Sweaty Palms is a First Date Simulator. Players take on the role of a nervous guy or girl trying to allure their date at the movies.

The game is an attempt to demonstrate the potential for abstract, expressive games on a small scale. While that might sound trite and obvious these days, it wasn’t so common when the game was created (in the Fall of 2004). You can download it for Windows or Mac, although it may no longer run on some operating systems. Sweaty Palms was also published in the the Independent Games Collection, Volume 1 from Moondance Software.

To play the game, players control a male or female hand in a simulated movie theater environment. The player must allure his or her date to hold his hand, mimicking the nervous energy of a real first date — whether for a teenager or an adult.


The game offers two play modes, First Date and Persona. First Date mode challenges the player to lure his or her date to hold hands before the movie runs out of celluloid. The player sets a character type for their date and then must inch, sneak, and prod to signal interest and lure their counterpart. When the movie is over, the player gets a Persona rating, akin to the kind of outcome one would receive from a “Test your Love”-style carnival game.

Persona mode challenges the player to match his or her date behavior to a randomly selected persona. Players might challenged to be shy, flirty, humble, or coquettish, among others. Persona mode provides more opportunities for replayability, allowing players to experiment with different ways of achieving a target outcome.