Visible novels are nothing new, however they flourished within the late nineties as an offshoot of Japanese journey video games. Extra of an interactive expertise than the standard gameplay, these titles focus on a journey the place the participant chooses between a number of story routes, successfully shaping the narrative. This style can be identified for its bursting romance simulators, although in recent times the medium has began to cater to a wider participant base past the standard audience. Boyfriend Dungeon places a roguelike spin on the style and weaves a compelling storyline with a comedic twist paying homage to video games like Dream Daddy.
Within the newest Kitfox Video games journey, you craft your character by selecting your hairstyles, clothes, pronouns, and different primary tweaks with a restricted character creation instrument. As soon as executed, gamers journey to Verona Seashore to get a recent begin on life with the help of the participant’s mother and their cousin Jesse. Your room inside your cousin’s previous digs opens up a brand new world of prospects, a world that occurs to be crammed with individuals that may flip into weapons. The visible novel twist? They’re all ridiculously scorching.
The story is greater than its romantic ties. It’s about going through private fears and studying extra about your self and opening as much as these round you, even when searching for easy friendship. I felt like I had extra to do inside Boyfriend Dungeon than the standard visible novel area of interest, notably with participant selection relating to the forged of characters and the dungeon-crawling gameplay fashion. Boyfriend Dungeon mixes in roguelike gameplay, making it extra than simply an interactive novel. So far as roguelikes go, that is fairly forgiving. The motion is easy and repetitive. Dying has no actual penalty, you merely depart the Dunj (which is a mall crawling with monsters within the type of previous cell telephones and VHS tapes) and get up again in your condominium. There’s additionally the extra possibility of the Protect within the menu settings, permitting a defensive buff when within the warmth of battle, which ought to assist gamers searching for a neater time.
All through this journey, you select your weapon ally, uncover hidden areas, discover tucked-away safes stuffed with loot, and take moments between rounds to squeeze in a bit of further one-on-one time along with your love curiosity. The setup is cute, however restricted in selection. Till you attain the underside depths, every stage seems to be precisely the identical and the enemy sorts are repetitive. To counter this redundancy, you’ll be able to swap out your weapon earlier than every stage, permitting for brand spanking new conversations and fight methods. As an illustration, working with a dagger is fairly enjoyable for the higher flooring whereas the enemies are nonetheless at a mean stage and never too overwhelming. Alternatively, one thing extra highly effective like Seven’s Lasersaber is an effective choose whenever you’re taking place into the deeper ranges the place meatier enemies lurk. My favourite weapon was Sawyer, who’s a glaive, as a result of we share a love of poetry however additionally they simply kick a ton of butt with regards to getting cornered mid-fight. As you progress, there are extra situations of enemy encounters that change up the enemy sorts.
The true Boyfriend Dungeon expertise lies inside the recreation’s characters. The mainstay romance choices embrace Sunder, the dangerous boy with a secret, and Valeria, a girl with a free spirit and a checkered previous. There are additionally splintering flirt choices, these met all through the course of the sport however not included within the “fundamental forged” of affection pursuits. There are males, ladies, and non-binary potential romance choices to get to know with out the strain of getting lovey-dovey. Not like many video games on this area, Boyfriend Dungeon received’t punish you for favoring one character over one other, you’ll be able to select all of them or none in any respect! And if romance will not be your factor, Boyfriend Dungeon permits gamers to stay buddies with the characters they meet, assuaging any strain to make the “proper selection.”
Every character has their very own deeper story to uncover. Some storylines are light-hearted, whereas others deal with “actual” topics comparable to betrayal, the longing to belong, and the continued technique of rising as a human. Not each storyline hit a house run, however every character is exclusive and simply relatable. I immediately linked with characters like Valeria, and I loved watching her journey of re-learning how you can belief once more, each platonically and romantically. Kitfox does an amazing job holding that relatability plausible regardless of the sport’s premise.You may give items to the characters you treasure essentially the most, hear to at least one one other’s tales, and get to know one another in true visible novel fashion by dates and battling out these Dunj monsters.
Total, Boyfriend Dungeon is an pleasing expertise for followers of each roguelikes and visible novels. I like that it provides you the choice to make the journey stay as much as the romance simulator hype, or simply meet some nice characters to grow to be buddies. Boyfriend Dungeon presents a captivating gameplay expertise regardless of its simplistic mechanics and redundant enemies. With extra characters teased for the long run, I can’t wait to dive in to see what’s subsequent.
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