So let’s be 100% honest here: I knew what I was getting into when I bought Hunie Pop. I’d seen several people on YouTube play various parts of the game, including the “bedroom” scenes; I knew it was half dating sim and half Candy-Crush puzzler. If that were all, I probably wouldn’t have cared enough to spend $10 on it.
But the writing. It was the strong, quirky dialogue and fun characters that hooked me into trying the game, and overall I’m glad I gave it a try. Mature content warning ahead!
I can keep this section pretty short because I already summarized gameplay pretty well. But make no mistake: these systems are simple in their design, but not shallow.
Edit: I said short, then realized that was a dumb assumption to make. Either way, here’s an overview of how Hunie Pop works!
Gettin’ Dem Hunies
You have two sets of “points” to keep track of: Munie and Hunie. Munie are the points needed to make the characters do something and Hunie are the points needed to allow you (the player) to do something. It’s easier to explain it through the usual process, so let’s do that!
The player wants to chat with one of the eligible ladies, Aiko. Initiating a conversation earns you 50 Hunie and 2 blips of Aiko’s “hunger” meter. Aiko asks the player a question about himself. He answers in a way that she likes, so he earns 200 Hunie as a bonus. Hooray!
The player attempts to chat with Aiko again, but since her “hunger” meter is at zero, all she does is complain about how she wants some food. You then use Munie to purchase food for her (she’ll only take food that she likes!), which fills up her hunger meter so that you can continue activities.
You can also purchase drinks for your girl to keep her tipsy, so that every time you chat with her you earn more than the usual 50 Hunie each round*. You can also purchase gifts to make the girls happy, too. This gives you more Hunie and also can earn you special items to use during your dates (which we’ll get to shortly) and unlock different hair styles and outfits for your ladies to wear.
Hunie, in the meantime, is what you need to upgrade your stats which directly affect how easy or difficult the date puzzle games are. After you’ve beaten the usual end game, you can also trade in Hunie to purchase items for your girls directly, instead of being at the mercy of what the store randomly has in its inventory.
*I know it says differently on the image, but this is a screenshot from my nearly 100% completed game. The more successful dates you have, the more default Hunie you get just from talking with her.
One Does Not Simply Date A Hunie
Getting dates with these girls is as easy as clicking the button. They never refuse you. The only limit is that you can only go on a date with them once a day. That’s it. Even if you failed a date yesterday, they will always accept your proposal the next one. If only things were that easy, yeah?
The dates consist of a “simple” 3-Match puzzle game with a limited number of moves(20). You need to earn x number of points before your moves run out, and specific girls give more points when you match 3+ specific symbols in a row. Fortunately, this information is easily referenced in the “HunieBee” — your girl information tracker.
Your HunieBee also shares information about her preferred Gift, Food, and Drink types. Not that her desired traits refer only to the date puzzle games, not the answers she likes when chatting with her.
In this example with Kyanna, our goal would be to match as many blue Talent tokens as much as possible. Her least desired trait, the orange Romance tokens, won’t have any negative affect — they’ll just give fewer points. The only tokens you want to avoid are the purple Broken Heart tokens, which destroys a good chunk of points you’ve had so far. I’ve had too many failures thanks to these damn things!
Fortunately, not all hope is lost! You have other tokens and items at your disposal to help make your life easier. Helpful tokens include pink Passion, gold Bells, and light blue Sentiments (the tear drops!).
Passion tokens are the most important, as they act as the multipliers to the tokens you match. The more you collect, the more points you’ll earn for correct matches of the others.
The Bell tokens give you one more move when you match three of them together, which is very important when things get down to the wire!
And finally, the Sentiment tokens: these allow you to use the Date items that you see in the bottom-center of the screen. These items can be earned by making your girls happy, and perform various miracles such as removing all Broken Heart tokens, increasing the appearance of a certain kind of token, doubling your Passion level, and much more.
Wait, so is there a plot?
Yes, indeed! It’s a shallow story, sure, but that’s exactly what you’d expect from a game like this — and it is hilariously self-aware, too.
You play a lonely, awkward virgin guy (or girl!) who is approached by a hot chick one night at the bar. After completely striking out, she reappears in your room the next day and reveals herself to be a Love Fairy called Kyu. She decides to make you her new project and, from that point on, acts as your tutorial / wingwoman in your conquest to get laid.
That’s it. That’s the whole thing. Short, sweet, and sassy!
Who Am I Dating?
There are eight lovely bachelorettes that you can pursue from the start, plus one that shows up after your V-Card is successfully given up. Once you sleep with all eight, another shows up. Then there are two secret unlockables that you can earn by discarding two items at the beach. This makes for twelve fabulous Hunies in all, but for now I’ll just talk about the main ones:
- Beli: A yoga instructor of the Indian persuasion. She’s kind of shy and very conservative, although that doesn’t stop her from sending you sexy photos, so… best of both worlds!
- Jessie: An adult film actress who can best be described as sultry. The game directly describes her as a MILF and a “cougar”, and she has no qualms about casual sex or wanting to be spoiled financially. She’s also fellow bachelorette Tiffany’s mother. (Yep. Just don’t think about it too hard. It’s just a game.)
- Aiko: A sarcastic, mature college professor with a great sense of humor. She’s obviously Japanese and enjoys gifts and drinks of that culture, but she’ll laugh outright and say “oh my god, that’s so racist” when she receives a pair of chopsticks as a gift.
- Tiffany: A girl-next-door type college student and Jessie’s daughter. She’s a studious, well-meaning young lady who I cannot believe is related to a porn star. Like, really!
- Nikki: A misanthropic, reclusive cafe barista who loves “classic” games. I know she is the favorite of A LOT of people, probably because she reminds them of themselves; but seriously, she was so reluctant and awkward with her speech patterns that the novelty wore off on me quick. But that’s just my opinion.
- Lola: An ambitious airline stewardess who’s always on the go! She’s got a bit of a competitive streak in her, too.
- Audrey: A megabitch. That is really what the game describes her as. A megabitch. She’s like the Japanese tsundere except more rude, angry, and selfish. Also, she likes to get high a lot. Her unique gift type is “narcotics.”
- Kyanna: An energetic single mom who loves working out and makes her living as a hair dresser. My introduction to her was her and Audrey screaming at each other in an argument in the middle of the mall, but she’s a genuinely nice girl outside of that one confrontation.
What I liked the most about the array of women in this game was that they were all pretty diverse; they varied in age, ethnicity, social standing, personality… the only thing I wish they diversified more was the voice cast. Now, I’m sure this came down to an issue of “they cast who they could with the resources they had” so I’m not knocking the game for it. In fact, all the actresses do a fabulous job and I’m thrilled that the game is fully voice-acted! I was just surprised to learn that all the girls were voiced by different ladies, especially since some of them sound pretty similar at times.
Sounds, Sights, and Sex
The game itself looks relatively professional, with vibrant beautiful backgrounds and well-proportioned anime-style characters. I would have liked to see more than one pose for each girl, but at least their facial expressions varied. I also liked their addition of other hair styles and outfits that you could unlock and choose for the ladies, although some of their fashion design choices are…questionable.
Audio-wise, I’ve already mentioned my love for and opinions on the voice cast. The music is also pretty catchy, although nothing mind-blowing, and does its job of setting the mood for each different location and event.
But what you all want to know about is the sex, right? That’s the goal of the game, after all. Well, sorry to bust your bubble, but the actual doing it is just a second round of the usual match-symbol date puzzle. The only difference is that you’re not limited by your number of moves and you can’t actually fail the sex sequence. You just need to match as many as you can as quick as you can to reach the goal number of points, which decreases over time if left alone.
Upon completing your sex, you’ll get a nice photo of your date in the nude post-coitus, usually in a scandalous pose and covered in… sweat. And other things. The game can only be distributed on Steam in its “censored” mode, but the creators have linked to the file and instructions needed to patch it to experience the game…fully. Or something.
But You’re A Girl! Weren’t you offended?
Now, I’m not saying I’m the norm — far from it. But this game doesn’t offend me in the slightest. Sure, I roll my eyes at the shallow concept of “TELL A GIRL WHAT YOU WANT TO HEAR SO YOU CAN BANG HER AFTER FOUR DATES” but the game doesn’t take itself seriously or tries to promote its tactics as the ideal way of approaching ladies. You’re just trying to get your character laid. That’s it. You’re not supposed to be romantic or develop an actual relationship. Everything is casual and flirty! If that’s not your thing, then you probably won’t like HuniePop. But if you can take the game as it is and understand that are going to be pursuing super sexual anime girls with a crude love pixie as your wingwoman? You’ll have just as much fun as I did.
Also, I’m glad this game has done very well because I am really hoping they do a male version of this game someday. That’d be hot.
Buy HuniePop on Steam for $9.99 here today!