Developer: Kitfox Games
Publisher: Kitfox Games
Genre(s): Action, Adventure, Role playing, Simulation
Platform: Xbox Series S
Age Rating: PEGI 12
Release Date: 11/08/2021
A code was provided for review purposes
Boyfriend Dungeon is a dating simulation game with a unique twist. Each romantic partner is also a weapon that I could use in the dungeons. I was initially interested in the dungeon crawling elements and variety of weapons but went into the story with an open mind. Did the dating aspects captivate me too? Find out in this Rapid Review.
Take me Out
To begin my adventure, I was introduced to my cousin Jesse. He let me stay in his apartment and pushed me to go out and date some new people. It was a simple premise, but it introduced me to many of the townspeople. I learned how to interact with them and found out that some people could even turn into weapons. These weapons are vital, as there were a couple of dungeons to explore with my newfound friends (or more than friends).
I enjoyed meeting the various weapons both inside and outside the battlefield. Many of these characters were relatable and were dealing with important issues. Characters struggle with loss, deal with depression, and face discrimination based on their gender identity. Learning the intricacies of each character and helping them grow and develop over the course of Boyfriend Dungeon was impactful, and I enjoyed doing so. Some dialogue lines between characters echoed real moments in my personal life (even if the roles were switched) and it made them even more lifelike. The characters resonated with me and they were implemented well.
The dungeons themselves were quite interesting too. Instead of typical enemies, each of the enemies was loosely related to a fear. Though I do not think that the fears were related to the dialogue options I chose, it was a novel way to explain the dungeons I needed to explore. As I progressed further into the dungeons, I began tackling my fears, and thus the earlier enemies were much easier to defeat than before. It was a simple way to explain the character progression and difficulty curve. Plus, it sent positive messages and encourages people to act against their fears. I enjoyed how the dungeons tied into the story and provided social commentary as well.
In terms of the actual combat, Boyfriend Dungeon is basic. There are light and heavy attacks a dodge roll, a special ability, and healing items. Though it may seem like a few things to master, the combat loop is simple, and there is not much depth to the combat. There are some simple combos to learn and resource management with the healing items and special abilities, but the minute-to-minute gameplay is simple. Still, it was a lot of fun. Even though when looking at it from a distance the game seems repetitive, I was constantly facing enemies or collecting items. Boyfriend Dungeon kept me occupied all throughout.
Been There, Done That
The dungeon structure was also simple. Each level of the dungeon is flat with a variety of rooms to explore. Enemies remain in their respective rooms until I entered the rooms, so I always knew where to go. Of course, I could see the enemies from immediately outside the door, but the map also showed me important locations. Enemies were signified with massive red dots on the map, and stairwells were depicted by massive blue circles. It was easy to figure out where my next move should be. Even though it was basic since the gameplay loop was easy to process, I always knew what my next move should be, and I was always in the heat of action.
Despite the constant action, sometimes the levels would get tedious, as the enemies were repetitive. The dungeons each had a few enemies that they would introduce, but the dungeons had many floors, and I would often face the same enemies repeatedly. As I progressed through the dungeons, enemies would seemingly evolve and become stronger than they were before. These variations on the enemies were refreshing but rarely changed the patterns. I would have liked to see enemies with new patterns as I delved deeper into the dungeons.
Still, the enemies were fun to fight, and they were not the only ones who could level up. I could level up myself, increasing my health and damage output as a sword wielder. However, more importantly, by developing deeper relationships with my weapon companions, I could learn new special abilities that could only be used when they were equipped. This simple feature made the dating aspect of the game rewarding, as I could both develop emotional connections and have something new to experiment with within the dungeon. Plus, since the weapons were different in combat, it was interesting to see how the weapons I enjoyed playing with most in the dungeon did not necessarily have my favourite personality or demeanour. This conflict welled inside of me throughout the title as I picked my combat partners and went on dates.
Moreover, as I progressed through the dungeons, I encountered resources and recipes to craft the resources into useful items. I could craft gifts for my significant others, outfits to wear on my journeys, and magazines that give me a unique special move. This added yet another level of depth to Boyfriend Dungeon. I found it worked well, and I enjoyed crafting with the allotted materials. It also gave me an additional reason to revisit the previous dungeon, as some of the materials were exclusive to each dungeon. Moreover, I could get cash to purchase clothing items, gifts, and materials from different stores. The crafting mechanic worked well, and incentivized further exploration, especially since I wanted to try all the different special abilities.
Buy One Get One Free
The game also lacks variety because there are only two dungeons. Considering it is one of the main focuses of the story, I expected to traverse a wide variety of dungeons. Unfortunately, there are just two. Sure, they are unique, but I was hoping to explore a few more dungeons, as this would introduce new enemies and keep me engaged longer. Still, the dungeons they had were long, and they offered convenient features, such as the ability to begin on lower levels, and locations to give gifts to my significant other.
Keeping it Modern
The atmosphere of this game is also cool, though it was unlike many other dungeon crawlers I have played. The music is modern and energetic. Some of the tracks even have lyrics. I thought it worked well and established the vibe of the game nicely. The visuals were all excellent as well. I thought the colour palette and visual design was interesting. It made the game stand out from the host of other dungeon crawlers. The atmosphere of Boyfriend Dungeon is yet another great element of this package.
Overall, even though the exploration and enemies were a bit underwhelming, they were supplemented by interesting upgrade systems, crafting, and the various weapons to experiment with. I had a lot of fun playing through Boyfriend Dungeon and there is clear polish shown in every aspect of the game. The visuals, sound design, and story all elevate the game and make it an experience worth playing.
4 out of 5
You can purchase Boyfriend Dungeon on the Microsoft Store here
You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.