Visual novels are nothing new, however they flourished within the late nineties as an offshoot of Japanese journey video games. More 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 recognized for its bursting romance simulators, although lately the medium has began to cater to a wider participant base past the standard target market. 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.
In the most recent Kitfox Games journey, you craft your character by selecting your hairstyles, clothes, pronouns, and different fundamental tweaks with a restricted character creation software. Once finished, gamers journey to Verona Beach to get a contemporary begin on life with the help of the participant’s mother and their cousin Jesse. Your room inside your cousin’s outdated digs opens up a brand new world of potentialities, a world that occurs to be stuffed with folks that may flip into weapons. The visible novel twist? They are all ridiculously sizzling.
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 concerning the solid of characters and the dungeon-crawling gameplay fashion. Boyfriend Dungeon mixes in roguelike gameplay, making it extra than simply an interactive novel. As far as roguelikes go, that is fairly forgiving. The motion is straightforward and repetitive. Dying has no actual penalty, you merely go away the Dunj (which is a mall crawling with monsters within the type of outdated cell telephones and VHS tapes) and get up again in your condominium. There can be the extra possibility of the Shield within the menu settings, permitting a defensive buff when within the warmth of battle, which ought to assist gamers searching for a better time.
Throughout this journey, you select your weapon ally, uncover hidden places, discover tucked-away safes stuffed with loot, and take moments between rounds to squeeze in a little bit additional one-on-one time along with your love curiosity. The setup is cute, however restricted in selection. Until you attain the underside depths, every degree appears precisely the identical and the enemy varieties are repetitive. To counter this redundancy, you may swap out your weapon earlier than every degree, permitting for brand new conversations and fight methods. For occasion, working with a dagger is fairly enjoyable for the higher flooring whereas the enemies are nonetheless at a median degree and never too overwhelming. On the opposite hand, one thing extra highly effective like Jonah’s axe is an effective choose while you’re taking place into the deeper ranges the place meatier enemies lurk. My favourite weapon was Leah, who’s a hammer, as a result of we share a love of karaoke however she additionally simply kicks a ton of butt in terms of getting cornered mid-fight. As you progress, there are extra situations of enemy encounters that swap up the enemy varieties.
The true Boyfriend Dungeon expertise lies throughout the sport’s characters. The mainstay romance choices embody Sunder, the unhealthy 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 “main cast” 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. Unlike many video games on this area, Boyfriend Dungeon received’t punish you for favoring one character over one other, you may select all of them or none in any respect! And if romance just isn’t your factor, Boyfriend Dungeon permits gamers to stay mates with the characters they meet, assuaging any strain to make the “right choice.”
Each character has their very own deeper story to uncover. Some storylines are light-hearted, whereas others deal with “real” topics reminiscent of betrayal, the longing to belong, and the continued means of rising as a human. Not each storyline hit a house run, however every character is exclusive and simply relatable. I immediately related with characters like Valeria, and I loved watching her journey of re-learning the way to belief once more, each platonically and romantically. Kitfox does an excellent job conserving that relatability plausible regardless of the sport’s premise.You can give presents 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.
Overall, Boyfriend Dungeon is an pleasurable expertise for followers of each roguelikes and visible novels. I like that it provides you the choice to make the journey dwell as much as the romance simulator hype, or simply meet some nice characters to change into mates. Boyfriend Dungeon presents an enthralling gameplay expertise regardless of its simplistic mechanics and redundant enemies. With extra characters teased for the longer term, I can’t wait to dive in to see what’s subsequent.
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