For all of you out there looking for a fun and engaging pigeon dating simulator, then look no further than Hatoful Boyfriend.
Yes, this game is, to put it bluntly, a pigeon dating simulator. A pigeon dating simulator. No matter how many times I say (or type) that, it doesn’t get any more normal. What really slathers the icing on this birdful cake (savory chicken pie?) is that you play as a teenage human hunter-gatherer in an alternate-reality future, looking for a prospective date in a school full of pigeons. Well, if there was ever a simulator for anything…
Seriously though. In Hatoful Boyfriend (the name is pun on the English-borrowed-Japanese word for “heartful” and the Japanese term for pigeon, “hato”) you play in a visual novel as the only human student in a prestigious school for birds. Other than the fact that all of the students and teachers are birds, everything else is pretty normal. You go to classes, participate in festivals, and court your avian friends.
Admit it, you’re just dying to know what’s going on here… right?
Putting aside the fact that your main goal in this game is to get a pigeon date, as far as visual novels go Hatoful Boyfriend plays pretty well. There are three main stats to manage, several interactive opportunities, and many different endings. The storylines are surprisingly complex. The birds are all nice to look at… but not really in the way that the game seems to intend. If you must, you may also choose an option that shows the “human form” of all of the birds, but really, half of the charm of the game lies in the weirdness of an alternate reality filled with sapient birds.
I have nothing else to say about this game, except that it’s the BEST pigeon dating simulator that I’ve ever played. Read more about it here.