Typically you come throughout a sport that basically makes you curious what the builders had been pondering once they had been first drafting it. Boyfriend Dungeon is one such sport. It’s a dungeon crawler, moderately like Hades or Diablo, with the twist that your character might be relationship the weapon they’re utilizing to kill baddies. As ridiculous because it sounds, Boyfriend Dungeon typically surprises you with how compelling it may show to be. It’s removed from good, however that is the type of sport that can undoubtedly ring a bell with an viewers.
The premise of Boyfriend Dungeon sees you assuming the function of a twenty-something, clean slate protagonist with subsequent to no romantic expertise in life. You go to stick with your cousin close to Verona Seashore for the summer time, and he decides to make it his mission to hook you up with somebody earlier than the summer time ends. Fortunate for you, a number of of the native youths have the puzzling capability to remodel into close-range weapons, which is ideal for occurring romantic outings into close by dungeons to kill some monsters.
There are seven romantic companions to select from (simply so you realize, one in every of them is a cat) and also you’re given the choice to construct relationships with every of them by way of texting, occurring dates on the town, and delving into one of many two dungeons on supply. Every of them is flawed in their very own means, be it the results of a strained relationship with their mother and father or extra basic sociopathic tendencies, and their arcs are slowly borne out over repeated interactions. Consequently, the narrative is usually outlined much less by your character’s progress or actions and extra by the emotional progress (or backsliding…) all of the supporting forged goes by, which makes for an enchanting story. Studying extra about an individual’s historical past as you get to know them is enjoyable, and the usually stark character variations between the candidates assist to make the forged really feel properly numerous and well-rounded.
Typically talking, all of the candidates are well-written and three dimensional, though the general premise is so absurd that it may typically be onerous to attach with it. Other than the entire transformation side, it’s moderately overbearing having this swarm of individuals blowing up your cellphone for little motive aside from as a result of your character is one way or the other simply so attention-grabbing and enticing to them. It may possibly really feel unearned, even given the goofy premise, and this mixed with the lightning velocity wherein you leap into relationships could make the characters much less plausible than they could be. Extra importantly, when you begin shifting into the relationship section of relationships, there aren’t any penalties for juggling a number of romantic companions on the similar time, which is ok however seems like an oddly missed alternative for a sport that facilities closely round relationship constructing.
We really feel particular consideration additionally should be paid to the uncomfortable features of the narrative, which can even be triggering to some gamers. The continuing, fixed consideration out of your harem—rife with not so thinly veiled flirtatious feedback—can really feel vaguely assaulting, and issues are worsened by one character particularly who ultimately resorts to stalking conduct and abusive texts. For that latter instance, you’re not given the choice to keep away from or disengage with this particular person both, which means you’re pressured to keep up contact with them if you wish to proceed progressing. Frankly, these points drastically diminished our total enjoyment of Boyfriend Dungeon, which is a disgrace contemplating how good it may be at its greatest.
Once you’re not busy getting caught up in all types of drama, you’ll spend your time trying to delve deeper right into a dungeon (cutely known as a “Dunj” in-game) the place gameplay bears greater than a bit resemblance to Hades. Your chosen companion for that run will tackle their weapon kind, and also you go down flooring by flooring, clearing out any baddies you encounter alongside the way in which and hopefully encountering a protected or two. Fight is satisfying and snappy, and the reward loop retains you wanting to come back again for extra.
Each dungeon dive ends together with your character gaining not less than a pair ranges from all of the enemies and flooring cleared, which inspires you to leap again in as soon as extra and see if you may get just a bit additional. Getting kills not solely nets you bumps to your character’s well being and assault stats, it additionally provides you expertise to boost your relationship degree together with your present weapon.
Each time you hit a brand new threshold together with your relationship degree, you unlock one other tier to that weapon/particular person’s ability tree to energy up their fight effectiveness. Every weapon is centered round a gimmick, which is iterated on and deepened with every degree. For instance, Valeria turns right into a dagger with a playstyle centered round inflicting a confuse standing on enemies, whereas leveling her up additional permits you to inflict vital hits on any enemies you’ve managed to confuse. There’s sufficient variety in weapon sorts that every one feels actually distinctive, although it may be annoying if you like a weapon, however not the particular person behind it. Given the premise, it is smart that weapon development is instantly tied to your relationship degree with the character, however typically you simply wish to degree up a scythe with out having to purchase it dinner and make out with it afterward.
If we had been to select an issue with the fight, nevertheless, it might be that issues are inclined to get too repetitive too fast. Even the randomly generated flooring get moderately acquainted fairly quickly, and the enemy selection throughout the 2 dungeons is lackluster. Fight is enjoyable to start with, however there comes some extent the place you’re left questioning what’s subsequent, solely to seek out that there isn’t something subsequent. The problem is that the fight system doesn’t have sufficient depth to sufficiently differentiate runs from one another. Positive, you possibly can change up your weapons, however the restricted enemy selection and lack of energy ups or upgrades alongside the way in which make your makes an attempt mix collectively quickly.
Between runs, you possibly can take supplies and recipes you’ve gathered from the dungeons to acquire new gadgets and garments. A few of these can have tangible advantages, like doubling all harm or buying and selling therapeutic gadgets for extra particular assaults, however most garments simply act as good cosmetics to customise your character. Even if so, it’s nonetheless an actual thrill if you discover one other new recipe on a dungeon run, and this technique helps to make the repeated makes an attempt at a dungeon really feel that rather more significant when you’ve gotten collectibles to indicate for it.
As for presentation, Boyfriend Dungeon is kind of straightforward on the eyes. Every of the supporting characters is uniquely designed, with some actually spectacular cutscenes that play upon every first assembly as you watch them remodel. The artwork model is distinctive and unique, whereas additionally proving to be properly readable for when arenas get a bit busy with exercise. All that is topped by a soundtrack that has some shockingly catchy pop music blended in with way more chill lo-fi beats to kill monsters to.
Boyfriend Dungeon is a superb instance of a flawed gem, with an unique premise and an interesting gameplay loop marred by an absence of improvement of concepts and mechanics. Fight is de facto enjoyable, till you notice it’s type of shallow. The characters are attention-grabbing, till they grow to be unbelievable or downright unlikeable. It is the type of sport that appears fairly nice till you actually get to realize it, after which it may begin to really feel like work. We would give Boyfriend Dungeon a really gentle suggestion, as there’s sufficient right here to justify a purchase order and also you’ll possible be glad that you simply gave it a shot. That stated, there are some legit points in its execution, so possibly await a deep sale earlier than selecting it up.