Best Friend Forever
Top Critic Average
The ease of the interactions made me miss the real-world dog park even more, where there’s always someone new to meet or a cute pup to pet. It’s definitely not a replacement for it, but in a pinch, it’ll do.
From a purely visual novel standpoint, the game is entertaining and well-written, but it fails to make use of the one thing that makes it unique. It has the love it needs, but it will need more training before it can truly be called a "good boy."
Best Friend Forever has an enjoyable, light-hearted storyline, for an easy relaxed gaming session. Dating Sims can be very hit or miss, and despite being short and having some unfortunate dialogue, I would very much consider this one a hit. The "adopt, don't shop" message, as well as the inclusion of dog breeds that are considered unpopular only added my enjoyment of the game. Oh, and yes, you can pet the dog.
Ultimately, what I’m getting at is that Best Friend Forever plays like it’s two games inhabiting the same space that only briefly come into contact with one another.
Best Friend Forever is an admirable hybrid of two seemingly disparate genres, but both sides of the game suffer from a lack of variety as a result.
Honestly, Best Friend Forever feels like it's having a constant identity crisis. Mechanically and story-wise, everything feels incredibly disjointed.
Best Friend Forever offers a fairly generic visual novel, with the only hook being one that fails to do anything truly interesting. The management mechanics are the lightest, most fleeting portions of the game, where you're bogged down with a rough control scheme that is quite frustrating. Even with the positives in inclusivity, too many shortcomings make this feel like it was built to be vanilla and given the toppings way later on.
As a visual novel, it lacks the replayability, choice and different paths that fans of the genre seek to truly standout.
The game is quite short, you could easily get through several runs in a day, but that shouldn’t be an issue for too long as (again, discovered via their Discord) they have already announced plans to add additional content. There is even a handy little form you can fill out on their Discord channel where you can suggest things and give your input on what you’d like to see eventually added into the game. I really like how interactive the developers are with their audience, and I really liked their game. After some quality of life and bug improvements for the Switch version, this will definitely be a game you don’t wanna miss out on.
I think the problem is that Best Friend Forever is trying to do several things at once and isn’t really doing any of them well.