Convention season is upon us and while we’ve been busy locking down and going digital for this years Gamescom, there’s one villainous networking event that you can still go to. Join us as we suit up and plan for world domination in our Lovingly Evil Review.
Get In Line
Lovingly Evil is a brand new twist on the traditional dating sim genre. Developed by the fiendish people at Lizard Hazard Games and published by Green Man Gaming, this deceptively lovely visual novel wonders if your everyday evil genius might need love too? Set among a fictional Villain Conference, it invites players to ditch their goody two shoes companions and go indulge in a little carnage. Over the course of this very different convention, players can wander the halls and take in the sights that are for evil eyes only. You’ll get to know the locals, learn a little about managing an evil hideout, and even take in the odd lecture about henchman management.
Don’t Get Distracted
While the Villain Conference provides plenty of opportunities to learn about making maniacal devices and sampling some of the local nightlife, the goal of this convention is to pick up a player 2. Between the food stands and lobbies crammed full of budding ner do wells, players will have an opportunity to interact with some of the other locals. Dispatching your up and coming evil genius onto the open floor of this multi day event, you’ll find a range of bright and unusual characters to interact with, make small talk, and plan to take over the world with.
Evil is Sexy?
Before we get into the machinations of these events, Lovingly Evil prompts gamers to build their own character model. Despite its indie roots, Lizard hazard Games take a humorous approach to putting together an evil avatar. Character creation won’t provide any future despots with a ton of options but the wealth of accessories available mean you could roll into town with a pink haired fawn, a mutated cyclops, or a battle scarred warrior heading off for a weekend of debauchery. There’s a great levity to putting together your character before heading off to Villain Conference and while it might not be to Black Desert Online’s level of fidelity, character creation sets the jovial tone for the rest of this getaway.
Getting into the Villain Conference isn’t particularly difficult. There’s only one requirement. Evil, in all its forms. Whether you’re busy knocking over old ladies or just generally being a horrible Instagram ambassador then you can get into Villain Conference. The array of attendees is as outlandish and eccentric as they come. Walking skeletons, artificial lifeforms, and even the odd queen ramble the halls and you’ll be able to romance them all. Ok, you’ll probably be able to at least romance one.
From the first moment you walk into an exclusive world, you’ll find navigating the halls of Villain Conference easy enough. Taking a top-down approach, players can select from a number of areas, waltzing through the open halls, or nipping into the cafe for a bit of respite. It’s all very point and click and the range of locations is somewhat limited. Despite this, there is just about enough going on and if you don’t want to listen to the evil technobabble over at the conference rooms you can ignore them for the VIP lounge if you can get in.
Moving around the areas of this top down map provide players with the opportunity to interact with a number of weird and wonderful individuals. As you’d expect, how you decide to interact with these characters can lead to a range of potential romantic outcomes, with plenty of diverging narrative paths. This isn’t all that unusual for a dating sim, and while it may not be cats on a desert island or finger licking good, Lovingly Evil introduces a few ideas of its own to try to keep things interesting. Potential love interests may give an option for special dialogue or open up options that will eat into the day’s activity time, so there is some careful conversation to be had. With only a limited time to find that special demonic overlord, you will need to tread carefully around the halls of this Villain Conference.
Where lovingly Evil does continue to seem good, sorry the pun was always going to happen, is when it steps away from the more traditional romantic tropes. While trying to ensure Satan in a love pentagram might sound silly, it comes all too easy and is not always particularly interesting. Unravelling the mystery behind your evil clone or engaging in one of the many mini games, however, gives players a little bit of levity from the thirsty conference attendees.
That assessment is largely true of Lovingly Evil as a game. It manages to tick all the genre tropes but with a knowing sense of its own ridiculousness. At times the writing can be a little uninspired, but when it decides to forge its own path, Lovingly Evil and its more inventive moments is as ridiculous as an army of trained murder squirrels, assuming your evil plan involves trained murder squirrels. With a sinfully gluttonous amount of replay value and some inventive ideas, Lovingly Evil won’t conquer the world but it might annex your heart, plant a flag, and start taxing you per beat. Lovingly Evil is out now on PC via Steam and Green Man Gaming for minor despots everywhere.