Boyfriend Dungeon Review: Steel Romance

A game about weapons. About dating and friendship with weapons. Reasonable and human-shaped. Well, to the heap, with the same weapon you can also crumble enemies into cabbage. Out of the box, right?

Our hero is a young dolt of an indeterminate (your choice) gender, who comes to the seaside town of Verona Beach for a summer vacation to visit his cousin. Brother just moved in with his girlfriend, so you have at your disposal an empty apartment, a beautiful beach, cheap fish restaurants, unique dungeons with aggressive monsters … Yes, there are planes and mobile phones in this world, as well as dungeons “) And monsters. That’s how it all came together in a hybrid way.

And our hero (or heroine, hereinafter GG) is critically unlucky in love. Therefore, all loving relatives, including that very cousin and his mother sending touching SMSs, really want to introduce GG to someone, well, at least someone! The cousin stubbornly arranges dates and tries to pull us out to at least some active actions, and one of these actions, well, purely by accident, turns out to be underground wandering. With the destruction of the evil spirits there. And how do they destroy evil spirits? With weapons, of course!

True, here the game world has distinguished itself: the weapon here is not easy. In addition to the usual, unreasonable arsenal, there are weapon-people – people who can take the form of blades (spears, axes, well, you get the idea). And there are the so-called wielders – those who fight with such weapons. Of course, a simple tour of the first floor of the local “dungeon” with an estok – a fencing coach turns into a strange adventure, we come across a couple of people lying unconscious … mm … blades who do not remember how they got here … In general, it started spinning.

The very idea of ​​weapons turning into humans – or vice versa? – I have already met, for example, in the anime Soul Eater and Noragami. But rarely. And it’s nice that similar interesting ties are now in games, it’s a pity that the very idea of ​​the universe and “why did it happen at all, where did the people-swords come from?” not disclosed, but oh well.

In the course of the game, the GG gradually gets to know the other candidates for partners. The game is essentially a date-sim mixed with a dungeon crawler. The date parts are a visual novel done very well, with great graphics and funny text messages. You make appointments, give gifts, agree or disagree for close relationships and kisses … The main love points, by the way, are pumped not even with gifts, but in those very dungeons. And, indeed, chopping a couple of dozen monsters together – it brings together.

The cast of characters available for dating is quite varied. However, I predict that girls will like it more than boys (if we are talking about straight preferences) – because there is only one girl. There are three guys.In the add-on, which will not be clear when, they promise one more girl and one guy.

And then there is a cat! It turns into a clawed knuckle duster. Romance with him, of course, is not expected, purely friendly relations. (Of course, you can also make friends with all the other participants). And the cat, as for me, is the best character.

In a relationship, no one demands to be limited to monogamy, you can pump “into the love line” at least all at once. Give me a harem! There are no scenes of jealousy at all, this is a huge plus.

Dungeons in the game are simple. There are only two of them (but multi-storey ones), and the funny and mainly representing the objects of life, the enemies should symbolize the fears of the protagonist. Yes, like in the Persona series! Of course, everything is very simplistic here, and you will have to dodge not from different-sized demons, but from jumping phones and cocktail glasses (fears are very, um, symbolic). The action vaguely resembles the game Hades. Rolls, two main attacks, combos. Each weapon has its own special abilities, the further you pump your relationship with this weapon, the more passives you get by using it in battle. Our GG also leveled up, raising, however, only the amount of HP.

Zines will help you fight – a kind of kind of magic bombs, which, however, must first be crafted (and the recipe for crafting, like materials, must be found in the wilds of the dungeons). Initially, only terribly inconvenient fireballs flying in a straight line are available to us, but then the GG receives an AOE-slip (immersion in sleep), and an AOE-scarecrow, and a call for helper beetles, and a bunch of other useful things. You can, however, carry only one type of bombs – but up to four at once!

You can also craft helmets-hats-other-hats (they usually give some bonuses) and dress-suits (but they are only for beauty). And, of course, gifts to weapons. Who to give what, in general, is determined quite intuitively (a broodingly mystical comrade – a book, a dagger girl – bracelets in her style, a musician – stage makeup), although sometimes there are surprises (give a cat a succulent plant! He will gladly eat it – very realistic).

Great music: themed tracks, unobtrusive songs, both combat and neutral-background, each one is very suitable for the moment. Under the OST Boyfriend Dungeon, I am currently writing this article. Animated inserts are at the highest level. The characters are even voiced! Not all replicas, true, but most of them.

The plot, however, is not really there. There is a certain dotted type-detective line, which just as well could not exist, and that’s all. The rest – meetings, parties, playing with cats in a cafe – is well implemented, but it is not at all strung on the thread of a single narrative.There is definitely room for another trophy on the trophy shelf where we put the figures of the defeated bosses, but there is no third dungeon in the game. The two available are good, but unforgivably small!

Considering that your remarks and choices do not affect the main ending in any way, and private “good endings” differ in details, there is not much point in replaying. And, well, yes – it really will not work, given that it is impossible to “load from the moment X” – the game contains only and exclusively autosave. In my opinion, the design decision “to remove the usual preservation” was unforgivable fifteen years ago, and already in 2021!

The game is very short, it takes seven to eight hours. I didn’t maximize relations with all my steel friends (only with four out of seven), but if I had set such a goal, it would have added an hour and a half to the passage time. The ax-turning guy (or hammer girl) we meet at the party disappears after the first appearance – obviously, in order to appear in the DLS. The main desire after the end of the game is “give MORE”! Seriously, after such and such a kickstarter, Boyfriend Dungeon is supposed to be twice as long. And with an intricate plot, and with the disclosure of the mysteries of the world and the secrets of the emergence of people-blades …

But overall, despite the incompleteness, some glitches and shortcomings of the plot, Boyfriend Dungeon is a very sweet, enjoyable and uncomplicated little indie game. Anyone can go through it purely as a date-sim, because the warhead is extremely light. We have already romanced pigeons, dinosaurs have romanced, it’s time to get acquainted with weapons!

Boyfriend Dungeon was released on August 11, 2021 and is now available on Steam with a 10% discount.