Boy Loves Girl is a game that revolves around the pursuit of affection. “Boy,” the game’s faceless protagonist, pulls the moon on a string as he chases after an elusive woman alongside companies of kangaroos and monkeys. Defying the will of the angry clouds that seek to destroy his declarations of love, the Boy collects smiles and hearts in hopes of impressing the Girl. And what’s really mind-boggling is that the premise for Boy Loves Girl still makes more sense than the real-life mating game.
Like many iOS games, Boy Loves Girl breaks up its action into multiple levels that are nested in differently-themed worlds. Unlike many iOS games, getting the best score in each level isn’t dependent upon how deftly you can fling fowl into a structure, nor are you required to solve any sort of physics puzzle. Instead, you (cast as the lovesick Boy) run through each level with the moon leashed on a string and chase endlessly after the Girl, who is always a few steps ahead of you. Each level has several goals to accomplish, and if you manage to complete those goals, you’ll earn a ranking of zero to three stars.
The moon is a fine gift, but alas, it’s fragile. It’ll shatter if you bash it into any of the numerous clouds that are scattered around each level, and man, those clouds have it out for you and your love, so watch yourself. Each level’s goals typically revolve around handling the clouds in some manner: you can tap thunderclouds to scatter them, you can graze the moon across rocket clouds to blow them up, and so on. Smiley faces will float upwards whenever you stymie a cloud, and collecting said smiley faces will improve your ranking at the level’s end.
You can run, but you can’t hide.
If the rules for Boy Loves Girl sounds like a whole lot of gobbledygook, that’s because they kind of are. But the game is cuter for its nonsensical goals, because really, who among us can claim to have made any sense of love?
Boy Loves Girl does have flaws, but none of its problems are in its simplistic and sugary aesthetics: every inch of this game’s artwork is adorable, from the bounding animals to the protagonist’s flapping shirt (and his subsequently exposed belly). Rather, Boy Loves Girl has some issues with its control response time. Your main concern is raising and lowering the moon to collect smiley faces and avoid clouds and airborne traps, but it feels like there’s too much friction between your finger and the moon’s movements. The result is a lot of shattered moon-bits, and your own shattered heart. This can be a frustrating setback, as the game’s levels lack checkpoints and force you to start all over if you make a mistake. It’s enough to make a fellow or a gal swear off love forever.
You probably won’t swear off Boy Loves Girl, though, as it’s just too cheek-pinchingly charming to put down for long. Whether you’re taken or single, you’ll want to make sure you spend Valentine’s Day running right down to the world’s end with the moon tied to a string.