When I first heard about Hatoful Boyfriend ($4.99) at its original release on Steam back in 2011, it was one of those games that was just so bizarre in concept it had to be played. If there was ever such a thing as a niche, a pigeon dating simulator certainly was one, so beyond the humor of the initial concept, I didn’t expect much. However, I was blown away – Hatoful Boyfriend manages to not only be amusing, but an extensive – and at times shocking – experience, that contains a fantastic visual novel with multiple entertaining endings that are far bigger than merely a parodic take on some of the weirder dating games that have emerged in recent years. When Hatoful Boyfriend was ported to iOS back in May, it was a great excuse to revisit St. PigeoNation, and today, the game has gone on sale for the first time to $2.99, so if the absurdity of the concept initially put you off, this is a fantastic time to find your very first pigeon partner.
In our review for Hatoful Boyfriend, we were incredibly impressed by both its impeccable transition to the smaller screen on the iPhone port, and also how compelling it was to explore every character’s progression through the different story routes of the game. Without wanting to spoil any of the incredible twists and turns to Hatoful Boyfriend – and I’d highly recommend playing through to the final, complete ending – the path that follows Shuu, the school doctor, is particularly gripping, and demonstrates some of the more insidious plot points to the game. Despite the fact that some of the endings are certainly not representative of the colorful app icon and screenshots, Hatoful Boyfriend is memorable mostly for its fantastic writing and humor, and will prove a fantastic stepping stone for anyone looking to get into more complex visual novel titles in a niche and somewhat inaccessible genre. At the very least, voyeuristic gamers will get to see pigeons in the nude, which must count for something. Be sure to share your thoughts on unequivocally the best pigeon dating simulator of all time on our forum thread.