Band Camp Boyfriend | First Impressions | Demo Review (2022)

Band Camp Boyfriend | First Impressions | Demo Review (1)

Forge new friendships, become a leader, and find love while trying to survive Band Camp in ‘Band Camp Boyfriend’, the upcoming debut otome game of indie developers, ‘Lovebird Game Studios’…

Game Name: Band Camp Boyfriend (Demo)
Developer: Lovebird Game Studios
Platform: Steam (PC), itch.io (PC, Mac, & Linux)
Age Rating: T-13
Genre(s): Romance, Comedy, High School
Release Date: Spring 2023
Social Media: Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Discord, and TikTok.

This ‘First Impressions’ review is based on the free demo – available on itch.io and Steam – which currently contains the first three chapters of the story.

Across these initial chapters, there were plenty of scenes in which to get a sense of the game’s overall tone, style, and premise – as well as several opportunities to start pursuing each of the love interests. If you’re curious about a Band Camp-themed otome game, I recommend checking out the demo to see if it’s the game for you!

First Impressions

“…band camp isn’t going to be easy. All choices carry weight and unexplained happenings wait in the wings of the camp.Will Cadence lead her classmates to victory—or watch the entire band fall apart around her?

– Band Camp Boyfriend (itch.io)

I can say with absolute certainty that I’ve never played a ‘Band Camp’-themed otome game before. As a non-American otome fan, the whole summer camp and marching band thing feels pretty foreign to me, so I was pretty excited to get a glimpse of what Band Camp is all about through the familiar lens of an otome game.

What struck me first when I opened the game was the preppy background music in the main menu, which simultaneously establishes the theme and builds excitement. This is complemented by the playful colour palette and the interface’s musical aesthetic – all together creating an overarching upbeat, energetic atmosphere.

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As I played through the story, I became increasingly impressed with not only the changing background music to set the tone of each scene, but also the unique theme songs for each of the main characters that utilises their instrument of choice.

There’s clearly a lot of attention to detail paid to the musical component of Band Camp Boyfriend, elevating its unique spin from a one-trick gimmick to a sincere passion for all things Band Camp that permeates every creative decision made across the game.

There were some cultural references I didn’t personally understand, but I got enough of the gist to get a feel for the characters and their story. I do feel that players who are also fans of Band Camp will get a lot out of it that went over my head, but I also feel that the writers’ genuine enthusiasm is contagious enough that even those of us who know nothing about music and band camp will still be entertained.

Game Trailer

Characters

Band Camp Boyfriend has a fairly large cast, with a variety of ‘main’ and ‘supporting’ characters. I’m not currently 100% sure which characters will have romantic options, but the game says it features 7 routes and there are seven male (student) main characters, so I’m assuming these are the available love interests.

The love interests are: Tom (the goofy trombonist and everyone’s best bro), Peter (the proud trumpet-player and womanizing flirt), Clark (the megane clarinet player with a chip on his shoulder), Garth (the suave overachiever and leader of the color guard), Sam (the saxophonist of few words), Poptart (my absolute fave and rookie mellophone player), and Doug (the himbo bass drummer with many, many stories to tell).

Main Character (Cadence)

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Name: Customizable (Default: Cadence)
Pronouns: She/her
Voice Actor: N/A

I’d like to start off by saying that Cadence is a great name for the heroine in a music-themed otome game – especially since she’s conducting. Despite this, I did change the protagonist’s name in my playthrough, but only because the option was there and it’s just tradition at this point to call all my MCs “Oona”.

In terms of personality, Cadence is enthusiastic, hard-working, and tends to stick to the rules. She’s eager to please the new Band Director and whip her peers into shape, so they can claim the glory that has eluded them in recent years. I enjoyed her determination and positive attitude, and I’m curious to see how this affects her relationships with the cast throughout the main game.

Tom

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Name: Tom
Pronouns: He/Him
Instrument: Trombone
Tropes: Flirt, Genki
Dynamic with MC: Goofy best bud who’s definitely joking when he flirts with you… unless?

Peter

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Name: Peter
Pronouns: He/Him
Instrument: Trumpet
Tropes: Flirt, Playboy
Dynamic with MC: Super shady flirt who seems to have an arrangement with his GF where they constantly try to make each other jealous.

Clark

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Name: Clark
Pronouns: He/Him
Instrument: Clarinet
Tropes: Megane, Kuudere
Dynamic with MC: Ambitious, megane clarinet player who resents MC for being in charge when he’s clearly more suited for the role…

Garth

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Name: Garth
Pronouns: He/Him
Instrument: Color guard
Tropes: Onii-san, Playboy
Dynamic with MC: Charming, successful color guard captain who seems popular with women.

Samuel

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Name: Samuel
Pronouns: He/Him
Instrument: Saxophone
Tropes: Kuudere
Dynamic with MC: A sweet man of few words who has a calming presence on those around him.

Poptart

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Name: Poptart
Pronouns: He/Him
Instrument: Mellophone
Tropes: Shota, Cinammon Roll
Dynamic with MC: Absolute precious baby who must be protected at all costs ❤ (also my personal fave!)

Doug

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Name: Doug
Pronouns: He/Him
Instrument: Bass Drum
Tropes: Deredere, Himbo
Dynamic with MC: Cutie with the bass. Doug is a chatty himbo with more brawn than brains and a heart of gold.

Final Thoughts

What I loved: Band Camp Boyfriend is clearly a love letter to marching band told through the familiar framework of classic otome game structures and archetypes. There’s so much sincere love and joy that can be felt through every aspect of the game, that it’s difficult not to catch the Band Camp bug.

I also loved all the music-themed puns and general sense of humour across the script. This is definitely an upbeat, feel-good game that will cheer you up with its contagious enthusiasm. The characters are unique and interesting, and I’m looking forward to getting to know them further in the full game release.

What could be improved: Not all of the lines are fully-voiced. This isn’t a deal-breaker for me personally, but I know there are some otome fans who prefer fully-voiced games, as opposed to ‘partially-voiced’ games.

Band Camp Boyfriend has some lines that are voiced in full, and others appear alongside audio ‘quips’ (i.e. catchphrases, words, and reaction noises, rather than full lines of dialogue).

However, other than the partial voicing, I couldn’t find any fault in Band Camp Boyfriend. It’s fun, the music is great, and there’s so much love poured into it that you can’t help but smile.

You’ll like Band Camp Boyfriend if you like: Band Camp; music-themed otome games; original English language visual novels (OELVNs); sincere, passionate indie games with plenty of heart and soul; unique themes and premises; and upbeat, comedic stories with a quirky, loveable cast…

Screenshots

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Game Info

Game Name: Band Camp Boyfriend (Demo)
Developer: Lovebird Game Studios
Publisher: Lovebird Game Studios
Platform: Steam (PC), itch.io (PC, Mac, & Linux)
Age Rating: T-13
Release Date: Spring 2023
Social Media: Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch, Discord, and TikTok.

~Thank you Lovebird Game Studios for sharing your demo with us! ~

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