Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Sample Review: My Take on the new puzzle game/Dating Sim hybrid, Huniepop

I've loved games for as long as I could remember, but for some reason, it never struck me to write them as those at Kotaku, Polygon and elsewhere do. In light of recent events within the gaming industry, I've been looking at the craft with a more analytical eye, and before I even realized what happen, I ended up writing something strongly in the vein of what those people write. After looking at what I wrote, I thought, "Maybe there's something worth polishing in this," and decided to post up my sample I cooked up. If you look what you see, be sure to let me know what you think!


Gaming has always been held up to great scrutiny in the media eye. From the congressional hearings held about Mortal Kombat, the Columbine shootings being connected to the first person shooter, Doom and Grand Theft Auto being accused of encouraging both violence and, recently, sexist behavior against women. In this light, there's a new game on the market that's so risque, Twitch will ban you if you try to stream it.

Which game is this, you might be wondering?

None other than the successfully Kickstarted Huniepop

For those unfamiliar, I'm just gonna say this: if you don't like puzzle games, dating sims, anime waifus(female characters inspiring great infatuation) or expect your waifus to be the most pleasing thing ever, I would strongly suggest giving this a pass.

Still here? Excellent, because you're in for quite a treat with this game!

As stated, this pairs the sweet and sexy action dating sim players expect from the genre with the gameplay you'd expect from a Bejeweled or Candy Crush. This iteration, however, save for the climax of each girl's path, has a very deep sense of strategy to it demanding a lot of forward thinking to do well.

In the puzzle game phase, the outcome of each date you take your girl on is determined by how well you play. The 4 trait pieces, Romance(Orange), Talent(Blue), Flirtation(Green) and Sexuality(Red) fill up the affection meter, with each girl preferring a certain trait and the game giving you only a certain amount of moves to fill it up.

To help with this, there are pink heart pieces, which multiply how much each combo gives you and bell pieces, which give you more moves to work with. Broken heart pieces, in contrast, will take off a chunk of your affection meter while teardrop pieces give you sentiment, the currency needed to use the power-ups you buy and earn during the dating sim portion.

Speaking of, during that portion, not only do you speak to the girls as you would in any standard dating sim, but they also expect you to remember the stuff they've told you, asking you questions about it to see if you're really worth being with. Getting it wrong has no real in-game consequences, but they will not be happy with you, with getting it right getting you closer to them. The closer you get to them, the racier the pictures they send you after each date gets, the questions they ask growing ever more personal (such as when the single mother, Kyanna, asks for your stance on abortion, in order to determine how much your views mesh with hers).

As a dating sim made around American culture, the sensibilities you'll see will also be much different from what you'd typically see in a dating sim. Take, for example, this scene featuring said single mother and Audrey, the super obnoxious party girl of the game. Not exactly the happy go lucky kinda waifu here, is it? The same can be said of the whole cast of girls, which include a flight attendant, a fairy, a self-centered porn star mother, her cheerleading, hard studying daughter, a nerdy shut-in, and many others, all of which you can charm to the final puzzle game, a mad dash to match as much as possible to fill a constantly depleting meter in order to fully satisfy them (you can tell that from how wild they sound, as seen in this final scene with Aiko, the professor).

Dig all that? Then be sure to head to and grab the game for only $10!
(if you're looking to play the game in its full, uncensored glory, be sure to visit this post by the game's creator for instructions)

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