You have to play the hottest mobile game in 2022
Carve out time spending with your partner can be difficult when you have to balance things like paying rent, dealing with pesky officials, and fending off hordes of demons. But no one said dating was easy. So it goes for the girls BOSS GAME: The Final Boss is My Heart, a delightful mobile game that mixes deep boss-rush combat with the small moments found in an ever-evolving relationship. This thoroughly captivating and emotionally resonant experience skips over the idea that a mobile game can’t be good.
Sophie and Anna are two broke lovers trying to make ends meet in the big city by taking one job after another. Their unique skill sets as a sword-wielding priestess and a magical witch make them uniquely suited to the role of devil hunters.
Business is booming due to an influx of devils in Mammon City, which means Sophie and Anna spend much of their time in the sewers and back alleys, trudging to eradicate the latest infestation. The battle itself falls into the classic mobile style of a boss rush. Enemy after enemy will get in the way of the two devil hunters and only by hacking and slashing will you get through.
Mechanically, the screen is divided into two sides. Both sides correspond to either Sophie or Anna and their attacks, skills and defenses. But instead of spamming buttons to go through the match as quickly as possible BOSS GAME requires the player to think more strategically. It’s a cliché, but the game takes its inspiration from Dark souls in how it rewards or punishes the player for how much they pay attention to enemy attack patterns.
Each action you take depletes a limited stamina bar, so you need to make sure your attack hits or you have enough stamina to defend against a hard-hitting boss attack that could otherwise wipe you out. If one of our bold duos passes out, you can tap their icon to send a bunch of hearts from the still-conscious girl until the other revives, which I can only interpret as giving your girlfriend a bunch of little smooches until she feels better (which works for boyfriends in real life too FYI).
The need to coordinate and use combos plays off the idea of Sophie and Anna as building a relationship and communicating effectively, something that the moments between battles fully immerse.
When not fighting demons, Sophie, Anna and a host of side characters (including enemies) can’t stop talking to each other. This is represented on screen with small text bubbles that are effectively text messages with an 8-bit paint layer.
Sophie and Anna go through all of this because at the end of the day, they just want to be able to go home and be together. So, they spend their free time and time on the way to missions just talking and wow these girls are thirsty! Not a minute goes by without one of them suggesting that the two of them use the shower together or offering PDA at completely inappropriate times.
But there are deeper moments when the constant sunny facades disappear to talk about deeper issues. Sophie still has trouble accepting love because she can’t reconcile her own self-hatred. As a trans woman, Sophie finds that she had a hard time making friends with other priestesses and is a bit of a black sheep, so self-doubt becomes a wall she puts up between her and Anna.
Anna is not perfect either, she is rude and acts without thinking. The first few moments of the game see Anna running away and being taken out, leaving Sophie to worry and revive her. Anna brushes these things off and doesn’t always notice how it affects Sophie.
These moments between Anna and Sophie of both shared joy and sadness are very human. It has some of the most relatable storytelling in any game I’ve personally played. But then again, this game is made for someone just like me. I’m a trans woman in my mid-20s whose biggest day-to-day problem is making sure I can pay rent each month with my boyfriend. Sophie feels like me; I know what she is going through and I see the best and worst of myself in her.
This means BOSS GAME won’t resonate with every player, but no game can. Instead, developer Lily Valeen made a game for a specific audience, focusing on that story and how the gameplay worked to tell it. The product is an engaging, entertaining and just horny enough mobile experience worth playing.
BOSS GAME: The Final Boss is My Heart is now available on iOS and Android devices. A Steam version is planned for release in spring 2023.