Yes, it's me again, Pocket Gamer's resident reluctant BTS fan, and I'm back to pass judgement on the latest BTS adventure to hit mobile game stores. I honestly don't know how this keeps happening.
This time the BTS boys have a brand new mobile game, BTS Universe Story, and there truly is an entire universe's worth of story to be found in this one.
Things start off fairly typically, honestly. It is a well-realised, polished-looking choose-your-own-adventure title with a familiar cast of characters - I know you lot who click these articles are already BTS fans, and yes, the cast is definitely familiar to you.
So, I've dove straight into the first few official story episodes from BTS Universe Story so you know whether or not you should dive in next. Spoiler alert: Yes you should.
Strange torture entertainment
Okay so let's be clear - I'm not actually all that sure how I feel about the official story that is included in BTS Universe Story. I mean, much of it is locked behind microtransactions, and that's always frustrating.
But thankfully there's also a chunky story which is absolutely free to enjoy and comes with a number of scenarios to play through. So, what is the story about? It's about the BTS boys getting abused while living a life where they are not K-pop idols.
It's honestly a little bit uncomfortable. It has aspects of poverty fantasy in there, where these incredibly rich and successful individuals are brought down to the level of, well, completely average people. But more uncomfortable than that is the abuse.
The first story you encounter involves one of the boys working at a gas station, an incredibly rude and malicious customer decides to accuse the lad of assaulting him, know he'd get arrested and, without the money for legal assistance, it would likely ruin his entire life.
Your role in this situation is to play Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, where you wake up each morning and it's the same day, the same situation, and you must help the BTS boys by investigating their lives and finding a way to help them avoid these dire outcomes. Not a bad concept as far as these things go, but a misunderstanding at a gas station is just the tip of the thematic iceberg.
It quickly moves on to the other BTS boys, and I'll admit I haven't played these episodes yet (NetMarble, hit me up with some premium currency) but the preview reveals the outline of the story.
One of the BTS boys is trapped in a psychiatric hospital, which is a big yikes moment.
Another one of the BTS boys is dealing with physical and psychological abuse from their family members, which is yet another big yikes moment.
These themes are uncomfortable, and while I can't talk about how they're executed, the fact that this is the direction they've decided to take the story in feels very weird to me. But luckily, that's not the be-all or end-all of BTS Universe Story.
Your own torture entertainment
You can make your own polished BTS fan fiction, and that is truly incredible. Genuinely you can use all of the tools that are used to create the official storyline and make your own small adventure, and wow, this is addictive.
Now, it should be mentioned that many words are censored - you can't use the word "sex," for example, regardless of the context, and I'm sure more general swears from a variety of languages are also censored, but the options here are staggering.
You can choose a background for your scene, choose the music to fit the vibe, visual effects, and so much more. I went from characters having a friendly chat outside of the police station to a burning subway, and I don't know why I did it, but it allowed me to, and that is incredible.
You can make your story about anything you want, including any of the BTS boys, dress them up, and even create your own character for inserting into the stories, and I'm genuinely blown away by the amount of variety on display here. The only downside is that you're going to be typing out a lot of dialogue on your phone - not so bad if you're a chat regular, I suppose.
Genuinely - even if you're not a BTS fan, I have to say, I recommend downloading the game and making your own BTS story, even if it's just to post a really dumb video on twitter. You will not regret it.