Review by Jamie Summers

Game Review: Hatoful Boyfriend

Game Review: Hatoful Boyfriend

In 2012, a game was linked to me from a friend of mine. It was called "Haatofuru Kareshi: Kibou no Gakuen to Shiroi Tsubasa", aka "Hatoful Boyfriend: A School of Hope and White Wings. Our conversation went a little something like this:

Her: You're like the last person left! The only men left are pigeons! 
Me: What.
Her: Okay, there's some people, but it's mostly intelligent birds.
Me: What.
Me: ...Link please.

And then I played. This was a fan translation of a 2011 otome visual novel that came out for Windows and OS X by manga artist Hato Moa's doujin circle, PidgeoNation Inc. Originally, it was a Flash Game created on April Fools' Day in 2011, and, it grew from there, since spawning other versions and publications. When I first played it, I didn't get far. Now that it has an official HD release and English translation, I decided to give it another go.

A title screen of many suitors
A title screen of many suitors
First of all, it's definitely a Japanese dating sim. I seriously felt like I was thrust into a shoujo manga, except, well, all of the boys are birds. Yes, you play as a lonely human girl going to a school full of sapient birds. Everybirdie falls into a major stereotype: Ryouta is the typical good-natured schoolboy, Yuuya is a major playboy with a sensitive side, and Nageki is the bookish solitary student, for example. The protagonist, Tousaka Hiyoko, lives as a perky hunter-gatherer in a cave near the school who works to gain the affections of her avian interests. 

The gameplay is typical for a dating sim/visual novel. You follow through a number of dialogue options with the various characters, getting to make decisions here and there about who to talk to or participate in an event with, which classes to attend on elective days, and other events. The elective days help you increase your stats; you start with a Wisdom and Charisma score of 1 and a Vitality score of 800 and the class you choose to attend raises each stat by 5. There are also other events that can occur which also increase stats. The big thing to remember is keeping the affection of those birds up! The more you interact with the birds, the less chance there is of a fate most fowl happening.

This date is SUPER effective
This date is SUPER effective
Are there any humans? Well, not really, but you can play with human images instead of that of the birds, but it doesn't change that your love interests are still pigeons and doves or that the boss of your summer job is a stately parakeet.  Even with all of the surrealness of birdly affection, it's fun and amusing, and absolutely worth the $9.99 on Steam.

Hatoful Boyfriend is available now on Steam for $9.99 for the regular edition or $14.99 for the "Summer of Dove Collector's Edition", which comes with the original Hatoful Boyfriend for PC, digital soundtrack, exclusive new comic from Hato Moa, wallpapers of Okosan, and the St Pigeonations Yearbook (Class of 2014). You can find it here: .

Acquisition Method: Steam review code provided for

Our Grade:
The Good:
* The fun personalities
* Surreal Bird Dating
The Bad:
* Not much explanation about why the world is the way it is (this is explained in another game)

Jamie Summers, AKA Dark Sakura, is one of the co-hosts of Orange Lounge Radio here on the VOG Network. You can follow her on Twitter at @darksakura

Review by - 9/14/2014 10:15 AM419 views

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