Boyfriend Dungeon Accessibility
Boyfriend Dungeon brought me hours of fun going on dates and fighting monsters with my weapon partners! Disabled gamers are guaranteed a laid back experience overall because of a combination of the game's customizable controls and unique combat assistance.
- Combat assistance cuts damage in half
- Auto-loot/healing item pickup
- Mouse and keyboard remapping
- Windowed Mode available
- Minigame has huge difficulty curve
- DLC adds impractical obstacles in dungeon
Boyfriend Dungeon is a super fun crowdfunded indie game with a diverse and passionate fanbase. As of this year, it has been released on Nintendo Switch, Linux, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. Recently, the developers of Boyfriend Dungeon rolled out a free DLC pack that included new characters, a new dungeon, and updated accessibility options!
For those unfamiliar with it, Boyfriend Dungeon is an unconventional game about potential partners turning into actual weapons during battle! It takes an LGBTQ-friendly approach to romance, allowing the player to choose their gender or preferred pronouns without limiting the dating options. Equal part dungeon crawler and dating simulator, Boyfriend Dungeon lets you date up to nine weapons while you clear out monster infestations created from your own psyche.
From a mobility perspective, I can honestly say the PC version of Boyfriend Dungeon is the better for accessibility. Every button can be fully customized including keyboard keys, mouse buttons, and the mouse wheel. Controller support is also available, as well as support for third-party programs — I will clarify that remappable key bindings are only available in the PC version of Boyfriend Dungeon.
Going on dates and traversing my apartment didn’t require much mobility at all. Much like a visual novel, dates in Boyfriend Dungeon are simple point-and-click experiences. Dates were great for getting to know my potential weapon partners and they only required a mouse to click on dialogue choices or decide on gifts to give. In my virtual apartment I could send text messages from a cellphone, change clothes, and craft items all just by using a mouse.
The town map is the only area I noticed that required keyboard keys to be pressed. W, A, S, and D are directional buttons needed to move around the map, go to shops, or enter dungeons. It’s a good thing that Boyfriend Dungeon has a customizable resolution display! When I turned Windowed mode on, I was able to use the on-screen keyboard with no problems at all.
Boyfriend Dungeon’s combat is admittedly a little more involved. It has hack-and-slash gameplay with light attacks, heavy attacks, healing, and occasionally dodging. Attack button commands can be customized and I was also able to turn on “Mouse Aiming” in the options menu which made dealing with faster enemies a lot easier. When I turned that on, my character automatically faced the general direction of where the mouse was pointing.
Dungeons in Boyfriend Dungeon are called “Dunj’s” and they have up to 12 floors. They’re filled with a variety of strange monsters with a boss fight waiting at the top. The game autosaves often, so combat fatigue wasn’t an issue for me. I noticed the game saved when I left different areas on the town map or moving up to the next level of a dungeon.
Weapon partners have different fighting styles like long-range, faster attacks, trap abilities, or even a balanced style. Interestingly, most weapons moved my character forward with every attack, so both combat and movement were covered. In the end, I never had to use a keyboard when fighting.
My favorite accessibility option in the game is the “Goddess Shield.” It cuts all damage you receive in half! This can be turned on in the options menu and it was a necessity for me, especially during boss battles (bosses usually require faster movement). On top of all of that, I gained experience even when I lost fights and I also noticed that loot/healing items were automatically picked up as I moved closer and didn’t disappear, even when I left an area. Boyfriend Dungeon’s combat was sometimes challenging, but never inaccessible for me.
Now on to the one dark spot in a very bright experience. Boyfriend Dungeon has an insanely frustrating minigame called “Flutterbug Road.” It’s an arcade-style racing game about speeding bugs and I’ve heard that even non-disabled players hate this.
The turning controls were super janky and not very responsive. What is worse is that the Flutterbug controls are locked to keyboard keys, unlike the rest of the game. Plus, one simple mistake or wrong turn would cost me the entire race! I bring it up because completionists will most certainly have a hard time getting the last achievement for this minigame, especially because it requires getting first place on all three racetracks.
Thankfully, Flutterbug Road is an entirely optional part of the game, and other than one small reference (a text message my character received in the story), it’s never mentioned again. Still, this minigame is so jarringly different gameplay-wise and storywise from the rest of Boyfriend Dungeon that it’s difficult for me to understand why the developers put it in at all.
Boyfriend Dungeon had a free expansion DLC that was just added and it brought with it a ton of content. The three new weapon characters are a delight! They have very diverse fighting styles and I had fun learning about their lives, but the new dungeon included was a bit lacking.
The new Dunj added environmental obstacles for the first time in some levels. I encountered green portals throughout the dungeon that I had to use to get to certain parts of the map or sometimes I used them to get to hard-to-reach enemies. The portals were more tedious to me than challenging.
However, they also tweaked some of the gameplay mechanics for the better with this new update, including the dreaded Flutterbug minigame. I can now use the mouse when controlling the racers movements. These changes definitely made the minigame more manageable, but your mileage may vary because it was still fairly difficult compared to the rest of Boyfriend Dungeon.
Gamers with fine-motor skill disabilities should have an easy time playing Boyfriend Dungeon with accessibility available. Weapon fighting styles give a lot of variety of play and the Goddess Shield option cuts damage in half, making combat less stressful. The minigames’ controls are not very functional, but thanks to the addition of a Windowed mode and mouse aiming, all the required content is accessible throughout.