I’m going to say it. I love dogs more than people, and I think many others would say the same thing. My French Bulldog is my world. So, of course, I would naturally be drawn to a game that revolves around looking after your own dog. But would that dog really become my best friend forever?
Best Friend Forever is a simulation/visual novel that’s all about looking after your dog whilst also finding yourself a lover. Yes, this is a dating sim too, and it works very well. Dogs and dating – what more could you want?
The story is simple: you want to start a new life. You’re a young, budding freelance photographer who has chosen to settle down in Rainbow Bay, a small town in which pretty much everyone owns a dog. Or if they don’t own a dog, they still adore dogs, so it’s a win-win either way. After hearing about a dating app called Woofr on the coach you’re on, you download the app and are required to complete your application. You choose from a list of three characters, enter your name, preferred pronouns, star sign, and even blood type, for some reason. You are then required to answer some questionable multi-choice questions about yourself, and before you know it, you’re ready to begin your new life.
You move into your new apartment, making some friends along the way, and you are quickly allowed to adopt your very own dog. Sadly, you only get to choose from four different types of dog, but they do all have their own personalities and backstories. There’s a Maltese, a Mutt, a Shiba-Inu and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. While they are varied, it would have been nice to have been able to unlock more breeds to adopt at a later stage. When you choose your furry friend, it is explained that you will be enrolled in a sort of dog school which takes place over fifteen weeks, in order to see if you and your new friend are a good fit.
Over the course of these fifteen weeks, you will train your dog to the best of your abilities, increasing its manners, sociability, trust, smarts and fitness. This is all whilst taking care of all its needs; hunger, thirst, hygiene, mood and energy levels. At the start of each week, you’ll select five activities for you and your dog to do, and each task you choose will power up an attribute. After that, you will choose three things to do with your dog, such as feeding them, giving them water or cleaning them. There doesn’t seem to be a punishment or reward for keeping on top of these things, mind you.
The socialising aspect of Best Friend Forever is pretty simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s not enjoyable. Each week you’ll choose certain events to go to, or people to socialise with, from a map. You have five different options to pick out of a whole bunch. These can range from simply bumping into people while you’re out with your dog, to more serious outings, like going on dates.
I found myself going on dates with a few different people, but I was disappointed to see that there’s no angst between people you are dating. Even in the main storylines, there’s no mention of you dating them, so it becomes rather generic and arbitrary. That being said, it’s still good fun to train up your dog, and these added segments help to break up the dog training gameplay loop well.
Best Friend Forever £15.00
Best Friend Forever is a short and simple visual novel/simulation game, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. The interactions with your furry friend don’t get boring fast, and the interactions you have with the characters are just as engaging.