Boyfriend Dungeon is an ARPG dating sim visual novel game. You play as your own made character with whatever gender you want. You’ve visited this Verona Beach for summer break for a few reasons the first is that you’re character has supposedly pretty bad social anxiety so they come here to work on that as they don’t know anyone here really. The second reason is because your cousin has decided to move but he’s paid up for his room til the end of the summer so he’s letting you stay at his place since it’s all paid up and he’s moved out already. In this world there are people who can change into literal weapons, namely hand combat weapons, and they are wielded to go into dungeons which show up as something people can access in normal places that have lots of negative emotions towards for specific people. For instance the first dungeon shows up because you do and it’s at a shopping mall, shopping mall + extreme social anxiety = hell on Earth. As such you and the weapons can enter this dungeon, seemingly everyone else can still interact with it as a normal mall, the game doesn’t really explain this.
Now the action bit is, as you can probably guess, the dungeon crawling, there’s a couple dungeons in the game, I really wish there were more as it was really fun. Each dungeon is a bit over ten levels deep, and at first it can take a while to get too far into it cause you start off pretty shit. You level up your own character which I think gives you more health, but the thing you really want to level up is your affinity with your weapon people, as the closer your bond is with them the stronger they become, the more abilities you have unlocked, which is super useful for the dungeon. Each dungeon is completely different and has completely different enemies in them, enemies are based around what the fear is that created the dungeon. Most of the creatures within an individual dungeon though are the same, you start with just a couple types of enemies and it grows slowly until you have a handful of enemies; as you go deeper into the dungeons the enemies get upgraded versions of themselves thrown into the mix too. The lack of different enemies doesn’t actually bother me due to the size of each dungeon, and how different the enemies are.
Combat changes pretty drastically in the dungeon because it’s based on what weapon you’re using, there’s a knife up to a scythe, each weapon controls completely differently. The knife is super fast, short range and your expected to do a lot of dodging, whereas most of the various types of swords swing different ways, if they even swing, and then the bigger items are slow and reach far or have wide swings. So combat is really up to what weapon you like, there’s a bunch of them. However, you shouldn’t just decide X weapon is your favorite and only use that, as bonds grow the weapon’s upgrades can make other weapons become much better, for instance near the end of the game I really liked using the knife, at the start as much as I liked the knife character I hated using the knife. So use them all and grow your bonds so they all get better to hopefully find what you like the most.
You might be thinking, “You keep bringing up bonds, what the fuck?” Well bonds are how close you are with each weapon character, be it a close friendship, or romantic intimacy. You can romance every character if you so desire, none of them seem to care so be that inner harem owner if you so wish. You raise the bond one of three ways, the first is by going into the dungeon, every level you complete with a weapon you get a specific amount of bond points with that weapon, it’s not a lot but it’s something. Another is through the dating sim/visual novel sections. you talk with the characters and some responses raise their bond level with you. You outright have to do these sections because every time you reach the end of a bond level you have one you have to interact with. There’s also a few others outside of this, but they’re mandatory to continue the story in those cases. The last way of raising bond level is giving gifts that they like to them. You can find a couple gifts, buy a small handful of them, but a majority of them you craft with designs you find in the dungeon. You can only buy, find, or craft the item a single time and give it to one person. Every item has someone that will love it, a handful of people that will like it, and at least one person that hate it and therefore won’t accept it.
Romance or friendship, the choice is yours yeah? In the visual novel sections of the game there are a few choices fairly often in each section. These options usually have one choice that the character likes, a couple that they don’t care about, and one they dislike. I don’t know if choosing something they dislike actually does anything as I went for things I thought they’d like. But choosing the best ones increases not just their bond but their affection with you. Eventually leading to you being able to romance them, kiss them, hold hands, you know whatever. Anytime any of this shows up you can shut it down if you want, or you can even lead people on and be romantic with them then when they want a proper relationship you can say you just want to be friends, which is a massive dick move, just so you know. So you can go any route you want. I don’t think you can make them hate you and leave though.
Now there has been some controversy with the game because there is a massive douchebag character in the game, who becomes a stalker, and is very verbally and emotionally abusive, possessive, and manipulative, as well as a slew of other things that show that they’re a giant piece of shit who, in my opinion, should be stabbed by literally every single one of your blades many, many times. You figure out who this character is right away cause he’s a creep right from the get go, at least all you ladies are going to immediately get he’s a creep vibes from him right away, not sure about guys, it might take them a couple interactions with the fuck to notice those vibes. So that’s something to be aware of I guess, I’ve been in shitty relationships with individuals like this, and seeing this in the game didn’t bother me much, my character didn’t punch him in the face or anything which annoyed me, cause I learned in real life that is effective. Anyone who abuses and manipulates you deserves to have their face bashed a bit, and forced out of your life, and permanently have all access to your life revoked. Then again I am volatile and violent minded. That being said you CAN limit your interactions with him, something a lot of people acted like you couldn’t. You are introed to him which is forced, and then there’s a couple of story forced scenes, that he shows up. And those are the only times you actually have to interact with him. You have the option to visit him and talk with him a number of times, but you can, as I did, completely ignore that shit and focus on everything else, it eventually skips those interactions with him. Pretty sure you’re suppose to actually have those interactions with him, but I’d rather possibly miss a small amount of the story and ignore him, than get that little bit and have to interact with his tiny limp dicked bitch ass. As you can tell, I have a lot of feelings about him, and none of them good.
But yeah that’s the game, you have a handful of weapons, each one plays different, each person they actually are is completely different, have their own personality, interactions, and issues. Though I do find an issue with some of that, you almost always seem to be the savoir which is… weird, it just I don’t know, it feels kinda icky. Only a couple of the relationships feel like you aren’t coming in as their personal super whatever, there to save the day. It’s kind of creepy that you’re just their savoir that they rely on you instantly for very personal stuff when you’re only in Verona Beach for like two to four weeks, something like that. I don’t know it just feels a bit too much sometimes. Again this isn’t for absolutely every relationship but it is for most of them.
Also while it is boyfriend dungeon, and therefore you’d expect the weapons to all be men, not all of them are. The knife for instance is a very VERY beautiful woman. There’s at least one non-binary individual, a pretty boy, and then a few men some rugged, some not. Valeria is my favorite, I know, big shocker the lesbian likes the girl. *shrugs* Beauty is beautiful, what can I say. My next favorite was the non-binary character cause they’re just the most darling fucking adorable character in the game, they’re so fucking inept I kind of love it, their weapon form sucks though. I think the major part of these characters that made me like them besides they’re both very attractive, is that you aren’t playing a savoir for either of them. Valeria is a very strong woman, she doesn’t need you to save her from anything, instead she just opens up and shares her life with you. the non-binary character you don’t really save them either, though it is weird how obscenely inept they are, like they go out to eat because they don’t know how to even make grilled cheese or scrambled fucking eggs. They, a college student, just figures out, that it’s cheaper to make your own food rather than go out to eat, and they’re fucking broke constantly without going out to eat constantly. So that’s a little weird cause that’s a level of derp that I just can’t comprehend as a human being.
Yeah… that’s it folks. I thought it was a very fun game. I enjoyed the dungeoning, I just wish there was more dungeons cause they were cool. The voice acting in the game is also fantastic, though not everything is voiced which is a shame because the voices were, again, fucking amazing. There’s also really cool transformation sequences where the weapons turn into people for the first time, sadly it’s own shown once I’d love to watch them more they were really well drawn. I liked the different weapons being people, and its hinted at that maybe there will be some DLC in the future, as you meet a guy that can become an axe who looks like he stepped straight out of dream daddy, as well as your cousin’s partner whom you don’t meet in the game. All the characters are completely different some of them are kind of one note, here’s looking at you Sunder, you putz. The music is pretty good in the dungeon. The only real issue I had with the game was a mini-game in it that is tied to an achievement, it’s a lady bug racing game, and it sucks ass in every way possible, it is fucking terrible. I really hope they bring out DLC, and that they make another ones of these called Girlfriend Dungeon, cause… yeah, obviously.
A review copy of the game was provided by the devs.
darkmikasonfire 100% awards Boyfriend Dungeon the Indie Gamer Team Seal of Approval.