HuniePop Review

Title: HuniePop
Release date: 2015-01-19
Developer: HuniePot
Publisher: HuniePot (download edition) / MangaGamer (physical edition)

Well hello, boys and girls! Are you not having much luck in getting a date for your evenings?! Never fear, for an ingenious company "HuniePot" has released a dating simulation game "HuniePop", which will show you the ropes. In just a few easy steps you will be able to become real nampa masters. I can attest to the success in using the said game to achieve my goals. In just a few days my sex life quality has improved by 100 %, after all, getting some virtual pussy is a 100 % improvement over not getting pussy at all...

In all seriousness, HuniePop is a dating simulation slash tile-matching video game. It sets a goal for you to seduce all 12 available girls within the game, and if you are capable enough, the seduction will end in a "happy ending". The plot of the game is incredibly barebones. You are an unlucky NoName McLoser who makes a pass at a pretty girl in the bar and is shot down pretty badly. There is a twist, though - the said girl, Kyu, is really a love fairy and she decides to make you her personal project. In other words, you are about to be instructed on how to become a regular Casanova. Under the tutelage of Kyu you go out meeting girls, dating them and spending your hard earned money (or "munie", as it is spelled in the game) on them... just like in real life. Kyu gives you a stalking device which lets you track the location of various girls and contains personal information about them. Say what you want, but I want such a device for real - it would make it so much easier if I could stalk the specimens of female gender without attracting undue attention of your unfriendly neighbourhood law enforcement officers.
Kyu has a proper girl mentality.
After playing HuniePop I finally know why I have no success with women. Obviously I just didn't understand their needs; apparently keeping a woman happy is like keeping a Tamagotchi alive. You just have to never forget to feed and water them. :-) There is a certain structure to the gameplay of HuniePop. Whenever you meet a girl you can talk to her, invite her on a date or open your inventory and shower her with gifts, food and drinks. Every action you do consumes Food Bar, and when it reaches zero the girl will refuse to do anything with you until you feed her. It's very much like keeping a pet, only better looking and less intelligent one.

Talking will randomly spark one of the three probable actions: you will be given a chance to ask the girl personal questions, and her answers will be saved within the stalking device, the girl will ask you general questions about yourself and you will have to provide a suitable answer fitting the girl's personality, or the girl will quiz you about the personal details you previously asked, and Gods help if you get them wrong! Talking (and answering the questions in the "correct" manner) will give you "hunie" points, which are used to upgrade your Traits and subsequently making the dating game easier.
The game doesn't forget to advise you about plying your date with booze. It makes sooo much easier getting into her pants.
Once in a day you can ask every girl for a date, which will start a tile-matching game. Which tells me that I've been doing the dating thing wrong for years! In order to have a successful date you just have to engage your chosen girl in a Bejeweled like match-three puzzle game. Curse you life! Every prospective bachelor should be privy to this knowledge! Ehem... anyway, I have tried Bejeweled for the first time just after finishing HuniePop, in order to make a comparison. In my not so humble opinion, the puzzle game in HuniePop is much more interesting and engaging than Bejeweled by a large margin. There are four types of so called Affection tokens on the grid (Sexuality, Flirtation, Romance and Talent) and every girl has her favoured tokens, which garner the largest gain of Affection if matched correctly. However, the most important type of token on the grid is the Passion token. Passion serves as the Affection multiplier. The higher your Passion level, the larger amount of Affection you gain from matching tokens on the grid. Joy tokens give you additional moves if matched and sentiment tokens allow you to use Date Gifts. Moreover, you have to strive to avoid matching Broken Heart tokens, as they lower your total Affection. All in all, it is not as complicated as it sounds, and the dating game is really engaging and addictive, especially in the later stages, where strategical thinking must be applied in order to grasp the victory.
Aww... Audrey likes frills.
Every date gets harder and harder, because you have to obtain more and more Affection in the same set number of moves. There is a secret, though. Apparently, if you maximize the girl's food level before going on a date, you start the game with 24 moves, instead of the usual 20. Moreover, if you get the girl completely drunk, you start with 6 Sentiment. Initially I didn't realize that and struggled with some dates. Once I understood that it's important to fill the Food and Drinks bars before the date, and only engage in idle conversations and gifting after the date, I didn't have any more problems. Also, it's important to update your Traits with "hunie" points. Choose one type of token to update initially, as not to spread your updates too thin. Additionally, don't forget to keep updating Passion at the same time. Maxing Passion as quickly as possible is a key to victory.

Date gifts are very important during the later stages and they make a difference between a successful date and a failure. After various experimentations I found my own six gift combination which worked for me every time:
1. Stuffed Penguin - converts Broken Hearts into Joy tokens
2. Stuffed Sheep - gives a level of Passion for every two Broken Hearts on the grid
3. Pink Mary Janes - give 1 Sentiment for every 3 Passion match
4. Pink Lily - consumes all Passion tokens on the grid
5. Sunflower - consumes and gives an extra movement for every Joy token on the grid (minus the first two)
6. Heart Necklace - brings the Passion level to zero and gives 2 % of Affection for every level consumed
I would usually open the session with Pink Mary Janes, follow by Stuffed Sheep, then Stuffed Penguin and Sunflower. Heart Necklace is the ultimate finishing move and Pink Lily can get you out of a bind, but is not as important as the other gifts.
Yeah, spiritual people really like mushrooms.
I found the gameplay aspect of "HuniePop" very fun. It was challenging without being too hard, and it was simply fun. On the other hand, the dating simulation was not as well realized. Simply put, there was just too little plot for my taste. I like the girls in such games to be just a tad more developed (and I'm not talking about the chest region). Sure, every girl has her own likes and dislikes, but beyond the first meeting, where the girls engage in two-sided conversations, there is no character development. Nonetheless, the writing is really strong and the existing conversations are snappy and funny. The girls briefly come across as real characters (sadly it's only for a short while), instead of usual anime stereotypes. Ironically that makes some of them really unlikable, because real people suck.

It's probably no surprise that the most developed character is fairy Kyu herself. She banters with the protagonist the most, and has the most outrageous and scandalous lines. In one word, she is a nymphomaniac, in the very best meaning of the word. Kyu is a complete pervert, who constantly chatters about such things like her "girl-boner" for Asian chicks. She is also one of the four "secret" datable girls within the game. You can start "romancing" her after bedding at least one other girl.
Jessie knows what the world wants.
Kyu is without a doubt my favourite girl. There are two runner ups: Jessie Maye and Audrey Belrose. Jessie is a sultry porn star and another completely uninhibited woman. She drinks, smokes and is definitely not great about a long time commitment, but that is exactly why I like her so much. Audrey is a mega bitch. No, seriously, that's how Kyu calls her. She is a loud, obnoxious, drug-using goth with anger management problems. Her constant tsuntsun behaviour was so wickedly delicious, and she has enough personality to actually be interesting.

Aiko Yumi is the most unteacherly teacher in the whole world. She cares more about sleeping and gambling, than she does about actually teaching. At first she appeares moderately interesting, but quickly loses her steam.
Audrey knows how to compliment her hairdresser.
Tiffany Maye is the most boring of the heroines. Seriously, she is more like Tiffany, who? You will forget her a minute after meeting her. She's also Jessie's daughter, but that aspect of their relationship is sadly never explored.

Kyanna Delrio is a single Latina mom. She is another completely boring person with zero personality. What's worse, is that her "mom" role never actually figures in the relationship. All she cares about is working up in the gym and her son is never again mentioned after the first conversation.

Beli Lapran is a spiritual Indian yoga instructor with a love for junk food. Nice contradiction that... Otherwise she is nothing special... except for being the only gal with pussy hair.

Eventually there are two girls whom I actively hated. Lola Rembrite is the absolutely worst choice. She is a workaholic overachiever with a personality of a brick and a really creepy outlook on life. Nikki Ann-Marie is a nerdy and socially awkward gamer-chick. Usually that would make her interesting to me, but personality wise she is a complete opposite of her trope. Nikki is an egotistic bitch, who looks down on everyone else but herself. She is like a light-weight version of Audrey, but where Audrey is charming, Nikki comes across as a mental case. Do not want!
Would you like some coffee, Master?
Momo is the second secret heroine. Buy goldfish whenever they appear in the shop, and discard them from the inventory while you are outdoors during the day. Cue the appearance of a submissive catgirl, who is looking for her master. She is pretty cute, but not very interesting.

Celeste is the most difficult to get secret girl. Once you are able to romance Kyu, give her your dirty magazine and you'll receive a strange device. Bring the device to the beach during the night and try to give it to the girl waiting there. She will refuse. Try to leave the beach and an alien girl will appear. Celeste is a token blue space babe; she is also an intergalactic bounty hunter. I liked Celeste quite a bit, and her BDSM costumes played not a small role in that.

Venus is the final secret character who appears once all the non-secret girls have been bedded at least once. Obviously you know who she is. Venus is aloof and very proud, as befitting her Goddess stature. She is a mediocre character with neither bad nor good qualities.
Celeste's costume includes nipple clamps... I repeat CELESTE'S COSTUME INCLUDES NIPPLE CLAMPS!!!
Once you had four successful dates with any girl, you have to bring her on the fifth date during the night. This allows you to eventually have a sexual encounter with a girl. I was slightly disappointed that there were no traditional sex scenes as they are seen in visual novels. This game's sexual encounters are expressed through a speed-match game, which results in a girl having an orgasm and you getting a few still sexual pictures. I felt that the speed-match game was mildly frustrating, but the pictures make up for that.

"HuniePop" is a great looking game. Everything is polished and very professional looking. The sprites look a bit too much "waxy" - more like mannequins than real flesh and blood girls, however the CGs are superbly good looking (both sexual and not). There are two versions of the game: censored and not. Astonishingly, the censored version on Steam actually retains sexual CGs, they are just locked and normally inaccessible. However, Steam version can be uncensored by simply creating a blank file within the game directory and naming it "".
Beli keeps it all natural.
The biggest surprise was a quality of voice acting in the game. It's no huge secret that amateur voice actors usually suck hard. Thus imagine my surprise when I heard the voices in "HuniePop". Kyu's voice is obviously the cutest one, but no girl does her job wrong. There were a few nitpicks, like Audrey's actress slightly overacting and Aiko's - not really fitting the character she was playing, but overall I was supremely satisfied with the effort put into that aspect of the game.

To sum up, I found "HuniePop" to be an addictive little game. The dating aspect was pretty lackluster, but gameplay and visuals were very solid. The lack of any meaningful plot hurts the game quite a lot, as without greater incentive for playing the game eventually becomes repetitive and starts bordering on boring. It would have really helped the immersion if the girls interacted between themselves outside of the introductory conversation or if they were better characterized. Still, for a debut work I consider "HuniePop" a success. Let's hope that other games from this developer will have more meat to get our teeth in.

Links of Interest

Developer's site
Developer's DeviantART page
Buy the digital uncensored game on developer's site or MangaGamer
Buy the digital censored game on Steam
Buy an uncensored physical edition on J-list or MangaGamer

Final Verdict: 62%

1 comment:

  1. "The game doesn't forget to advise you about plying your date with booze. It makes sooo much easier getting into her pants."
    What did they say about GHB?

    After reading your review, I understand why I, too, suck so much in love. That was very instructing. Thank you.
    *sudden need to practice with Puyo Puyo*