Of all the aspects of a game, the boss fights are arguably the most memorable. Because of the combination of interesting designs and challenging gameplay, a lot of players look forward to fighting and beating huge bosses. Solo dev Lily Valeen has responded to this desire by making BOSSGAME: The Final Boss Is My Heart. This 2D pixel experience pits pairs of characters against growing threats as you use your fingers to attack and defend. Each encounter is a boss fight in its own right and it's up to you to beat them all, follow the story, and learn the truth.
A game about fighting bosses one after the other may not seem like a solid foundation to support a story. Still, BOSSGAME manages to pull it off quite well. You play as lesbian couple Sophie and Anna, a sword-wielding priestess and fire-casting sun witch respectively. Both work as freelancers and under the church of Mammon. The pair are assigned to hunt down devils which have taken various forms and claimed dominance over certain areas. The more devils they fight, the stronger they get, and the more they learn about why they're fighting. A game based on epic fights and a loving relationship makes for a fun time.
Bosses are so-called for a reason, and there's a fine line between challenging and entertaining. BOSSGAME confidently walks this line. The gameplay is engaging and really draws you into the fights. Holding your phone horizontally, your thumbs will naturally fall over one of the two characters who you'll be controlling during battles. There's no tapping during battles so you won't accidentally do something you didn't mean to do. Every action you take requires you to hold your thumb down, making every movement feel deliberate. Even so, you need to quickly and strategically alternate between regular attacks, power attacks, and defending in order to win.
You like fighting, I see:
The bosses themselves are diverse and animated. Taking a page out of the UNDERTALE book, each has a mostly white body against a black background with animations alternating between rigging and frames. Each one feels alive and energetic, including one which is literally an old tree that is rooted to the ground. They all have their own tactics and patterns you'll need to observe in order to properly counterattack. To keep things fresh, their routines can be randomised as well.
The fact that each boss also gets a chance to express themselves through amusing dialogue is just icing on the cake. You can also unlock additional lore through performance challenges.
Despite being essentially a boss rush with an action-packed and heartfelt story, there could be more to BOSSGAME - specifically, in terms of the characters and abilities. There's a very colourful cast to interact with, but you'll spend 95 per cent of the time playing as Sophie and Anna. Each of them only has two types of attacks that only change in one or two select scenarios. The final fight is one of the more interesting and entertaining, simply because their actions are switched up at the last moment. If the game had included additional characters to switch in and out with their own abilities, it would raise its replayability significantly.
BOSSGAME: The Final Boss Is My Heart is a 2D boss rush about fighting devils and experiencing a loving relationship. The controls are simple but effective against varied bosses that provide a good degree of challenge, animation, and character. The only problem is that it could be used more in terms of who you get to play as and what abilities you get to use. But this is small potatoes to the main feast which is a satisfying, exciting, and passionate boss rush game.