It's everyone's least favorite time of year! The looming cloud of dread continues to grow as the deadline to file your 2022 tax return draws closer and closer. And while most Americans will likely turn to software like TurboTax or take a trip to their local H&R Block to help them file, Brooklyn-based art collective MSCHF is looking to put a romantic spin on doing your taxes with their brand new dating sim Tax Heaven 3000.
Bringing the niche genre of dating simulators to the banal bureaucratic hell that is filling out your income tax return, MSCHF's latest drop sees the collective gamifying the chore of doing your taxes in a visual novel-style dating game. Marketing itself as being "suitable for singles without dependents," Tax Heaven 3000 guides players through the process of preparing your 1040 under the guise of trying to woo cute anime waifu Iris. Players will check their eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit, American Opportunity Credit and more as they explore the game’s "multiple endings."
“It’s always been a dream of mine to meet that special someone…and file their tax return," the game's description, told from Iris' perspective, reads. "Join me and we’ll search for deductions while searching for love! But be careful! We’re not alone. Corporate tax filing services like TurboTax are (by dint of extensive lobbying) predatory, parasitic bottlenecks that deliberately complicate the tax filing process in order to make it unnavigable by ordinary people. They feed us their poison so that we buy their medicine!”
In Tax Heaven 3000 you play as Turbo, “An unsavory SaaS bro, quick to anger and oddly fixated on Iris. He seems to be up to no good…” The character is described as your typical FiDi bro who's a fan of suckling the corporate teat, shares a love of lobbying, needlessly complex forms, dark UX and fleece vests.
It's also worth pointing out that "if you file your taxes in the game, you file your taxes in real life," but you still unfortunately have to look elsewhere to file your state taxes (although it would make for a good DLC). Whether or not the IRS accepts returns covered in a Lisa Frank stickers remains to be seen.
Tax Heaven 3000 will be available for free for both Mac and Windows on Steam and itch.io starting April 4. The game will also be available as a $90 collector's edition which features a physical copy of the game, case, instruction manual and an Iris body pillow.
Check out the trailer for MSCHF's Tax Heaven 3000 below.
Photo courtesy of MSCHF