If you’re a fan of Boys’ Love (BL), then you should be very aware of how poor the market is for BL games. Fantastic Boyfriends: Legends of Midearth thus comes as a much welcomed surprise. The mobile app game is a development of Life Wonders, a Japanese company based in Tokyo. Already available from the Japanese App Store and Google Play, Life Wonders is now hoping to bring Fantastic Boyfriends: Legends of Midearth to English iOS and Android users.
The game is a compilation of classic JRPGs, visual novels, bara (burly, muscular men created for and by gay men), romance and adventure. The influence of bara and JRPGs makes for a highly unique, and highly exciting, BL app. I mean, looting bosses, finding badass weapons and getting the hero to make out with the hunky party members? Who wouldn’t say that was a match made in heaven? By creating this app, Life Wonders hope to encourage ‘more LGBT and ally developers in digital media’. It is also their hope that, although the app was originally created for gay men, Fantastic Boyfriends: Legends of Midearth will also be appreciated by players of every sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Indeed, what with a prevalent fujoshi (female fans of BL) and fudanshi (male fans of BL) fan base, I can’t see why the app wouldn’t hold appeal to those outside of the company’s primary target audience.
In this homage to classic JRPGs, you play as a male hero who is summoned to the fantasy world of Midearth to save it from a demon king.
As if your hands aren’t full enough, you’ll also be forming bonds and falling in love with characters such as a fierce horned ogre, a monk skilled in magic, a rough Adventurer’s Guild master, and a dragon in the form of a man (all male characters!).
The protagonist is a young male student who is currently in need of a boyfriend! His default name is Yuji Ono, but feel free to change it to whatever you want at the start of the game. After downloading a strange app, Yuji is whisked away to a strange world called Midearth! The residents aren’t only human, but also ogres, monsters and furries!
Orgus is both a knight and Captain of the Guard. This quick-tempered and scarily strong ogre is on a mission to destroy the Demon King, a villain who completely destroyed his homeland.
Sol is a kind-hearted monk who only wishes to serve the hero. He sadly lost his family to war, and so was taken in by a temple. He is a master of healing and defensive magic.
Gordon is the barkeeper at Midgard tavern, the central hub for adventurers. He is the master of the Adventurers Guild, and is more than happy to help newbies out.
Fafnir is a dragon who can take human form. He lives in the Fire Dragon’s Lair and has a weakness for treasure. Wars between humans and demons don’t interest him in the least.
Life Wonders have already released two prologue videos which give you a sneak peek at Fantastic Boyfriends: Legends of Midearth’s gameplay. One thing I can’t point out enough is the quality of the English translation. Not to name names, but too many app games have been brought to Android and iOS with decidedly ‘Engrish’ translations, with many appearing to have come straight out of Google Translator. I am extremely pleased to see that Fantastic Boyfriends: Legends of Midearth isn’t one of them.
Humour is another wonderful quality that can be taken from the prologue! Now that I’ve told you about the plot and characters, you’re probably wondering when the game is set for release. Well, there’s a slight issue there. Life Wonders are not able to develop the English version without some support from fans. If the game interests you then I urge you to donate to Fantastic Boyfriends: Legends of Midearth’s Indiegogo page. The game has raised $9,460 by 292 donators so far. By donating certain amounts, you will also receive some amazing gifts. Rewards include a steamy 3D mousepad of Orgus, two tapestries featuring the game’s characters, t-shirts, art books and cushion covers!
You’ll also be happy to know that the app won’t be freemium. The prologue will be free to download with additional chapters available to purchase. More details on app specifics (including what devices will be compatible) can be found on Life Wonders Indiegogo page. The page also explains what should happen if the game is rejected by your country’s App Store or Google Play service. Please make sure to read this before donating!
I’m very hopeful for this game. There are very few BL games available to English fans, and what BL apps are available to play are rather… well, poor, in my opinion. To be able to play one of such high quality would be a welcomed change. The story sounds fun and unique, and is sure to entertain all kinds of fans. Fingers crossed we see more of Fantastic Boyfriends: Legends of Midearth very soon!
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