Developer: Tin Man Games
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Tin Man Games are best known for their selection of adventure game books that enable us to read a great story while also enjoy the delights of slaying a demon or goblin, all through the correct dice roll. Strange Loves 1: Vampire Boyfriends deviates from that path quite substantially, instead pursuing the romance novel genre and offering choices rather than any need for battles or dice rolls.

Sounding stereotypical yet also almost certainly true, Strange Loves 1: Vampire Boyfriends is clearly aimed at the female market. The story, rather than allowing for a choice of gender, follows the tale of a woman who’s in the last year of college and out for adventure and romance. So starts a somewhat disjointed tale of vampiric love.

The tale has clearly been created to tie into the love of all things Twilight with plenty of supernatural romance and more than a hint of suggestive language in terms of what the protagonist gets up to. It doesn’t always work, however. The writing is a little weak in places, feeling quite shallow and aimed at the teenage chick flick market. Despite the potentially intelligent nature of the main character, much of what goes on involves her being wooed by tall, hulky men with chiseled jaws. It all feels a little too shallow compared to Tin Man Games’s usual style, although young teenagers should lap it up.

The choices are reasonably numerous. While some routes might end quite abruptly, others lead onto saving the world from vampires, which is always entertaining but there’s no real route to independence or feminine strength which may disappoint some, myself included.

Despite such cliched storytelling mechanics, Strange Loves 1: Vampire Boyfriends promises 40 different endings and it certainly feels like there’s plenty to explore with loads of achievements to unlock along the way. The artwork, as always, is charming and distinctive. It’s just unfortunate that the storyline doesn’t push the boundaries more.

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