A one-of-a-kind glimpse into the world of anthropomorphic-animal Japanese otome, Hatoful Boyfriend is surprisingly entertaining.
Hatoful Boyfriend on Vita has some technical issues, but both versions still hatch a great story with a cool new bird.
Behind the bizarre concept is one of the best scripts of the year, and a game that subverts your expectations with effortless regularity.
Hatoful Boyfriend is a unique experience, one that goes well beyond its bonkers concept and intentionally strange visual presentation. I was expecting to simply giggle at a nonsensical game in which I tried to woo feathered men, and what I received instead was wholly and wonderfully unexpected. Anyone with a taste for the unusual would do well to enjoy the company of these fetching fowl.
Hatoful Boyfriend makes fun of the dating simulator genre by turning it on its head, making it weird and outrageous. The witty dialogue and absolutely bonkers scenarios are genuinely fun to discover, and the handful of different storylines make repeated playthroughs worthwhile. It's not groundbreaking material, but it's laughable — in a good, entertaining way.
Hatoful Boyfriend is a straightforward dating simulator where all of your suitors just happen to be birds. If you're not drawn to your potential boyfriends, the early game can be a bit of a drag. While the second half of the game is worth the price of admission, many players will have a problem getting there. Proceed with caution.
Maybe it's because I'm not Japanese or familiar with Japanese culture, but these otome games, I'm sure they have a place in Western society, but I don't quite know where to put them. What I do know is that writing something like "getting to know birds on an intimate basis" used to be something akin to a red alert, warning all bystanders that Ryan is quickly losing sanity. Instead, I eagerly await my beloved pigeon San Oko, as we cleanse this world of evil by dousing it in pudding... glorious pudding!
Occasionally, it doesn't feel quite weird enough to carry the whole concept of a human schoolgirl at an all-bird high school, but there's still plenty of laughs to be had for a brief experience that you're going to have to play through multiple times to fully enjoy.
There's no other way to say it. Hatoful Boyfriend is weird! With that said, its novelty proves to be both a major boost and its greatest flaw.
Overall, Hatoful Boyfriend gets most things right. The true BBL story is gripping and an absolute must-play for anyone with an open mind who is a fan of visual novels. The game doesn't make things obvious, though. I had no idea this route existed until I actually put in the effort to do more endings, and I'd recommend you do the same. If nothing else, it's nice to see Devolver and Mediatonic bringing something so new and unusual to Steam.
If you think you're up for it, go ahead and enroll at St. Pigeonation Institute and start looking for the bird of your dreams. The experience will be even stranger than it sounds.
'Hatoful Boyfriend' is a bizarre, sometimes heartwarming, sometimes terrifying adventure where you can also date a variety of birds. Yes, you can date birds.
Hatoful Boyfriend tells an endearingly crazy story that will have you smiling, laughing, crying and feverishly turning the virtual page. It takes some buy-in, but pays off if you're looking for something way off the beaten path.
Love, rivalry and drama in a school for pigeons, this idiosyncratic take on the Japanese dating sim is ridiculously enjoyable
If you've pecked at a dating sim before, like witty writing and are willing spend time exploring one game for all it's worth, Hatoful Boyfriend is an easy
Hatoful Boyfriend is not the pigeon-dating sim you're looking for: It's more than that. Curb your enthusiasm for branching storylines after playing through the early romance portion of the story. After you cross the point of no return, the game is out of your hands, and you're left with an on-rails storyline progression. Regardless, it will subvert each and every one of your preconceived notions of what Hatoful Boyfriend could even remotely be about.
Yes, Hatoful Boyfriend is a dating game with a bird gimmick, and that alone will be enough to keep many players at arm's length. But to pigeonhole your time at the St. Pigeonation's Institute as a mere gimmick would be a grave misjudgment of a game that is far more delightful and unexpected than even its bizarre premise would suggest.
If you want a good laugh, love ridiculous characters, and aren't turned off by text-heavy games, flap those wings. Join the avian club.
If you're into the crazy Japanese stories that eventually lead to some even crazier madness, this is the game for you. If you think cutesy pigeon dating is not for you or if you're not much of a reader, stay away. Stay far away.
If you can swallow (heh, bird puns) the basic idea, there are a lot of weird and wonderful stories to be uncovered in Hatoful Boyfriend. Just don't expect to do much actual playing.