Boyfriend Dungeon (Switch) Review
Over the years, there has been an ever-increasing range of dating sims. Boyfriend Dungeon is the first one I’ve gotten to play through myself. There’s no pigeons, dream daddies or Colonel Sanders here, but Boyfriend Dungeon has its own spin on the dating game genre. So please bear with me as I delve into the dunj; hopefully, it’s a good first date!
You are spending the summer catching up with your cousin, who is keen to help get you into the local dating scene. It’s not just the case of finding someone to date – in this world, some people also turn into weapons, and you happen to be a ‘wielder’, someone who can partner with these blades. Dungeons or ‘dunj’ exist in the world, for example, the mall, made of monsters based on your insecurities. Fortunately, there are a few blades out there to fight alongside as you conquer your fears together. Sound like a lot? You don’t need to overthink it. It’s time to date and dunj.
BF Dungeon consists of two genres of game; dating sims and dungeon crawler. As a dating sim, you’ll be getting to know the weapons you team up with and wield. When you’re not fighting for your life, you’ll be fighting for love, or friendship if you prefer.
Each weapon person you meet is introduced with a really stylish animation, making me wish it popped up more often through the game. Each character is distinct, whether it is in person or their weapon form. This is of course fitting given every character is distinct in personality too, ones that you want to get to know better.
You can try to tame the wild party hunk, Sunder, restore Valeria’s trust and help her face the past. Or help Sawyer to become more confident and show them how to make the perfect cheese toastie. There are seven blades to wield and hang out with. You can romance them all, stick with one of them, or choose more than one! You’ll have your favourites if you decide to get to know them all, even if you don’t want to pursue them for romance. If it’s getting to know the blades better as friends, you’re still in for a fun time.
In between dunj visits and dates, you’ll get opportunities to interact with the various characters through text messaging on your mobile. It’s a nice touch, as you get to have extra little interactions as you pick your responses too.
As you fight with the different blades in the dung, you’ll increase your level with them, which then opens up the next interaction or date with them out in the world. As your relationship/friendship progresses, the more moves you’ll also unlock for use in the dunj with that blade. What will make or break this dating game for you is how much you enjoy the dungeon crawling. There aren’t many actual dunj’s in the game, which means you’ll be spending a lot of the game time in familiar locations. The dunj’s floors are procedurally generated to make return visits less boring, but that said, they never vary very much. They are worth exploring thoroughly though, as there are plenty of blueprints for crafting and materials to do the crafting with.
I enjoyed my time with the various characters, helped by the fact you have the opportunity to see everyone’s events. The main story moves on, but you can still keep building those relationships and not leave anyone behind. If you’re concerned about having to pick one person or worried it will make drama by dating multiple people, there’s no need to fret. The game allows you to get to know everyone if you want to. It makes for a more enjoyable time, knowing you’re not restricted by an in-game clock.
Boyfriend Dungeon is very upfront about some of the themes present in the game, which could make you feel uncomfortable. You’ll meet and potentially get to know a few people who are dealing with difficult situations you can help support them through. There is one character whose behaviour is overtly inappropriate by design, and they quickly become the antagonist. He’s a jerk, is nasty about others and will continue to pursue you regardless of telling him to leave you alone. It’s very confronting as it’s meant to be. I steered clear, so it was only when the main story made contact unavoidable to move the conflict forward that I had to engage with him. Kitfox Games does provide a warning when starting a new game that you will be exposed to these themes and situations. The game overall covers a variety of insecurities, and the ‘dunjs’ are built on your character’s fears, although they are more generic than what you might personally engage with the themes with the different dates. Not only do you get the content warnings, but there is also a prompt before the game kicks off in regards to messages from your mum. I didn’t 100% understand at first why, and I’m sure there’s plenty out there who will feel the same way when first coming across it, but the more you think about it and see other people’s experience with this game prompt and it’s easy to see. It’s a welcome inclusion into the game, it goes a step above and beyond what you would expect of a game to take into consideration.
Boyfriend Dungeon is not only an enjoyable and inclusive dating sim dungeon crawler, but it’s also a thoughtful game on relationships. I had a nice time getting to know the variety of bladed partners, and I’m sure dating sim fans will enjoy it too. The Dunj delving might lack variety, but getting to know the characters is worth the effort. Whether you’re new to dating sims or a regular romancer, you’ll have a fun time in the dunj with your new fling.
+ Charming love interests
+ Thoughtful inclusiveness makes for a more welcoming game
- The dungeon crawling isn’t as good as the dating sim part
- Lack of variety in the dunj