Hatoful Boyfriend is a justifiably famous dating sim set in a school populated by pigeons, and you won’t believe how quickly you forget that.
Hatoful Boyfriend is a Japanese indie dating sim by manga artist Moa Hato which did the rounds last year thanks to a much-appreciated fan translation.
In a fit of levity, publisher Devolver Digital and Mediatonic picked the project up for a professional release in the west, making this indie darling accessible to those who find the whole process of getting at obscure translated games a bit difficult.
You can pick Hatoful Boyfriend up come August 22 for Linux, Mac and PC. Pre-orders are now open at 10% off on Steam, and other storefronts including GOG are expected to have it on their books, too.
What differentiates Hatoful Boyfriend from other visual novel style dating sims (beyond its terrific writing and solid design) is that all the potential boyfriends are birds. Specifically, pigeons.
Set after the fall of humanity and the rise of birdkind, Hatoful Boyfriend casts you as the only human female to secure entrance to a prestigious pigeon academy. Being such a special snowflake, you naturally catch the eye of the school’s rogue’s gallery of eligible gentlemen, who begin to woo and coo at you.
I know this sounds batshit insane, but the reason people love this game so much is that it playfully and consciously highlights the absurdity of this kind of game, while at the same kind being a really shining example of type. It’s worth looking at if you have even a passing familiarity with the genre.
Or if you really fancy birds, I guess. Birds are pretty cool.