There's a veritable treasure trove of visual novels and dating sims out there. Some let you date monster girls. Some let you date birds. But Kitfox Games' Boyfriend Dungeon lets you date a bunch of weapons — swords, hammers, daggers, what-have-you. This intriguing twist on the typical dating sim plunges you into the depth of the "dunj" as you become ever closer to your swords and romance them. Yes, you can write your own romantic love story in this "shack and slash," as Kitfox Games calls it. Still following? Good, because it's awesome.
Boyfriend Dungeon is classified as an action-RPG dungeon crawler, but it does incorporate a wide selection of dating sim and visual novel elements. You'll be tasked with exploring various dungeons, be they abandoned malls or other derelict areas, all the while figuring out what makes your dagger bae tick.
At the onset of the game, you can choose from nine different lovers — and it doesn't matter how you identify, as the game takes an inclusive approach to sexuality and gender, so there's a date for everyone! Maybe you like the charismatic Sunder, the plucky Valeria, or the refined Isaac. You can even date K-pop idol Seven! Opt for student Sawyer, or even the cat Pocket — though don't think you're going to be in a romantic relationship with him. You'll have to settle with just being friends!
Yes, there's even a pigeon from the creator of Hatoful Boyfriend. Non-binary date options and plenty of branching dialogue will ensure that there's a little something for any player who decides to try out the game, which makes it such an interesting project in the first place.
But aside from the dating elements, there's still plenty to do as you plunder the "dunj." You'll level up your custom character and your romantic weapon partner (and witness their epic transformation scenes) as you delve ever-deeper into dungeons, fell enemies, and earn experience points. Sip on yummy bubble tea when you need more hit points, and conquer all in the name of love!
The game blew past its initial Kickstarter goal of $50,466 and at the time of writing is sitting at $201,206, having met all its stretch goals as well. It's clearly going to be a unique twist on the genre, and people already can't get enough of the "bae blades," as Kitfox Game has so affectionately taken to calling the cast.
Boyfriend Dungeon is one of those rare specimens that looks to truly deliver on its promise of doing something new and interesting, and I can't wait to sit down and get my hands on it. I'm already quite smitten with several of the suitors starring in the game, and extremely curious about the overarching story. Exactly how and why are these people weapons, again?