Yes, of course I was going to review the silly pigeon dating game. Of course. It’s been on my list for ages, and it was literally the first fan-requested review when I ‘announced’ I was doing visual novels and dating sims for a while. Because of course it would be.
For the handful of you that are entirely unaware of this game: Hatoful Boyfriend, by developer Pigeonation Inc (or is it Hato Moa?), is a high-school style dating sim set in Japan… in a high school populated entirely by birds. The only human character in this high school is the player, who — following conventions — has to take classes, survive school shenanigans, and foster an active dating life… with one of the many, many eligible single birds.
Or, at least, that’s what I’ve managed to gather on Hatoful Boyfriend. I’ve been told that it’s good, and that it’s ridiculous, and that it’s ridiculously good. And right here, right now, I intend to find out for myself how much of that is true.
(Spoiler levels: Narrative, medium-high. Mechanical, complete. But it’s a visual novel, so who cares?)
After the break: Hatoful Boyfriend. Yes, it’s a dating sim with birds in it. It’s also… really surprisingly good?
Hot on the heels of last week’s adventures into linear storytelling and boobs, I found myself browsing Sekai Project‘s website for games. Sakura Spirit made such an… impression on me, I just had to see what other games this studio has under their wing. Were they all going to be glorified cutscenes with half-naked fox girls?
While thus trawling the possibility space, I ran across a game called Sunrider: Mask of Arcadius. It confused me, because… it seems to have all the trappings of a visual novel game, what with the talking heads and the dialogue flow controls and the many multi-coloured anime ladies. A perfect fit for VNADS. But then it also seems to promise tactical turn-based battle gameplay featuring spaceships and giant robots. Seriously, a significant number of the Steam screenshots for it are taken up by hex grids in space and exploding star cruisers.
Oh, and it’s also entirely free on Steam.
A free visual novel, made by the same guys who made an expensive visual novel I disliked? But which is also a turn-based tactics game? Compute, this does not. Obviously I had to go check it out.
(Spoiler levels: Narrative, low to medium. Mechanical, medium.)
After the break: Sunrider. *False advertising*: I never get to ride *any* suns.