Groundhog Day meets Doki Doki Literature Club in the Replay Boys, a visual novel from indie studio, Split Narrative where you have to wrangle the members of an up and coming boy band. I went in expecting to navigate boy band blow outs over music and crazed fangirls vying for the attention of the boys, and what I got was an experience that NOTHING could have prepared me for… I won’t be forgetting this game anytime soon!
- Genre: Mystery | Romance | Boy Band
- Developer & Publisher: Split Narrative
- Where to Get the Game: Steam
- Similar Games: Doki Doki Literature Club | Karamu | Hummingbird’s Crown
Band emergency! This was supposed to be Hannah’s day off, but now she’s been roped into managing The Replay Boys, an up-and-coming boy band. Make choices to stoke multi-timeline romances, keep the band from killing each other, and fight a resurrected ’80s pop star ghost. Can you manage?
In The Replay Boys you can romance or befriend each of the four members of the titular boy band. Jax and Tyler have romance ends, while Niko and Caleb have platonic outcomes.
- Jax: Dancer and chaotic womanizer with a huge ego and a knack for causing problems.
- Tyler: Producer and leader under a lot of stress. He might snap and do something unexpected.
- Niko: Singer and a bit of a weirdo. He has a thing for conspiracy theories.
- Caleb: A recent addition to the group. Bubbly, sweet, and never picks a fight. Watch out for hͪ҉͈̣̗ǐ͐͆s̷̊ͅ ̆̔̍mͮ̊̔o̷̟ͩm̶ͥͧ,̎̾̑ ̆ͮ̚t̬ͮ͠hͣ͋̾o̸̿̐u͌̀̿g͇̽͝hͭ́͒.̎͏̠
The Replay Boys Game Review
I was not ready for the Replay Boys. I went in expecting a boy band romance game and what I got can only be described as an Experience™. This game is wild! You play as Hannah, the video editor for the boy band, The Replay Boys. Usually, your job keeps you pretty far removed from the boys. But, when their entire management team gets food poisoning at a company dinner the night before their big concert, you’re asked to step in as their temporary manager. Now it’s up to you to “help” the boys through petty squabbles, their own egos, crazed fans, and some unexpected twists so they can pull off an amazing concert. Should be easy… right?
Wrong, friend! WRONG!
Just reading the Steam “about the game” section barely scratches the surface of what’s waiting for you in The Replay Boys. I read it (read: skimmed it) just before diving in, and trust me when I say I still wasn’t prepared for the ride this game took me on.
The game’s charm lies in its unpredictability. It’s repetitive Groundhog Day-esque gameplay is deceptive, with each replay opening the floodgates on a multi-timeline spanning story that will have you questioning everything and everyone… most of all the members of titular boy band. Don’t let their tropey personas fool you, there is more to them than meets the eye.
“Bad Boy” Jax, with his insistent flirting a snarky quips; Tyler, with his “Boy Next-Door” charm; Quiet and brooding singer, Niko; and Bubbly and sweet newbie, Caleb. It’s a chaotic mix of personalities for a boy band that is slowly reaching a breaking point and as the story unfolds you see just how close to the brink all of these characters are.
As their new manager, you have the opportunity to help them work through their personal issues, which leads Hannah and the player down some interesting and unexpectedly dark turns. But, given the short runtime of the game, you don’t delve too deeply into their mess outside of how it relates to the overarching story/mystery. I’ll be clear The Replay Boys isn’t a romance in the traditional sense, so some of the more intimate moments can feel a bit rushed.
That said, I really liked the romantic interactions between Hannah and the romanceable boys, they were fun, if not short. Of course, my trash loving self fell hard for Jax and his loaded banter with Hannah. And Niko is the ultimate ride or die, he’s the person we all need by our side in a crisis.
Hannah is relatable AF! She’s an overworked adult with an adorable kitty named, Cronut. She gives just as good as she gets and in one iteration of the game you get to spend a lot of time with Hannah on what can only be described as the best day off in the history of days off! Waffles, matcha latte, gaming, and kitty scritches. My idea of heaven.
While this game gets dark, the overall vibe is pretty upbeat and fun. The dynamics between the boys is great, there’s a scene where the boys are filming a tiktok dance and it’s ridiculously hilarious… and let us never forget the infamous Twister scene.
On top of that, every track in this game is GD BOP and the art style is reminiscent of something you’d see in a webcomic (fun fact: the writer Bell, worked on the web comics Always Raining Here and Electric Bones). The writing in this game is a riot! It’s witty and fun and had me cracking up on more than one occasion!
The Replay Boys is a must play game! A friend recommended it to me and I will be forever grateful! I played this game on stream and it had me and my chat INVESTED, we almost played till midnight! The Replay Boys is a game you simply can’t play through just once, The Replay Boys is a game you NEED to see through till until the end. You’ll spend hours clicking through each new twist and turn in a desperate attempt to figure out “just what the hell is actually going on with the Replay Boys?!”