My Boyfriend is a girls’ adventure game released by Viva Media in 2009. Like its namesake, My Boyfriend does not appear to exist — a simple Google search merely turns up the same press release a couple of times as well as a guide on how to remove the game, in case it’s adware. But since GamersGate included it in their holiday sale with no screenshots for $1.39, I reasoned it was my duty as a person who pretends to be a journalist to buy and download this game based on the title alone.
All I could gather about this game content-wise is that there’s a boyfriend in it and some kind of island pet thief. Without further ado…
This is Stanley!
In waffling between all two kinds of outfit choices I opt for scumbag. I’m not sure what’s on the shirt; it looks like the lemur guy from Madagascar.
I also have two entire types of boyfriend to pick from. I name my boyfriend Dude and equip him with a beachly school blazer and some track pants.
We start out in a bathroom. Stanley balds frequently. As she stutters through the hallway, patches from the side of her ponytail vanish. Stanley faces the world with nothing but a towel in her inventory.
From the bedroom, my BFF Vanessa advises me to put on a swimsuit so we can go outside and like, totally start this vacation or whatever? There is a brief tutorial on interacting with items and I change into my bikini.
After a heterosexual embrace with Vanessa it’s off to the resort we go. Vanessa is never seen again, or she never left the house, one of the two. It was probably black magic, busted Vanessa.
A man approaches us and offers information on the resort. There’s a surf school, a beach, a pool, a restaurant, some treadmills, and MY BOYFRIEND. Then he leaves us to explore.
Resort staff has anticipated my first move and sealed off the exit.
Vanessa and Stanley live in a beach-side commune in one of many identical, tiny, numbered houses. I look to see if there are any neighbors around and encounter a dog. A disembodied voice says I can walk the dog around and come back to earn some money.
What if the pet thief is me???
Having the dog disables all character interactions. I’m just told I need to give it a little more exercise. After jogging through the entire resort with this dog in tow, I return to the house and receive a whole $2. Wow! I can’t wait to buy some jacks and a creamsicle.
Some lady asks me to bring her a cereal bar and says there’ll be a tip in it for me. I don’t know if this means like a romance tip or another two entire dollars, but I pick one up at the “supermarket” anyway and bring it back to her. She says I need to bring her a cereal bar. I try equipping the cereal bar from the inventory but unfortunately the button for character interaction is the same as the button for eating a cereal bar, so oops. I eat two cereal bars.
None of the sound works. I think there are supposed to be voices, as I can only find out what’s been said in an interaction after the fact by checking the text log. I can make dialogue choices but without any context. I accidentally apply for a job as an ice cream man.
After perusing I encounter Dude loafing at the surf shop, but he won’t really say anything until I talk to some guy named Mike. Who is Mike? There’s two non-Dude dudes surrounding Dude but they don’t say anything. I look for Mike.
Are you Mike? Am I Mike? Please somebody be Mike. I don’t know how to advance in this game.
Above you can see there’s a desert island just off the coast. I must investigate this island and claim it on behalf of Stanley.
On the island, there’s an unattended bonfire and a… fortune cookie?
I talk to the fortune cookie. It tells me I have a good best friend.
This is obviously the work of Vanessa.
I destroy the evidence.
Back to Mike. I finally get him to talk to me and learn his name isn’t Mike but Rasta Ralle. Now, I can accept that nobody on the team thought users might want to play as a user avatar that wasn’t one of seven identical white girls, but they named the ONE BLACK CHARACTER “RASTA RALLE.” He introduces me to his friends Harlem Harry and Systemic Opression Steven. Ok, I made that part up. Rasta Pasta asks if I want some jewelry for my ugly friends, but there’s no option to buy any.
Back at our beach house/garden shed, I realize Vanessa was right outside the whole time, just frozen two steps from the door in some kind of catatonic state of joy. She suggests we go to the beach.
I wasn’t really joking about the accidental lesbian undertones earlier. Stanley takes a lot of moments after cutscenes to reflect on how hungry she is or how much she likes Vanessa, or both (winK!!!). We are two women sharing a queen-sized bed in a tiny house who wear bikinis seemingly as a fashion choice. She calls me “babe” and is glad we can finally be on vacation together without our parents, so we can take long walks on the beach in the romantic sunset. Vanessa mentions cute boys a lot to throw me off the trail.
She points out the guys at Surf ‘N Turf or whatever so I go over to talk to them.
Dude remarks it’s hot outside (or is it just… us? ;0) and that he’d like to have something to drink. Being a cool 21st century lady, I head to the nearby NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE CENTER to pick up an overpriced $3 water bottle and bring it to him. Dude says he’s thirsty and I accidentally drink the water bottle.
I’m more brokest than a locust right now. I can no longer tell the difference between tears and bottled water.
Vanessa gives me some condescending advice on basic needs, like food, water, socialization, and fitness. Then she goes back to the bungalow, leaving me to explore.
The various duplicate NPCs meandering around the resort continue to confuse me for a waitress and ask me to bring them random things from the shop. “Sara” asks for a newspaper, which might be possible because you can’t eat a newspaper. I hope. Off to the store goes Stanley.
Oh what the fuck? Why is the water $1 at the convenience store!? I can’t believe a game that is so far removed from reality bothers to maintain the realism of unfair water bottle prices.
On the bright side, Sara accepts the newspaper and gives me $14!
Rasta Pasta gives me some advice. He says the random, off-putting pink flowers around the resort can be collected and given as gifts to people you like, so I start picking up flowers I’ve seen, including several which were intentionally grown in gardens and planters owned by the resort. You see, you can do anything you want if it’s for love.
Here’s Dude in all his glory. I think the guy next to him is Mike, but he looks exactly like a topless version of the NPC Carlos. Dude asks if I’ve had anything to eat. I’ve had about 8 people’s cereal bars, but I say no anyway so I can get a free apple.
Dude makes sure to nonchalantly mention I have unhealthy eating habits. Is this what it looks like when I make the right conversational choices but the game doesn’t? Mike/Carlos has to defend me, so I decide given the choice I will sleep with him instead. I will probably not be given the choice.
Dude invites me not subtly to a post-dinner beach date. Whatever it takes to get my apple fix.
Vanessa has concerns for my declining health.
Vanessa: I had a bite to eat — did you?
Stanley: Yes, an apple.
Vanessa: That’s good, but you might need something else to eat — you should try to eat something healthy too. (??????)
Stanley: You sound just like my mother — so, what are your suggestions?
Vanessa: There is an apple over there on the table.
I address these concerns. After a nutritious apple and a not nutritious one, we go back outside to visit the help desk and get the same exact information on what’s available around the resort.
We learn from Mr. Herman at the help desk that certain outfit styles (there’s like only two) are required to access certain venues. For now, Vanessa wants to go to the beach again and watch the sunset.
I talk to Rob, the guy with tats working the Surf Shack. He says the waves are really gnarly today (not pictured above: that).
I drink in Vanessa’s beautiful body. Vanessa suggests we walk along the beach together, because we are BFFs. Because of my date thingy, I decline and tell her I am busy.
Apparently that is the wrong answer. Stanley is worried about not being 100% forthcoming to Vanessa even though she knows I’m going after Dude and I didn’t actually lie to her. But they promised in fourth grade they would always tell each other everything!
The right answer was to ask her for advice on whether or not I should go. Uh, what? She’s my female-to-female heterosexual life partner, not my mom.
Dude cancels our first date. With no explanation. Via text message. Like a person you would want to pursue a relationship with and then model a game after in celebration and title it My Boyfriend. Perhaps this is Vanessa’s doing? My Boyfriend, we’re only on Day 1. I didn’t really need you to remind me of crushing reality here.
I go to apologize or something to Vanessa but just end up telling her she’s a good friend rather than revealing I was going to go on a date but now I’m not. Vanessa retires for the night but says I should maybe check out the club.
I buy a hideous frock so I can be considered “chic” and get into the club, as per the bizarre regulations. I’m officially down to about a fourth of my starting budget, and have spent almost the entirety of it on clothing and cereal bars.
After stealing a flower from the planter outside, I walk up to GREGOR THE BOUNCER and ask if I can come inside, but he says I am not dressed chic enough. This is because of my shoes, you see, which I hadn’t realized factored in separately. GREGOR sees all.
I ditch this turkey joint and end day one. I’m actually seriously concerned I got locked out of an event with Dude for my apparently bad dialogue decision. Tomorrow, I will try giving a flower to Vanessa instead and see if we can become even closer heterosexual life partners… or maybe more.
Flowers acquired: 13
Dogs found: 3
Heart-to-heart moments with Vanessa: at least 5
Life mistakes: 1
To be continued!!