Visual novels are a very particular genre for videogames. Some even place them as their own media, rather than consider them games at all, like Tv Tropes does. In general they have their own separate clichés, slang and audiences than other mediums. It also shares a lot of elements with manga and anime, which makes sense since it’s an adaptation outlet for many works in manga.
Hatoful Boyfriend began as an April Fool’s joke flash game parodying many stereotypes in visual novels and manga. It’s clever and funny writing, combined with the surrealness of it all, made it successful enough to warrant a proper game, fan translations and eventually HD remakes. This is the review for the midquel HD release.
Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star
Hatoful Boyfriend is a
videogame visual novel where you play as a cave-dwelling, hunter-gatherer, teenage girl that is accepted at an all boys pigeon school. Do not let that description put you off, the experience is surprisingly fun and entertaining, and despite the cute birdies it goes from clever to heart wrenching and nightmare inducing. Remember that after seeing this trailer.
Weirdness aside, this is a remarkable game. It doesn’t take itself seriously, but it also is self consistent. Characters react in ways that you’d expect from their personality and history, the stories are amusing and the dialogue hilarious.
The playable character is a never seen young woman who is a self described “hunter gatherer”. Indeed, she appears to live in a cave. The rest of the cast, the pigeons and various birds, are a memorable and funny bunch.
While the game has few choices throughout, in contrast to the other games in the series, the characterization and humor is strong enough to merit a recommendation.
Since there are no gameplay elements to review and saying anything more about the game would be spoilery, enjoy some of the art in these screenshots.
If visual novels are of your fancy or you enjoy detailed characterization, funny moments and surprisingly terrifying stuff, you should totally buy this game!