Tin Man Games, $2.49
Strange Loves 2: Hex Boyfriends is a Choose Your Own Adventure kind of campaign, in that you don’t need to keep scores, roll dice, or kill anybody. Although, come to think of it, calling this a “gamebook campaign” is stretching the definition of that phrase indeed. This one has more in common with a Sims dating game. Not because it is girly, but because it is all about your character basking in the adoration of various interchangeable “college studs” – differentiated only by hair and eye color – while they get you into some trouble with demon summoning and such. You can choose to make them jealous, make out with them, or break their hearts. See? Dating Sims game.
You are a college sweetheart, and you can be either male or female. Gender doesn’t matter – the campaign just switches pronouns and your names at the relevant places in the text – but playing a male character results in an amusingly unlikely scenario where every “college stud” is hot for you. The whole thing is like the set up for some gay pornographic film, but nothing here goes beyond a kiss, unfortunately. Some salaciousness would have made the whole thing less juvenile. As mentioned, you and your harem of adoring fans dabble in some woo-woo stuff, and eventually, bad things happen. Naturally, it’s up to you and whichever beefcake you choose to hang out with to save the day.
The story lines here are very short, and if you are dedicated enough, you can play through every option and unlock every achievement in a few hours. The replay value isn’t much, though, as all options eventually converge into a single story line, and the story line is as banal as can be. It’d be interesting to know who the target audience of this one is. Prepubescent kids dreaming of being the hot stuff in college? This one may not hold much appeal to adults, all things considered. It’s amusing for a while, kind of like dressing up Barbie, but the amusement quickly evaporates when you realize that everything here is so shallow, like a lobotomized version of Sweet Valley High.