Editor’s note: This is an opinion editorial, made to reflect the views of the LewdGamer staff.
Author’s note: Prior to reviewing the game, I bought HuniePop with my own cash money, because I am a perv and like boobs and columns.
Upon first diving into HuniePop I honestly had zero expectations. As the saying goes, expect nothing and you’ll never be disappointed. At first glance, HuniePop looks much like any other gem matching game with lewd CGs. It comes across as kind of underwhelming and more of the same old fare, but now for some reason, available through Steam. However, within just the first five minutes of playing it, the game had changed my mind entirely. Taking the more conventional aspects of puzzle games and a dating sims, HuniePop mashes them together, while bringing it’s own innovations to both genres in one lewd package. When you first begin HuniePop you are offered the option to play as either a male or female character, which right off the bat made me super happy. Playing through, I was ultimately able to build a yuri super harem, enjoying all the lewd and tawdry benefits one might expect.
In HuniePop, I found it quite refreshing to see a dating sim game that allows you the opportunity to play as either a straight dude or as a gay female. There are very few avenues for me as a gamer and pervert to explore my yuri-mania without somehow turning my fiance into a “cuck.” For this, allowing me the options to indulge in such within the safety of a game, I found myself appreciating personally on multiple levels.
The game starts your character being that of a guy/girl who is basically a super virgin betamax of dating fail. After a chance encounter with a girl in a bar, your character is lead on a lurid adventure through the local dating scene.With Kyu, the Based Love Fairy as your guide, you are offered tips and tricks for success with the bootylicious ladies in town. Within the world of HuniePop, she serves the role of a sexy version of the Microsoft Paperclip, yet not nearly as annoying and actually helpful in your quest to score with all ‘ze wimmins’ you encounter.Kyu hooks you up with a HuniBee, a smartphone type device that gives you access to a gift shop, your inventory, girl profiles and the current locations of each girl.
The puzzle game portion of HuniePop takes place during the dates in the game. Though pretty straight forward, it quickly becomes more challenging as the game progresses. The Date Grid is made up of Affection Tokens. These encompassing Romance, Flirtation, Talent and Sexuality. Each girl you meet has a prefered Affection token type, with your goal then being to match up 3 or more tokens to raise the affection meter to maximum and win your date. If you match 4 or more affection tokens, you have a chance of being rewarded with a Power Token, which are worth way more Affection points when matched, allowing you to raise the affection meter more rapidly in the course of play.
Additionally, there are other token types as well. Joy, Passion, and Sentiment tokens are used to gain field bonuses like additional moves and score multipliers. Sentiment is then spent to give gifts to your waifu during the date, which can add all kinds of awesome buffs and ways to clear the field.After each successful date, your level and difficulty goes up with that particular girl, so each following date grid puzzle will require more points to complete for the date to be successful.
It is VERY worth it.
After the third date your waifu will send you a very lewd picture. And what should happen if your fourth date is a success? You get to take her home and make sticky delicious messes. This will in turn trigger another puzzle type, for which there is no state of failure on your sexy funtime puzzle grid. In this, you just have to match 3 or more matching tokens as fast as possible in a race against the ever falling and rising meter. You are then rewarded with a super lewd CG of your waifu after your first successful sexy-time. Sadly though, there are no additional lewd CGs from the girls after you’ve sexed them up once.
This makes me gushy.
The dating sim portion of this game is itself, lifted up from the more stale and tired visual novel standard by way of superb voice acting, well written dialogue, and interesting backstories. Gameplay wise, this portion of the game revolves around asking the girls questions and answering those which they ask you. Correct answers reward you with Huni Points which are used to upgrade your character’s traits. Upgrading your traits impacts the puzzle portion of the game, and even with your traits maxed out while playing on normal difficulty, dates can continue to be challenging. This is also where you can obtain Date Gifts, items that can be used during the date puzzles at the cost of Sentiment, to add buffs, clear tokens, change/remove Broken Heart tokens and a whole host of other benefits. To get these gifts, you must buy your chosen waifu presents from the HuniBee app store. These gifts cost “Munie,” the in game currency you earn through dating. As an added bonus, giving your waifu a gift grants you additional Huni points.
On the more artistic, technical side of the game. I found the voice acting devoid of the usual problems I have with English anime dub actors. Throughout the game, each girl is voiced perfectly, with tone and inflection both in line with her individual personality and backstory. There were even some genuine laugh out loud moments when one character named Audrey was on screen. With her dialogue and voice acting as perfect as they are, the character is presented like a super foul mouthed, pill popping version of Asuka from Evangelion.
She definitely hurt some Whore Feelings.
The sexy moans and happy noises each girl makes during the sexy time events are magnificent. I had to have some alone time after playing with a certain bonus girl. As well as the voices and gameplay, the artwork and character design of each girl is superb. Though the characters themselves are not completely animated, their faces are, which convey a great amount of feeling which complement the awesome dialogue and voice work wonderfully. Though the art style may be pure anime each girl is unique, without any of the reused face types or hairstyles that plague other games in the Dating Sim VN genre.
Breaking away from the typical anime fare, HuniePop offers us characters of varying ethnic backgrounds, Kyanna, Beli, Lola, and Aiko are all minorities and each add awesome diversity to the dating character pool.
Each line of dialogue is written in a wonderfully natural way and is delivered flawlessly by the game’s highly talented cast of voice actors. Every word, statement and question heard feels ‘real,’ as though it had been uttered by a friend in conversation, or overheard at a coffee shop. Adding to this excellent audio experience, the score and music to the game is also very well used, setting just the right mood in each location and with each girl. By these standards of VO and music, HuniePop blows away much of its competition in this area. The sound production values are also rather good on their own, with the only slight flaw picked up by my audio engineer’s ears coming from the character of Beli character upon the first time you meet her. This slight and subtle flaw however is otherwise absent from the rest of the characters’ dialogue throughout the game.
Along with the main girls there are four separate unlockable characters, adding an extra level of challenge in obtaining a 100% clearing of the game. Though a fun and lewd experience, one main flaw to HuniePop is replayability, which beyond playing through again as a different gender, does seem rather limited at the moment. Additionally the lack of a Free Play mode, where you just open the game and play the puzzle portion of it, kind of kills a bit of the excitement for me. Perhaps in the future we may see some additional content like different puzzle game modes or more girls to play with. But as it stands right now, the game doesn’t really offer up much of a replay factor.
The Judgement of Socks:
Overall, HuniePop is a refreshing take on both the dating sim and puzzle genres. Even with it’s small flaws in audio production, one little typo in the dialogue text, and lack of replayability at this stage, HuniePop is a pretty great game.
It is itself interesting, the puzzles are engaging, the girls are entertaining, and the art is quite gorgeous. If one is looking for a title to get their feet wet in the erotic game pool, or if you’re already an old guard eroge player, then HuniePop is definitely worth checking out.
(Socks’ Pro Tip: Buy it either from Manga Gamer or the Devs own site, you get the uncensored version AND a Steam key. If you only have the steam version, you can follow these steps to uncensor HuniePop.)
Coming soon: Socks’ Video Review of HuniePop