Reviewed on Nintendo Switch
Best Friend Forever is a dating sim game that is currently available for Nintendo Switch and PC from developer Starcolt. Best Friend Forever is my first experience with this genre of game and it certainly was an interesting experience. Not sure if the awkwardness came from the clever realistic writing and characters to create actual awkward moments or that I’m a 35 year old married man suddenly thrust into today’s dating scene using the games made up Woofr app.
Welcome to Rainbow Bay, a small ocean town that is known as the most pet friendly and is on the verge of expanding into a great city with affordable housing but more on that story as you play through this dating sim and learn about the lives and goals of the citizens you date. Best Friend Forever begins with your Main Character or MC moving to this small town and allows you to choose from 3 different looks, change your name, pronouns, and even your blood type. Once your character is ready to go you are off to choose your very own pet in the form of an adorable dog of course.
Once you have selected your dog you also have the option of changing it’s name. I myself went with a Staffordshire Terrier and channeled my inner Nintendo fan and named him Yoshi. Now that you have your dog the game can get started, the point being you have 15 weeks with your newly adopted best friend and every few weeks you compete with other dogs in the PAWS ACADEMY to rate your dogs progress in manners, social, trust, smarts, and fitness levels. You level up these dog traits by filling up their meters by picking 5 different activities to do in a week. Once you have chosen how you want to spend a week with your dog you will “Run Your Week” and see how well it’s progressing. After each dog quality time you have dog care time where you will make sure your dog is well fed, clean and happy.
After each week is run you are brought to a map with different markers that indicate a variety of things from simple meet ups with fellow Woofr members to dates with said members to story events that progress the story in sometimes unexpected ways. The bulk of this game plays out like a visual novel but mixes things up and makes sure you pay attention to what is happening on screen with the inclusion of your pet. While interacting with the human characters of the game during dating or simple meet up events your dog will require you to provide affection, discipline, or a doggy bag for sudden clean ups.
I found the game does a very good job mixing what are usually two totally different genres of games, pet tending and dating sims, into a very unique experience that I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy. Best Friend Forever is also very inclusive as it doesn’t matter who you choose to be, you can date any of the available characters. With all that being said Best Friend Forever is a little rough around the edges and the limited movement of the characters and locales you can visit in Rainbow Bay can make your 15 weeks in town drag at times. Not only that but this dog has fleas, I encountered a few bugs in my time with the game including one that shows you have mail in your Woofr app but it’s the same 3 messages each time. Another bug is one where a character you are dating suddenly gets a doppleganger, not going to lie this one made me laugh out loud.
While I did enjoy my first time with Best Friend Forever I can’t imagine myself picking it up again to explore the backstories of the other available Woofr members. It could just be that dating sims are just not for me and the only reason I enjoyed BFF was for the dog elements; I did giggle every time a potential suitor was mid conversation and Yoshi let out a loud dog fart. What I’m trying to say is Best Friend Forever might not be for everyone but if your into dating sims, love dogs, or just want to support inclusive games you might want to check out Best Friend Forever. Bricks To Life gives 6 out of 10 bricks to Best Friend Forever.
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