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Video Game / Band Camp Boyfriend

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An otome Visual Novel by Lovebird Games, Band Camp Boyfriend follows this year's new drum major, Cadence, to band camp as she attempts to help turn around her high school's declining marching band (The Blue Mountain Bandits), prep them for competition, and perhaps find love amongst the band members. Its trailer first came out in 2017, and a demo was launched in 2018. The full game released in May 2023. The game can be downloaded and other game information can be found here.

Band Camp Boyfriend contains examples of:

  • Alliterative Name: Many characters, but not with their first and last names. The band has
    • Tom the trombonist
    • Clark the clarinetist
    • Cornelius, who is technically in the trumpet section but would rather be playing the cornet
    • Samuel the saxophonist
    • Doug the drummer
    • Susie the sousaphonist
    • Felicity the flautist
    • Marian the marimbist
    • Barry the baritone
    • Garth from the color guard.
  • All-Stereotype Cast: Each character is based on the personality stereotypically associated with their instrument.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The content warning for the game demo included standard content warnings, plus a nonstandard one:
    Language, Suggestive Humor, Violence, Instrument Abuse.
  • As You Know: Mr. Wiley and his pep talks give the bulk of the game's exposition.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • The dancing video game Garth has is not Just Dance but Must Dance.
    • The electronic metronome that has an option to speak beats aloud is not the Dr. Beat but the Nurse Tempo.
  • Content Warning: On the page for the game, there is a T 13+ rating followed by content warnings of
    Infrequent use of strong language, suggestive humor, dark psychological themes, kidnapping, [character backstories containing child abuse, emotional abuse, & references to sexual assault], mild blood, violence [including gun violence], and death
  • Continuity Nod: A sort of one between routes, where the event referenced already happened chronologically but you may or may not have learned about it depending on what order you play the routes. In Peter's route, when a cornet gets thrown and destroyed, making its owner cry, Peter asks Samuel if he is okay. If you have played Samuel's route, you know Peter's asking because of an event that happened in the past: when Samuel saw his own instrument, which was very important to him, get destroyed, it took an emotional toll on him.
  • Did Not Get the Girl:
    • The side story, Band Camp Girlfriend, focuses on Alex’s romantic misadventures and eventual failure to get a date no matter the player’s choices.
    • In Cadence’s case, this trope should be “Did Not Get the Guy”. There are multiple ending where the player can fail to start or maintain a relationship with her guy of choice, the most notable of which being the only ending in Garth’s route. No mater Cadence’s affinity with Garth, a player who chooses to stick with him instead of jumping ship to Peter will have their romantic advances met with the discovery that Garth is gay. He and Cadence will remain dedicated friends, but Cadence will have not “gotten the guy”.
  • Dump Them All: There is an optional bad ending in which Cadence decides that she hates all of her potential romantic options. This ending also crosses over with a number of meta tropes.
  • The Faceless: Susie's boyfriend, Eugene, whose face is obscured by his instrument.
  • Fictional Counterpart: The Red Angels, Yellowjackets, Tennessee Tiara, and Space Cadets drum corps are shoutouts to the real-life Blue Devils, Bluecoats, Carolina Crown, and Cadets drum corps respectively.
  • Foreshadowing: On Peter's route, Susie and Cadence accidentally leave an oven on and go back to turn it off, joking about how Mr. Wiley would be upset if they accidentally burned down the camp. Cue the end of the route where the camp burning down actually does happen.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Whenever the characters mention that they're going to change clothes, they reappear after having "changed" but wearing the same clothes. Except on Beach Day, where characters participating in it will appear wearing swim attire.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall:
    • On the second night, Cadence has had a full day:
      Cadence: What a fun and eventful day it's been. If I were in a video game, I sure would save my progress right about now.
    • In one route, Cadence, the heroine of our dating sim, is sent on a fetch quest, leading her to say
      Cadence: I'm really starting to feel like the main character of an RPG. Usually I feel like the main character of a dating sim.
  • Locked Up and Left Behind: In all routes but the final route, Garth is kidnapped and trapped in a basement for the duration of the story. He is rescued by his fellow campers during Tom’s route, but in all others he is left at camp for the police to find and only returns during the prologue. Infamously, this is even true in Peter’s route, where the camp burns to the ground.
  • Mark of Shame: On some of the routes, Mr. Wiley forces those who fail their parts from memory to get their hair dyed an embarrassing color.
  • Mission Briefing: Also serves as Lecture as Exposition.
    Mr. Wiley: Your attitude, words, and actions will influence [the band members] in ways you never anticipated.
  • No Periods, Period: Played with in the How to Survive Band Camp video.
    • When asked what to bring to band camp, Felicity suggests tampons. Cue Alex asking what that is and Mr. Wiley yelling to stop the recording.
    • In the game itself, Cadence uses this to her advantage. During Poptart’s route, Cadence pretends to go to the restroom to sneak off and grab Poptart’s missing drill card. Mr. Wiley questions this, but, knowing it would immediately shut him up, Cadence says she’s on her period.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: Cadence to Peter when she has to wake him up.
  • Punny Name:
    • Peter is a trumpeter.
    • The start of characters’ names often matches the start of their instrument’s name. For instance, Susie plays the sousaphone and Barry plays the baritone.
    • The school mascot is a bandit, making the band the Marching Bandits.
  • Romance Game: More specifically, an otome game, a romance game aimed at women. The game’s page describes it as an “otome visual novel game.”
  • Scare Chord: Whenever the player is faced with a choice that could result in a bad end, a dramatic trombone is heard.
  • Shout-Out:
  • That Came Out Wrong:
    Mr. Wiley: We learned how to dress a line back in mini camp. Why aren't you crossdressing?!
    Cadence: I don't think that was what he meant to say.
  • Training from Hell: One could argue that band camp is plenty hard, given the hot temperature, limited breaks and constant marching one has to do. Taken to the extreme in Peter's route as Mr. Wiley forces the camp to practice even after they've made themselves sick.
  • The Un-Reveal: Susie's boyfriend is set up as "the hottest guy in the marching band" whose face you can't forget. Cue his face always being obscured by his instrument.
  • Verbal Backspace
    Cadence: He looks really good.
    Err — his conducting, I mean. His technique is flawless.