Best Friend Forever (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Nayu 10.02.2021

Review for Best Friend Forever on Nintendo Switch

Part visual novel, part pet owning sim, it makes Best Friend Forever a fun game to play. Starting a new life, in a new town, with a new job can be lonely, but adopting a dog on arrival certainly provides good company, and plenty of opportunity to make some new friends, all while training your animal buddy in order to pass the adoption centre's pet course.

The player can choose from three characters, plus which pronoun gets used for them. Answering a bizarre questionnaire in the dog themed dating app leads to being matched with some potential romance partners, who are available to meet up with throughout. The questionnaire is highly suggestive in an adult fashion, and makes the age twelve rating seem far too young for this, whose cute style may draw in children who are even younger. It definitely is a game for older players, and the age rating could probably do with being raised to reflect this.

Screenshot for Best Friend Forever on Nintendo Switch

After that the story starts with the protagonist visiting the adoption centre, and choosing one from several dogs, each with different personality traits and backgrounds - not all are puppies either. As an example, there is a cute-looking, white Maltese stray available, which at four years old was not super excitable, nor too nervous; an average dog, perfect for a beginner to the game. Once the adoption is complete, the player will be assessed on how well they raise their dog at three points across the fifteen in-game weeks.

The assessments are easy to do, with the adoption centre comparing the current status of five main stats of manners, sociability, trust, smarts (how clever the dog is), and fitness against the levels they were upon adoption. All of the adopted dogs are in a class and get awards (bronze, silver, and gold) depending on their improvement. It seems to be hard to get anything beyond bronze level, but perhaps after playing this from start to finish a few more times, those elusive gold medals can be acquired.

Screenshot for Best Friend Forever on Nintendo Switch

This title plays out in sections. Activities are chosen for the week ahead, and each raise two of the stats in some form. Once chosen, the week is then played out and the stats get raised, depending on which activity was picked. Afterwards, three activities - two if a specific cleaning option is chosen - can be carried out, to suit how the dog is feeling in terms of hunger, thirst, cleanliness, energy, and mood. There are several cleaning options including brushing teeth, cleaning ears, wiping with a cloth, hosing down, shampooing and drying, as well as an option of food and drink choices, each which will raise at least one of the dog's levels, but decrease another. For example, giving wet food helps the dog feel full, but it will make it a little less clean. Care has to be taken in choosing which option to use: it is no good deciding to hose the dog down if enough time isn't left to dry it too.

After all the activities tends to be the social part of the game, with various markers on a map indicating who can be met with and interacted with. There is opportunity to raise the dog's stats (manners, sociability, etc), but it means less interaction with the people in the town. All are distinct and memorable personalities. Assumptions may be made about the characters by how they look and talk, but all have hidden sides, which when discovered puts them in a different light, and can change how likeable they are. Interacting with a person enough times leads to what is called a date, although it isn't necessarily an actual date. Unfortunately this is where the main game glitch occurred. Focusing on Sacha led to at least two dates.

Screenshot for Best Friend Forever on Nintendo Switch

In the second date if certain options are chosen by the player, it leads to a situation where the options available continually repeat themselves, with no option to skip past them despite having read the same information several times over. Thankfully, reloading an earlier save and avoiding Sacha altogether avoided the bug happening again. Sadly the glitch reoccurred right at the end of the game, shortly after the adoption centre assessment results occurred, so this reviewer was unable to see the very end of the tale. Even going back to an earlier save didn't work because the same options kept repeating themselves, rather than moving the story forward. Hopefully these errors will be fixed in a future patch.

There is one more issue that isn't an error, more as a choice made by the developer, which is hard for players who aren't as quick thinking. When meeting with other characters there is a need to interact with the dog. On screen random dog events will occur, such as the dog cowering, pulling away, needing reassurance, needing their poop disposed over. There is extremely little time to act on these events, they aren't explained well in the tutorial time, and there is no way to adjust their speed in the options, so a lot of times one can fail at the events from not knowing what to do or acting too late. Hopefully these issues can be remedied in a future patch as well.

Screenshot for Best Friend Forever on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Despite various glitches that are being fixed in updates, overall Best Friend Forever is an accurate take on what life can be like both in the dating scene, and when bringing up a dog. For players who are not dog owners it is an eye-opener to how intense and hands-on having a dog is, with a lot to think about and juggle what aspects of training get priority. All the characters seem available to date, none are cookie-cutter ones as each has complex aspects to their lives which are realistic. Replayability is high with so many romance options available, and learning how to improve stats better to achieve better grades from the adoption centre provides hours of gameplay to be had.

Developer

Starcolt

Publisher

Alliance

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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