Boyfriend Dungeon review: Man Crush Monday

I all the time like it when a developer can cleverly weave collectively two genres. Bonus factors if these two genres are a pair that we nearly by no means see collectively. Kitfox Video games gave themselves the problem to do exactly that with Boyfriend Dungeon, a visible novel relationship sim mixed with a standard dungeon-crawler. In some way, they pull it off.

New metropolis, new me

Boyfriend Dungeon opens with a personality creator that allows you to customise a handful of particulars, together with pores and skin tone, coiffure, and most well-liked pronouns. Your character is freshly moved in with their cousin in Verona Seashore, California, and after a fairly tough historical past of failed romance, you’re hoping that this new setting means a possibility to show issues round for your self.

For the primary couple of minutes, Boyfriend Dungeon comes off as your customary visible novel relationship sport, however takes a tough left not too far in. A few of the folks on this city have a capability to remodel into weapons, like swords and daggers. Individuals who can’t rework, also referred to as “wielders,” use these weapons in dungeons to take down monsters and earn treasured loot.

It’s a bonkers premise, however one which works surprisingly nicely. The tropes of a visible novel relationship sim have all been achieved to exhaustion, however while you toss in monster-slaying, you’ve obtained my consideration. To not point out the entire relationship your swords factor, which actually takes the thought of “being one along with your weapon” to a completely new degree.

Placing your self on the market


The visible novel aspect of Boyfriend Dungeon is very well achieved. There’s branching dialogue selections, and you may all the time inform the rapid penalties of your actions. Characters will typically textual content you, asking to hang around or go journey in a dunj (shorthand for dungeon) collectively.

Boyfriend Dungeon is ready to succeed as a relationship sport due to its colourful forged. There are a number of totally different romanceable characters, every with distinct persona traits. There’s the nice and cozy Sunder, who seems like he was plucked proper out of a romance novel, or Valeria, who takes for much longer to come back round to the thought of attending to know you. In reality, she received’t even present you her human type the primary time you meet.

I additionally respect that the sport doesn’t restrict which characters you possibly can date and lock off content material primarily based on which pronouns you decide initially. Every of the characters have personalities which might be genuinely attention-grabbing to study extra about. I used to be truly excited when my favourite characters would hit me up about happening one other date or taking over a brand new dungeon.

It’s additionally actually spectacular how Kitfox Video games weaves collectively the relationship sim aspect of Boyfriend Dungeon with the action-combat aspect. As your relationship with a personality progresses, your “Love Rank” will improve. Reaching new Love Rank ranges will reward you with in-game bonuses and traits for that respective weapon, comparable to elevated harm, or a bleeding impact on wounded enemies. It incentivizes gamers that is probably not all the best way on board with the romance dynamic to place in just a little extra effort in that space.

Relationship connoisseur


Though I loved my interactions with most of Boyfriend Dungeon’s characters, it felt prefer it was merely to straightforward to construct a relationship with anyone I wished. I might just about efficiently flirt with any character I wished to on our first interplay. They have been down if I used to be down. Whereas that’s good and all, it’s a distinction to the awkward, never-dated-anyone introvert that I’m being described as.

Additionally, there’s a nuance to constructing relationships in an excellent relationship sim. It might sound foolish, however there’s one thing rewarding about actually attending to know a personality, with a relationship blossoming after you’ve turn out to be fairly comfy with one another. I’d like it if the extra standoffish characters truly took longer to woo, forcing me to place the hassle in to win their hearts. All people’s totally different, however the relationship in Boyfriend Dungeon can really feel one word at instances.

A pair that slays collectively…


When you get right into a dungeon, it feels such as you’re enjoying a completely totally different sport, and I imply that in a great way. The sport takes on an isometric digital camera angle, and your character is rendered in 3D, just like once they roam the overworld. Relying on what weapon-person you employ, your assaults will differ. One-handed weapons enable faster but weaker assaults, whereas a two-handed blade offers heavy harm at a slower tempo.

The monsters you encounter in dungeons are manifestations of your personal fears and insecurities. I set free an honest snicker once I stepped into the primary dungeon and noticed an anthropomorphic cellphone, flapping round with fangs.

Along with customary melee, there’s Zines, which grant you totally different bonus skills primarily based on their contents. For instance, the Dragon Galore Zine permits you to shoot fireballs at enemies. Zines have a restricted cost, however gamers can refill them whereas discovering extra in dungeons. You may also uncover boba teas whereas exploring dungeons, that are used to replenish well being.

Exploring Verona Metropolis


I actually loved the visible presentation of Boyfriend Dungeon. There’s a deep distinction between the 2D visible novel aspect of the sport, the place you’re studying textual content and semi-static backgrounds, to while you’re in a 3D dungeon atmosphere, with enemies swarming you from totally different instructions. It’s an excellent illustration of the 2 genres being mashed collectively.

The entire characters themselves are fairly detailed as nicely, all the way down to their equipment and fantastic bodily traits, additional contributing to their sense of uniqueness. What actually blew me away was the cinematic animation you see when a personality first transforms from a weapon again into their human type. It was like one thing plucked from the intro to an anime. I feel I recorded each single considered one of them when enjoying on my Change.

Love lockdown


Boyfriend Dungeon is a formidable matchup of two genres that I’d by no means assume would make an honest pair. It juggles attention-grabbing private entanglements with difficult motion gameplay by way of its dungeons. Although it might actually profit from some depth to its romantic construction, it’s not sufficient to bitter what’s total an interesting expertise.

This review is predicated on a digital Nintendo Change code offered by the writer. Boyfriend Dungeon is offered now on Steam and Nintendo Change for $19.99 USD.

Donovan is a younger journalist from Maryland, who likes to sport. His oldest gaming reminiscence is enjoying Pajama Sam on his mother’s desktop throughout weekends. Pokémon Emerald, Halo 2, and the unique Star Wars Battlefront 2 have been among the most influential titles in awakening his love for video video games. After interning for Shacknews all through faculty, Donovan graduated from Bowie State College in 2020 with a significant in broadcast journalism and joined the staff full-time. He is a big Star Wars nerd and movie fanatic that can speak with you about films and video games all day. You may observe him on twitter @Donimals_ | Boyfriend Dungeon review: Man Crush Monday


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