Raptor Boyfriend: A High School Romance Review | Friendships, crushes, romances – they’re all part of the high school process it seems along with studying and exams. Playing as Stella, a teenager who finds herself moving to a small town due to unforeseen circumstances, soon discovers much to her surprise, that the community she joins consists of a mixture of cryptids. Being her final year, Stella is determined to be known and fit into her new high school with the additional hope of finding a meaningful relationship and that’s where you come in. Stella and her decisions are all in your hands, with each choice affecting your possible future with Robert, Taylor, and Day – the three potential love interests Stella has the opportunity to get closer to. Co-developed by Rocket Adrift and Ratalaika Games and published by Eastasiasoft Limited, the recent visual novel called Raptor Boyfriend: A High School Romance puts the player in control of numerous dialogue options Stella will have and ultimately will choose how her last year of high school plays out.
|Developer||Rocket Adrift, Ratalaika Games|
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series S | Review code provided by PR/publisher. This review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on Twitter!
What we Liked!
- Character personalities | It’s always nice to have a mixture of personalities in video games and high school is probably one of the best places to showcase this. I found Stella, the character you play, incredibly relatable as she comes across as quite nervous and awkward in many situations; she just wants to be known as ‘the new girl’ for all the right reasons but struggles in doing so. Robert is the cool kid who snowboards, and dirt bikes while also enjoying submitting everyone to his pranks. We also meet the magical fairy named Day who desperately wants to succeed in school to earn her desired college position. Finally, we have Taylor, a childhood friend and bigfoot who finds his release playing in a band. They all stand out and showcase some of the common personas of teenagers in high school extremely well. Everyone will have their favourite or preferred character but I honestly believe they all had brilliant contributions.
- Story and choices | Personal phone calls, hanging out, cute sleepovers, possible romances, meaningful conversations, thrill rides – Raptor Boyfriend is full of this and much more. It managed to take me back to when I was at school and there were different groups of people and activities that took place; I almost wish I could have played this while I was in this period of my life. The story is told beautifully and includes many details, occurrences, and feelings people will easily be able to relate to. There are plenty of choices that can be decided as you progress and some were fairly comical and sarcastic. The silly and humour present also made for many ‘LOL’ moments which I always appreciate. It’s great when you’re able to not only laugh along with the dialogue but connect with everything that happens. Raptor Boyfriend is a wonderful visual novel with genuine writing, telling a highly charismatic story.
- Visual appeal | I wasn’t a huge fan of the visuals when I first started playing Raptor Boyfriend but that quickly changed after a couple of scenes. They showcase an extremely bold and expressive design, which is somewhat old-fashioned, with the use of primarily bold outlines and bold colouring. These detail the characters and scenes to create a pronounced presence at all times which is great for visual novels as it gives off the desired effect most people would hope for. The characters do have different emotions shown by way of facial expressions to convey how they are feeling when in conversations which I found quite helpful when I needed a clearer understanding of how they were receiving my dialogue. Eye-catching and delightful to play from a visual perspective.
- Faultless music | Adaptive music and audio is certainly one element that caught me off-guard and amazed me far more than I ever anticipated. The overall audio tends to adapt to accompany the change in mood for different scenes and it actually moved me quite nicely, adding to the intensity of the emotions being depicted – whether it was thoughtful admiration, frightful horror, or full-on anxiety and panic mode. The audio had been considered for everything which did create a mixture of emotions from myself and allowed me to get immersed in the deeper conversations. The beautiful acoustic guitar tones included in the smooth but upbeat tunes that flood the gameplay really add to the ambience and entire atmosphere. Thank you to Sloane Smith for the captivating soundtrack – it’s definitely something I can see myself listening to in my free time.
- Unique collectibles | Cassette tapes, scrapbook pages, and poems are the three collectibles that can be obtained while playing through Raptor Boyfriend. Each relates specifically to a different character within the game which also connects them to their own personal story which I found to be a really nice touch. They can be earned by following specific story arcs and choosing the correct dialogue choices in some cases which enticed me to seek out each one. The poems written by Robert are really quite sweet and thoughtful, the cassette tapes that Taylor collects allow you to listen to all the in-game music, and the sketches found in Fae’s scrapbook are cute and admirable. They aren’t needed for any achievement purposes which shocked me if I’m honest but I still was determined to collect each one.
- Few endings | I was a little disappointed with the lack of endings that are present in Raptor Boyfriend with you achieving one per character romanced. It’s not only the number of endings themselves but the absence of differentiating dialogue when choosing different options to reach them. The other thing which saddened me about the endings was they came to their climax and were over far too quickly; I didn’t expect or want the story to end so soon! Although, I will admit I very much enjoyed my story experience with each character as they all had different personalities and backstories which made them stand out from one another. Stella certainly had a final year she won’t forget, or want to, in a hurry!
- Options availability | As per most visual novels, the options were pretty standard and didn’t include anything untoward or surprising. One accessibility feature which will be welcomed by many and should be a staple in visual novels, although not an option, is the inclusion of the OpenDyslexic font which is used throughout the game to help those who struggle with Dyslexia. The skipping feature has made another re-appearance which is great to skip dialogue you’ve already read, making new dialogue easier to reach, but also an incredible shame if you choose the option to skip unread text and bypass the rad story created by the developers. I’m thankful for the sound options as some I did find overpowered others which meant I could change them to suit what I believed to be the right balance between music, ambience, and sound effects.
What we Disliked
- Looping dialogue sound | A rather minor but irritating bug I encountered was one regarding a common sound effect, listed in the options as ‘Voice FX Volume’, which plays as the text is typed out on the screen for you to read. I noticed that sometimes, once all dialogue was present for that particular section, the sound would endlessly loop on repeat and fail to stop until I progressed to the next set of dialogue. The sound wasn’t exactly pleasant at the best of times as I turned this particular volume down from the very beginning. However, to have it bug out the way it did gave me a sense of unwanted urgency to rush what I was reading to stop the noise from persisting longer than necessary.
- Stand-still at times | The story and writing had numerous moments where the story would either repeat itself or stay in one place for prolonged periods which was completely unnecessary. It almost felt like some scenes just didn’t move with the story and slowed the entire pace down, just to include additional detail on silly scenes that didn’t need it. I would have preferred the more meaningful and emotional scenes to have been given the extra dialogue as these were far more impactful but that’s just my opinion. Stories and their pacing are quite important to me and I just got a little fed up in places where jokes had been made, laughed at, and forgotten but still, they remained for no reason other than to extend the length of the story.
How long to beat the story | Approximately 2-3 Hours
How long to achieve 1000G | Approximately 4-5 Hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Angels with Scaly Wings, Autumn’s Journey, LoveChoice
The well-written narrative, simplistic controls, smashing visuals, and chill music combined made Raptor Boyfriend a truly wondrous and magical visual novel that makes a great addition to the sub-genre. The entire vibe is relaxed and you are given chances to grow closer to whomever you feel more drawn towards. You can put Raptor Boyfriend down just like you would a book but it certainly didn’t take me long to pick it straight back up again as I wanted to explore every avenue available in Stella’s story.
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Hello, I’m Victoria. I’m from the UK and have been playing video games for as long as I can remember; back on DreamCast. I’ve pretty much fallen for Xbox since I was around eight years old and remember BioShock being my first game on the Xbox360. Although I find it thoroughly enjoyable to not only experience gameplay, I also find comfort in getting lost and engrossed in the online worlds that sometimes differ greatly from what we know. Another side of my Xbox passion would be achievement hunting and gamerscore. I thrive when I hear the little sound of one popping up on the screen and I’m always finding ways to work on my backlog when possible. Horror is my favourite genre so if you have any recommendations, don’t be afraid to send them my way!