Leveled Up Love
Leveled Up Love
Dating Evolution is the next generation of relationship gaming with a real world twist! Did you ever wish your online skills translated into the real world? Now they can! Follow our quests to level up your love life and earn real life rewards!
Life was good for Zack Moore until his trustee managed to con him into signing up for DaEvo. Now, the buggy app has taken over his life, forcing him to leave his condo, interact with people in the real world and eat healthy to gain any gaming time.
Problem is, Zack has the biggest tournament of his life coming up. The Star Fury tournament is Zack and his team’s chance of going pro and making a name for themselves.
Now, Zack’s swapping women around like the components of his starship; trying to find the balance between love and DaEvo. Good thing Zack’s a pro at gaming.
But some things can’t be quantified.
Leveled Up Love! is a Gamelit comedy romance written by Tao Wong, author of the bestselling System Apocalypse LitRPG and A Thousand Li series, and A.G. Marshall, author of the Fairy Tale Adventures series of books.
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This is a thoroughly enjoyable blend of two genres who normally never speak with each other. Zack begins as rather more of a caricature of a gamer nerd than a character, completely out of touch with reality (and hygiene), but this has been done deliberately to set the comic tone of the book, and to deepen his development through the story. The DaEvo app is excellently pulled off, from its very buggy initial state to the better but still not equal to a human beta condition at the end. The dev's occasional remarks are highly entertaining. Relationships are realistic throughout, and change as Zack begins to figure out his own humanity. KayTay serves a character role rather than being a real person, but Ashley is engaging and well drawn. Zack's buddies on StarFury are sketched adequately well for their parts in the book, Jenny being the best of these. I felt that parts of the book - the first half, largely, were a little long and somewhat repetitive, and could have been edited more tightly. Nevertheless the writing is very good, the pace in general lively, and the plot, while being a little predictable is still very well executed. LitRPG readers will enjoy this, and the romance is genuine enough and touching enough that I think that many romance readers might be pleasantly surprised. As a player myself, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that many, MANY things about the StarFury game reminded me FORCIBLY of EVE Online. ;) 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.
This was a long book: over 600 pages! I wondered if I would care about the plot for that long. I did! Zac Moore inherited his parent’s wealth after their untimely death. He doesn’t work. He barely leaves his luxury apartment. He plays video games all day. When his trustee gets fed up he sneaks a clause into a contract Zac is signing. His game time (and his life) are now limited by his completing quests in DaEvo a dating app. He now needs to level up in style, fitness, hygiene, and having in person conversations with women.I loved the misadventures the app created. There were so many laugh out loud moments. I also loved the commentary from the developers.Zac had a lot of growing to do, and I loved being along on that journey seeing him find more meaning in life.
If I judged a book solely on how much I screamed at the main character, then by that metric alone this would be the greatest story in the universe. Seriously, there were times I thought I would go hoarse venting my frustrations over some of the idiotic choices that Zack makes through the novel. My vicarious embarrassment was so bad, I actually had to go online to look up the term vicarious embarrassment so that I could properly describe the level of anguish I felt with each turn of the page. At one point my wife even asked me to stop reading for a while and go take a walk or something, because I was convulsing so badly she thought I was having a stroke.Alright, jokes aside, this book was an epic read. If I've gotten to the point that I'm getting personally offended by a character's actions, that's usually a sign that the story has done its job properly drawing me in. I can't say I agree with all (or even most) of the choices the MC makes (because they're usually terrible ones), but the story is certainly entertaining, and it became almost impossible to put the book down near the end.If I have any complaints, it was probably the gaming aspects of the story that were its weakest. To briefly summarize, Zack is a semi-pro gamer hoping to win big at his favorite game Star Fury, but ends up being tricked into participating in a augmented reality dating game which restricts his gaming time unless he does what it wants. So peppered between Zack's frantic and bumbling attempts to gain the attention of the opposite sex are sequences of him crunching numbers and playing with his teammates.While I understand the need to show the depth of the game and its importance to the overall tale, far too much time is spent stressing about statistical minutia and how important parsing out all the fine details about every aspect of the game are. Honestly, playing Star Fury sounds more like work than fun. The extremity of its detail puts it slightly at odds with its supposed popularity. Unless this entire world is populated by spreadsheet junkies.But don't let that minor hinderance stop you from reading. If you like gaming, and romance, and games about romance, then this is the book for you.Just don't be surprised if you find yourself yelling a bit.
This is a different take on Gamelit and was definitely good. I laughed out loud several times at the trouble the MC had, often self-inflicted, and the very human responses he gave.A socially-stunted professional gamer is convinced (tricked?) by his handler into agreeing to beta test (always read before you sign! Everybody knows that!) an app on his AR glasses that is designed to help men develop relationships with women.To his horror, his contract included an agreement to limit his gameplay time based on how well he does in the app! And right before a big tournament! Will he be able to earn enough internet time to practice? He better, or his teammates will have his head!Don't think of this as a romance novel. Yes, there is a romance, and yes that is the main goal of the app he is testing. But, this is a game. And that means it can be won! So, settle in for an irl game, complete with quests, XP, and level-ups, to see if our hero can find love AND help his team win the big gaming tournament their training for
I hesitated to buy this book.Then, on an evening I felt a little lonely, lovesick, and wanting to spend my time doing something healthier than idly pining after what-ifs and public figures, I thought a jaunt with gamelit romance would be perfect for my mood.I hesitated again however after reading a couple sentences, and discovering this book wasn't quite as escapism and fantastical as I desired in that moment.But I didn't want to escape. I wanted to work through what I was feeling.So I read on, and was hooked in minutes.I'm not sure how A.G. and Tao cowrote this, but the prose and characterisation felt seamless. The female characters felt like real people, and acted realistically, which was refreshing for the genre (it's depressing that was notable rather than a given).I particularly enjoyed how the antagonists were humanised, to the point where they weren't quite antagonists at all, just conflicting personalities and life experiences, as is true most often in real life.The book inspired me to look at style and fashion in a new way, as well as to self reflect on other aspects of my life. It was rather enlightening to consider how lopsided my stats would be in DaEvo.Perhaps more importantly it helped me to reaffirm my own dating choices. No matter how attractive, high status, or successful and famous the person, none of that is a substitute for a genuine, heartfelt connection made fun by compatible and merry chemistry. For me at least.Some people value different things, sometimes literally. And that's okay.Thank you for writing this.