend Tyler as a daughter more than her.
  • Warrior Therapist: All the interpersonal dramas of the story are framed as an RPG battle. For plot relevant fights, turns are often punctuated by characters confronting Jala over their history and talking their way through their issues with her.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Gal: The scoring for the cooking minigame is framed as Jala earning her parent's approval for doing it well at each step of the recipe. In general she's also trying to reconcile with her parents over her actions, her mother moreso than her father.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Since the plot of the game involves Jala returning to her hometown after eloping unannounced three years prior with no contact in between, she has to confront all the family and exes she left in her wake.

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