HuniePop is a Dating Sim/Puzzle Game that has gained some attention over using anime-style characters without the anime-style personalities. I have a very limited idea of what I’m getting into, so let’s start.
As first impressions go. The game begins at a bar with me in the shoes of the most beta man on the planet when a woman begins talking to me for seemingly no reason. She then goes off talking about how I’ll see her again later. I presumably finish getting drunk and go home, where she wakes me up in the middle of the night wearing naught but a revealing top and panties. I’ll be completely honest with you here, even the real-life Haze would be wondering what the fuck is going on at this point. So she tells you that you’re basically a loser and that she is going to turn me into a man that can get any lady I want, so basically I’m playing a stay-at-home awkward virgin. Finally, a character I can really relate to! Fortunately for me, my love fairy companion is going to assist me in slapping the booty at high speeds. One of the ways in which she will do this is by giving me the HunieBee which will show me where all of the cute women are. It also lets me use Munie, a magical fairy currency to buy food and gifts. If I could MAKE money from dating I’d probably do that for a living. You also get Hunie which is used to level up your stats, making your puzzle solves more potent. Did I mention I have a really nice bedroom?
HuniePop’s bizarre genre combination actually works out for it. Most dating sims are laid out as a visual novel, to the point where most people think the two genres are set in stone. The problem with visual novels is that they’re basically 100% story-driven; once you go through all the possible outcomes there is virtually no replay value. While it’s still too early to talk about just how replayable HuniePop is, it appears that it will have far more than your typical dating sim. More importantly however, the puzzle sections of the game give you some welcome contrast to the rest of the title. They start off pretty easy, where you can clear them without much trouble in half the moves you’re given, but they do get harder.
It gets a little ridiculous after you’ve gotten your relationship level high enough. Your relationship level is both your progress meter and your difficulty; it increases with each new date you successfully complete (capping at 5 for each girl). Higher difficulties mean you have to get higher points to successfully complete a puzzle. Honestly when you’ve reached level 5 with all the girls it’s quite a struggle to finish even on normal. However it’s all worth it because after date 3 you receive a naughty picture and after date 4 you get to play a riveting game of “hide the salami”.
I’ve talked about how to get “into” the characters, without really getting “into” their personalities. Most dating sims have girls that fall into already pre-defined characteristics for that genre (rich posh girl, shy shrinking violet, athletic sports girl…etc). Unlike traditional dating sims, HuniePop’s characters aren’t so easy to define as “X trope”, since all of them have somewhat flawed personalities that are more relatable to real-life girls you personally might know yourself. That’s where you come in. That one hot girl that was always a bitch to people? You can fuck her. That one sexy teacher? You can fuck her. That one hot cheerleader you knew? You can fuck her. AND her mother! At the same time! Kind of. Like… not a threesome, but you can fuck one behind the others back. Apparently you can get cheated on in this game; it’s never happened to me. But even if it does I can’t be too mad as I’m sleeping with everyone. The game also has some secret characters, but good luck finding them. I mean that; you’ll need it.
The art of the characters is above average, much more than I expected from an independently published title.
Not only are the character profile well drawn, but the lewd scenes showcasing the aftermath of an exciting night of running the dude-piston in her meat-purse made my own whoopie-stick happy. The characters themselves aren’t animated, aside from their eyebrows and mouths, yet I think this is enough to convey the personalities of the girls along side their dialogue. The dialogue is witty and incredibly believable; the majority of what the characters say could be lifted directly from a conversation you’d overhear in your general day to day. While the character interactions with your character are like this, when some of the characters interact with one another they’re rather bizarre and unintentionally funny. While most of the dating sims I’ve played in the past have never had voice acting, this game is fully voiced to the point where you’ll never need to read a single thing the girls say. The voice acting makes the characters believable, matching up with the personalities outlined through their backstories. It’s certainly a good inclusion, and the game wouldn’t be as good without it, especially because the sex noises the characters make while playing and completing puzzles are amazing.