I don’t know what to say about Boy Loves Girl. I think I liked it, but I’m not really sure because that game and I are not talking right now. I downloaded the newest game from indie developer Grubby Hands two days ago. I’ve clocked a handful of hours on the game since then and I’m still struggling to come up with a strong opinion about it.
The story behind Boy Loves Girl is right there in the title. You play as the boy, who has decided that he will go to any length to make the girl reciprocate his feelings of love; no matter how unreasonable and unrelenting that girl may be. The boy chases the girl through various, side-scrolling landscapes, collecting exotic animals and dragging the moon behind him on a string. The moon provides the gameplay, most of which consists of swiping up and down to avoid clouds and collect smiles. Although each level presents a new “challenge”, the scrolling never speeds up, and you’ve found all varieties of clouds by the second world.
The GameCenter achievements are, for lack of a better word, boring. For the most part, if you finish a level, you earn an achievement. There is something called a “fun” mode, and I have apparently earned some of the fun achievements within the game, however I don’t know how I did it, and I don’t know how to earn more.
I think I could really love this game if there was a tutorial or explanation of the different elements involved–because there are different elements but I have no idea what they are. The other problem I found is that the difficulty of the levels does not increase progressively. Some levels are super easy, others are a pain in the ass. The infinite levels, however, provide–if you’ll excuse the pun–infinite fun. The challenges change every time you play, making them re-playable forever.
Boy Loves Girl is definitely not short on play time. As I said, I have already poured several hours into this game, and I have only completed it to about 25%. Each level takes long enough to play that you can get sucked in, but short enough that you can play while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store. I played on my iPod Touch, but bigger screenshots displayed on my laptop screen show that the game translates very nicely onto an iPad. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that the game might play cleaner on a bigger screen.
Final verdict on Boy Loves Girl: Grubby Hands produces games which are nothing if they are not simplistic. However it may be simplicity that ultimately holds the game back from being something fantastic. The game is fun, but can get monotonous after a while. I would recommend Boy Loves Girl in its current form, but hope to see more ambition realized from Grubby Hands in the future.