Marc Saltzman has a technology column in USA Today, and his recent review of a game called "Dream Day Wedding: Married In Manhattan" is mind-boggling. Because, as Saltzman notes, women make up about 74% of gamers who purchase "casual games" — downloadable try-before-you-buy entertainment. So it's "no surprise" that "Dream Day Wedding" is "a hit." The gist of it: You're a wedding planner and you have to help a couple prepare for "the big day." The game consists of searching for concealed items; as you click them, they get crossed off a list. Every few levels, you solve puzzles. Writes Saltzman, "'Married in Manhattan' is a good hidden object game that will no doubt impress longtime fans and newcomers alike." He gave this crap 7 out of 10 stars. I played a version of this game for five minutes and wanted to claw my eyes out.Beyond fetishizing nuptials, the incorrect assumption that all women love weddings and the subservient role of wedding panning, this game is more annoying than fun. First of all, it plays Pachelbel's "Canon in D" incessantly, like you're in some endless bridal nightmare. Second of all, some of the shit you have to do makes no sense. The first challenge: "Find hidden items at Jenny's engagement party: Help Jenny get ready for the party by picking up items around the room." It's kind of like Where's Waldo or any other search game: There's a checklist and a bunch of illustrated crap lying around, and you have to check things off the list: Pepper! Jar of pennies! Doughnut! Fireworks! Wait, what? After that was a Concentration- type game requiring you to turn over cards and match presents to each other based on wrapping paper. Fun? No, not really. And certainly not a wedding planning skill. And apparently, it gets worse: Writes Saltzman:

Every few levels you will solve adventure game-like puzzles: in the bride's bathroom, for example, you'll click to open the shower curtain and see a magazine you need to read, but it's too wet. So you'll pick up the hair dryer and use it on the magazine. Now you can open the magazine and you turn to a page with a photo of a light fixture that matches one in the bathroom. When you click on the light, it's too hot to touch, so you must turn off the light (the switch is behind a hanging pink robe) and after removing the light fixture you see something hidden behind it, but your hands are too big - tweezers are needed to retrieve the note.

Gah! That's not a dream wedding, that's like a shitty Monday. It's insulting, frustrating and pointless — qualities I don't look for in a video game. 'Dream Day Wedding' Sequel Sticks To Winning Formula [USA Today] Dream Day Wedding [Shockwave]