Dating sims are a pretty niche genre and personally, not one that I’m very interested in. However, what about a dating sim with birds? Now, that’s different.
Hatoful Boyfriend is one of those games you’ll have a hard time believing it actually exists. Its premise couldn’t be more bizarre, you’re a student that’s been transfered to St. Pigeonation’s, the most distinguished bird academy. Yeah, that’s a highschool where birds go. Not only that, the game plays exactly like a dating sim so… yeah, you’re actually supposed to date a bird. Like I said, that’s a very weird premise but I’m sure most of you people will agree that it could lead to something pretty funny and I’m happy to say it actually does. The game will make you laugh (or at least chuckle) plenty of times.
For any of you that haven’t played any game like this, I’ll explain how the gameplay works in Hatoful Boyfriend. Pretty much like in many visual novels, you’ll be reading your adventures and having multiple conversations with your “candidates” and occasionally you’ll be given multiple paths to take in form of conversation options and class attending and such and those that will lead you to reaching love …or not.
On the visual side there isn’t much to say. Pretty old-school dating sim stuff. Pastel tone text panels and still images of your feathered pals over generic school inspired illustrations. For added weirdness, they decided that the portraits of your love interests would be real life pictures of birds (quite the right choice imo).
Soundtrack is also fitting for the kind of game, not bad but nothing I’d be listening to on my own really.
Things I liked
- Funny: The premise alone is quite hilarious but a joke too spread out could break thin, luckily there’s more than that. The colorful characters, the random situations, the awkward dialogs… This game is pretty absurd in a good way.
- Surprisingly deep: I don’t want to get into spoiler territory but for a game that seems so little serious on the surface, if you dig through some of the story arches you’ll find some intriguing stuff.
Things I didn’t
- Kinda short: Obviously, most of the fun of this game is replaying it over and over again to see where your choices will take you but a single playthrough of Hatoful Boyfriend is quite short. I feel like they could have added more events, specially considering how much fun they were.
Who’d like this?
If you enjoy visual novels and you dig absurd humour you’ll love your time with this game. It is short but it is sweet and also pretty cheap.
<This review is based on the playstation vita version of the game but it’s also available on ps4 and other platforms> <The game doesn’t really contain suggestive scenes or sex of any kind (thank god)>