Raptor Boyfriend is a Visual Novel developed by indie studio Rocket Adrift. It saw an initial Steam release in July 2021. It was then published to consoles by Ratalaika Games and EastAsiaSoft in December 2022.
*Disclaimer: A code was provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review. This doesn’t affect the review as my thoughts are mine and mine alone.
When Stella moves to the weird town known as Ladle, Ontario, she finds herself being the new kid in the final year of highschool. On her first day she finds a rancid sock in her locker, set there by the school prankster. Unfortunately for her she doesn’t know who that is, but that changes before long. Next thing you know, she has a nice group of friends and she’s having a ball, as she stumbles her way through grade twelve with her weird best friends, who aren’t human, but they’re known as cryptids.
The way the game sort of plays out feels like a teenager romcom movie in all honesty. Stella is sitting in her bay window, in her room, talking to her stuffed teddy bear about all of her problems, and the story is very much told in the past tense. Usually I hate when stories are told this way, but this one didn’t really do it in a bad way. Maybe because it doesn’t try to skirt around silly themes like “I bet you’re wondering how I got into this silly situation”. God I hate when stories do that.
The game is divided up into seven chapters, each basically representing a certain portion of the school year. As you read through each route, you end up learning a bit more about each character and their struggles, which of course they all have a ton of, because they’re high school students. The one downside is that each story is barely any different than the others. I mean, you have to either read or skip through the big overarching story a lot if you want them all, and there’s barely any changes to the dialogue. You only get like one big different scene near the end of the game. There’s even a specific portion of the game that happens the same way, no matter what for every character, and the reasoning and dialogue are the exact same. I wish it had changed it up just a little bit.
As you read through each character’s route, you get to make certain dialogue choices, and if you make the right choices depending on the situation, you end up unlocking little things pertaining to that character. So with Robert, you end up unlocking poems. With Taylor, you got comics and cassettes, and with Day, you would get artwork of random things. It was really cool to see what I got if I made the right choices, the only thing is, I could only look at these unlockables during certain sections of each chapter when I was at Stella’s house, as opposed to an “extra” screen on the main menu.
When it comes to the dialogue, it’s all surprisingly well done. There were a few times where I felt I was transported back to high school feeling like I would’ve found myself having these exact same conversations. Stella also internalizes a lot of her inner struggles that I’m sure a lot of people can relate too. What’s interesting though is that there were no static images when I was reading. It all kind of played out like a comic book as you read it. So there were scene changes and everything, and the backgrounds moved. I’m so used to just visual novels having a specific look when reading, this was actually a nice breath of fresh air!
- Interesting Look
- Well Written Dialogue
- Cool Unlockables
- A Lot Of Similarities In Each Route
- No Extras Menu On The Main Menu
Raptor Boyfriend was a fun little read that didn’t exactly overstay its welcome for the little story it wanted to tell. I wish certain scenes had been changed for each route, but oh well. At least I got to date a Raptor!
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Game & Developer Information
Developer Website: Rocket Adrift
Developer Socials: Twitter
Publisher Website: EastAsiaSoft
Publisher Socials: Twitter