The original Hatoful Boyfriend began as an April Fool’s joke by Hato Moa; the game lampoons dating sim tropes by replacing all of its young hunks with pigeons. Its much-anticipated sequel, Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star, will come out on PC as of December 15th, and on PlayStation 4 and Vita on December 22nd. If you aren’t 110% excited for that, then you haven’t played the first Hatoful Boyfriend, and now I need to tell you why you should drop everything and do that.
Hatoful Boyfriend takes place in a post-apocalyptic world in which pigeons rule the roost — and the entire planet. A lone human girl must prove that she can assimilate into a pigeon-dominated landscape by dating a bird, or several. Like all dating sims, it’s worth playing Hatoful Boyfriend over and over to date all the bird-babes and see all of the endings, each one more bizarre than the last.
Even if you’re only vaguely familiar with dating sim tropes and/or the harem genre — say, if you’ve seen an episode or two of Ouran High School Host Club—you’ll find plenty to laugh about in this game’s parodies. It’s weird, silly, surprisingly deep—even a little scary (there’s one villainous pigeon who is technically romance-able, depending on your definition of romance). I loved the first game, and the second game just shot to the top of my holiday wish list.
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