- + Nice pictures of pigeons
- - Won’t be for everyone
Want to look beyond the score? Check out the full review below…
*Hatoful Boyfriend was provided to Start Replay on PS4 by Devolver Digital
As a game, Hatoful Boyfriend doesn’t offer much. It’s an interactive text-based visual novel, presenting a story in which the world has been taken over by hyper-intelligent birds, that also present humanistic qualities. Based in a fictional Japanese town of Littledove Hachiman City, you play the part of a teenage human girl, attending a bird-only high school called St. PigeoNation’s Institute. There is also a dating simulation within the game’s structure, in which you’re taken through the interspecies relationships between the girl and the flock of birds looking to get a pecking.
Complete with a branching storyline, the ending you receive will depend on your actions. Throughout the game your control is limited, allowing you to pick between different dialogue options at certain points. Your choices will determine who you form romantic relationships with and who you don’t.
I had no idea what to expect before getting my hands on Hatoful Boyfriend. As I was met with a bouncy, yet melancholic theme song, it took me a while to get into the mood to continue. Since Hatoful marks my first interaction with a visual novel, I was pretty quick to make my mind up on how I feel about it, and as Austin Powers would say, “it’s not my bag, baby”.
My love towards manga-orientated content has yet to hit its stride, and currently all I’m left with is an uncomfortable, slightly bemused feeling. For me to sit down, read text and select different dialogues about planet taken over by a birds…well, it’s a little bit too far for me.
I’m not ready to fall in love with birds and have interspecies relations, but perhaps if you’re a person that likes manga-based interactive novels, then this may be worth flapping your wings over. As for me, I’m going to stick to my human bird.