How do you spend your time? If you’re a millennial you’re probably overindulging on avocado toast, and those of us in gen Z are eating tide pods or saying ‘yeet’ too much. But if you live in Verona Beach you’ll spend your free time doing something quite… different: either you’re busy slaying monsters in dungeons or turning into a weapon yourself and being used to slay monsters. Wait, wait, hear me out. That’s the premise for Kitfox Games’ new title Boyfriend Dungeon, which is part dating sim, and part dungeon crawler. Oh, plus you date your weapons. Trust me, it works.
Fighting with your partner
In the world of Boyfriend Dungeon some humans have the peculiar power to turn into weapons, while others fight monsters in nightclubs, shopping malls, and other places to get a bit of extra cash. Naturally, it makes sense for these two types of people to team up, which is exactly what you do in Boyfriend Dungeon. Sometimes you’ll go for dates at the park, or at a bubble tea stand, and then your beloved will turn into a weapon and you tackle a dungeon with them, levelling up alongside one another. Sounds wacky, sure, but having played it let me tell you that the two halves of the game seamlessly mesh together; getting closer to a particular partner in the dating part of Boyfriend Dungeon not only progresses their storyline, but also gets you tips about how to deal more damage or better use your skills in the dungeons. Not bedroom skills, but battlefield skills. Ahem.
Anyway, in the dungeons – or ‘the dunj’, as the people of Verona Beach call them – combat is fast, frantic, and intense. Each weapon has its own playstyle, obviously, but you’ll have to switch between different weapons (and partners) to best take on the various monsters in your path. My time with Boyfriend Dungeon was relentless as the monsters are just as speedy as you, and I quickly discovered that if I didn’t attempt to get to know my weapon better, I was going to die. With weapon combos kept in the top left-hand corner, these reminders pushed me again and again to try them out, discovering which combo worked best for the swarming spiders or the tentacled, orb-firing octopus things floating in the corners of the rooms I investigated. Anyone who loves the masochistic delight of The Binding of Isaac or the beat-tastic addictive nature of Crypt of the Necrodancer, pay attention: Boyfriend Dungeon is your cup of bubble tea, although its combat is also being designed with the option to keep things simple for those who are more into dating sims.
With weapon combos kept in the top left-hand corner, these reminders pushed me again and again to try them out, discovering which combo worked best for the swarming spiders or the tentacled, orb-firing octopus things floating in the corners of the rooms I investigated. Anyone who loves the masochistic delight of The Binding of Isaac or the beat-tastic addictive nature of Crypt of the Necrodancer, pay attention: Boyfriend Dungeon is your cup of bubble tea, although its combat is also being designed with the option to keep things simple for those who are more into dating sims.
Date a dagger or seduce a sword
Dating weapons might sound strange, but thanks to some realistic writing these characters come alive on the screen. Each one is matched to the weapon they transform into, so Valeria is cautious about trusting new people as she’s been backstabbed one too many times, whereas Isaac, who turns into an épée (a slender sword used in fencing), worries about being too old-fashioned. Pairing personalities with the history of the weapon itself is a stroke of genius, and means that when you fight with Boyfriend Dungeon’s characters you grow to understand that their character is intrinsically linked to combat, and vice versa.
Overrun with monsters, fighting my way through the Verona Beach Center was a hectic experience but I found a bubble tea stand in the middle of it all and ended up having an impromptu date with Valeria, my dagger and girlfriend.
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Those dating breaks in dungeons help to break up the relentless surge of adrenaline and precision I needed when fighting monsters, giving me a welcome bit of breathing space. The dating part of Boyfriend Dungeon goes much further, though: outside of the dungeons, you can go on more traditional dates to nightclubs and cafes, pushing Boyfriend Dungeon’s storylines forward at the same time. More emphasis is placed upon picking the right dialogue options to please your date, like a traditional dating simulator.
Plus everyone will find someone to suit their sexual preferences; there are female, male, and nonbinary characters, with every single character available to you no matter which gender option you pick (male, female, and nonbinary are all options, each with their own pronouns), and as you can date as many characters as you like the game actively welcomes polygamous gamers. There’s a cat to befriend too (which turns into a razor-sharp knuckleduster), as Boyfriend Dungeon also caters to asexual players or those who, regardless of sexuality, just don’t fancy anything romantic. Hey, you do you.
When you’re not dating there’s your phone to scroll through, letting you stay in touch with your mum and plan outings with your lovers. Fleshing out the world of Verona Beach, I happily spent a while just reading through the texts in my phone as I learnt more about my slightly overbearing mum (she means well, bless her) and my buddies back home. Whether you’re into dungeon crawlers or dating sims, Boyfriend Dungeon feels perfectly weighted to suit those who love either genre yet doesn’t alienate new players – I had never properly played a dating sim or dungeon crawler until I sat down with Boyfriend Dungeon, and I absolutely loved it. If you want to keep up to date with the game stay glued to the Kitfox Games (opens in new tab) Twitter, and keep your fingers crossed for a 2019 release date!
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