Sunil, Mur, and I share an ongoing “editorial e-chat” and I’ve been hearing about my fellow Associate Editor’s deep enjoyment of this video game for quite a while. As you might imagine, working with Mur and Sunil is a blast (our non-editorial squeeing over the fun and uplifting things in our lives is as enjoyable as our Mothership Zeta work) and I’m glad he agreed to share how much he loves Hatoful Boyfriend with you. Thanks, Sunil! –Karen Bovenmyer, Nonfiction Associate Editor
Hatoful Boyfriend Is the Greatest Pigeon Dating Sim in the History of Human and/or Bird Existence
by Sunil Patel
Imagine you’re a teenage Japanese girl.
This may be easier for some of you than it is for others.
Imagine it’s your first day at a new school. Imagine you’re excited for everything the coming year holds for you, from track meets and student council to cultural festivals and summer jobs.
Now imagine everyone but you is a bird. A literal bird. A fantail pigeon. A rock dove. A chukar partridge. A button quail.
Which bird will steal your heart? Library bird? Sports bird? Best friend bird? Can you, a human girl, find true romance with a bird?
You may think I am describing the stupidest thing ever, but Hatoful Boyfriend is the most fun I’ve had playing a video game in a long time. It’s not a game in the traditional sense but a visual novel you navigate with your choices, which determine which of the multiple endings you get. And because each iteration of the game takes only half an hour, you’ll want to play over and over, making different choices as you pursue a different romantic interest.