Best Friend Forever: Dating Sim x Pet Sim x Persona

Best Friend Forever Banner

I fell in love with Best Friend Forever at PAX AUS 2019. Developer Starcolt Studios (NZ) has combined 2 of my favourite simulation game genres, dating and pet care. The developer recently announced that they have also integrated an element from my most-loved JRPG series of all time – Persona.

If you haven’t heard about Best Friend Forever let me tell you a bit about the premise of the game. You move to a new town, adopt a dog, and head out into the local dating scene. Your doggo friend accompanies you on dates, interacting with you and the story as it unfolds.

Is it too early to call this my Game of the Year? Image shared from BFF on Twitter.

Here are a few of the features Starcolt have been working on recently:

  • Dogagotchi
    The developers have weaved more pet interaction into your dates. Active and passive events will occur during your dates, impacting not only your narrative experience, but also the development of your dog – including their happiness and friendships with other dogs.
  • Puplinks
    Your pup can make friends with other dogs in the game, developing social links and unlocking additional gameplay features. The developer has noted the system is inspired by the social links system in the Persona series of games.
  • Dog Patting C-C-C-Combo
    The pet sim aspect of the game has been fleshed out, to provide in-depth training options, many choices for activities, and easy ways to track the wellness and skills of your dog.
Best Friend Forever - Quality Time Menu
Quality Time with Cheeseball

The game was originally scheduled to be released on the 14th of February (Valentines Day), but the developers have delayed the PC and Switch release to the 14th of May. This gives the Starcolt Studio team time to polish the new elements in the game, and time for me to (maybe?) be slowing down on Animal Crossing New Horizons.

For anyone who was disappointed by Little Friends: Dogs and Cats (Switch), this may be the game you’ve been looking for.

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