Beyond the stalking controversy, Boyfriend Dungeon is all about the rush of young queer love. Dating in Boyfriend Dungeon is much like real life. There are good times of fun and flirting and emotional connection. And then there are low points.
It’s not long after the game’s release and already there is much discourse around the theme of stalking in the game. Yes, there is a character in the game who stalks the player and offers unwanted advances. He also misgenders a non-binary character at one point. He’s called Eric and he’s an arsehole.
Even with the content warning at the start of the game, this story beat still comes across as shocking when it happens. This could be triggering for some, hence that content warning. But it’s also an integral part of the plot. It quickly becomes clear that Eric is the villain of the game and – spoiler alert – he gets his comeuppance in the end. There’s catharsis that comes with this in the game’s final moments, if you persevere. Dating is about opening yourself up and being vulnerable, learning to deal with the good and the bad that comes with that.
It’s also a specifically queer story. You begin the game as someone who’s never been on a date before. By the end, you’ve been on multiple dates – maybe even dabbled in polyamory – and grown in confidence in both yourself and in your queer identity.