Hatoful Boyfriend the Pidgeon Dating Sim… yep you read right, this game was developed by Mediatonic with Hato Moa who have made a plethora of web and PC games in the past. Hatoful was first released back in February of 2012 and was remade in 2014 which brought in enhanced graphics, new storylines and compatible with more systems.
This review is based on the 2014 remake, or known as the HD version.
The backstory of the game is pretty grim, with the human race almost becoming extinct to a bird flu epidemic. The one cure they were able to make also turned the majority of avian life to become sentient and have Human level intelligence, making them somewhat the dominant species.
You start the game with creating your character, just their name however, who is the first and only Human to be enrolled at St. PigeoNation’s the school for the world’s most intelligent Pidgeon folk. Being what seems to be the only female in a school full of male Pigeons and birds of varying species, your one task is to survive the school year and find some hot steamy Avian-Love. If you don’t you might be seeing a Pidgeon Reaper.
The game starts off in your first term of school and goes all the way to the end of your second year at the school. Increasing you Wisdom, Vitality and Charm through electives and talking with your fellow classmates through clubs and time off, all this will advance the time in the world, which goes by in a blinding flash.
As you play the game you reveal several documents and hints to the past of the world, the events leading up to the current day and why humans have become more cave-like and segregated from the world. Certain scenes even allude to the nature of the world as they show off destroyed buildings and a more forest and nature-full world.
Hatoful Boyfriend has a large selection of choices and 14 different endings, with each playthrough lasting at least 1 hour. There is also a alternate playthrough to unlock with flips the game on its head and portrays more of a horror game then a Dating Sim.
The gameplay in Hatoful is just like most other Dating Sim / Visual novel games, you are presented with a still image, text box and a portrait of whoever you may be conversing with. Clicking within the text box will continue the conversation and may open up a choice from up to 7 different options to pick which then carries on the conversation in differing directions. The game is very streamlined and has almost no difficulty to it.
Besides talking to the birds on the campus your character can also choose between 3 different clubs that include different positions within each. As well as the Clubs there are electives every so often to increase your characters stats that affect their test scores, physical attributes and ability to woo the birds. There isn’t a big impact from the stats however as they never pop up or are referenced during the events of the game so it is hard to decide which one to pick.
Overall Thoughts and Feelings
The music in Hatoful is very samey, with the same track being played for almost every scene of the game that becomes quite tiresome. There are several tracks to listen to from time to time as the seasons change, events occur and festivals happen but the music is either too similar to one another or too different and distract from the game itself.
The graphics in the game are clean and clear and definitely warrant the HD title addition, though the designs themselves seem to be way off, with backgrounds and objects looking too big for the birds to use and more Human created and catered towards. Colour design is excellent however as each scene is beautiful to look at and contain a lot of detail for what would be plain backdrops.
Overall I give Hatoful Boyfriend a 3/5, it’s a fun little game with plenty of quirks, but the music and dullness of the game can make it rather boring at times and give the sense that the game is dragging on too long. Dating Sim fans will love this game, however most others may just find this a wasted purchase if not for the comedic effect of dating Pigeons.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.