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I Tried The Game In Which You Seduce Pigeons And It Was Traumatic

Nothing can ever prepare you for Hatoful Boyfriend.

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Hatoful Boyfriend is a Japanese game in which you are a human called Hiyoko who goes to pigeon school. The goal is to seduce and date all the interesting pigeons at said school.

Devolver Digital

It was originally released for Windows in 2011 on April Fool's Day and has developed a cult following since.

The thing is though, not only is it a truly bizarre premise, it's also emotionally harrowing.

every day i dont spend crying myself to sleep over hatoful boyfriend is a day wasted

It's actually a parody of Japanese otome games where the goal is to have a romantic encounter with someone.

I'm finally getting around to playing Hatoful Boyfriend....and it's just as ridiculous as I imagined.

Except instead of people, the characters are birds, and instead of romantic encounters, there is pain and bird facts.

hatoful boyfriend ruined me i will never recover from this...............

It's now been released for iOS, which means you can seduce pigeons on the go.

Just FYI, the blue box is like a speech bubble and who is speaking is shown in the white box just above it. So when it says "Hiyoko", that's my character speaking.
Devolver Digital

Just FYI, the blue box is like a speech bubble and who is speaking is shown in the white box just above it. So when it says "Hiyoko", that's my character speaking.

I decided to give this game a go and I can honestly say that I was not prepared.

WARNING: **SPOILERS AHEAD**Also, I've never actually played any of the otome games that this is a parody of. Please don't be mad at me if I don't get some of the tropes and jokes.
Devolver Digital

WARNING: **SPOILERS AHEAD**

Also, I've never actually played any of the otome games that this is a parody of. Please don't be mad at me if I don't get some of the tropes and jokes.

The game starts off with you being introduced to all the sexy pigeon characters. After that, you are put in situations in which you get the opportunity to find out more about each character and eventually get them to fall in love with you.

Devolver Digital

The first time I played it, I flirted with all of them and almost immediately died.

I was murdered by a secret society because I failed to properly assimilate and befriend the pigeons. It's good to know that I am flighty and scared of commitment even when it comes to pigeon dating simulators.
Devolver Digital

I was murdered by a secret society because I failed to properly assimilate and befriend the pigeons. It's good to know that I am flighty and scared of commitment even when it comes to pigeon dating simulators.

Like, it was terrifying.

Devolver Digital

In fact, the whole game has some pretty terrifying post-apocalyptic vibes to it.

Devolver Digital

The second time round, somewhat shaken and having learnt my lesson, I decided to focus on just one pigeon. One thing led to another and before I knew it I was hitting on my pigeon maths teacher who has a tendency to fall asleep at random times.

Devolver Digital

I also had another brief murderous encounter for some reason, this time with the school doctor, who shut me in a dark room and refused to let me out.

Devolver Digital

Thankfully, my bird lover saved me.

Devolver Digital

Brushing the attempted murder aside, I end up finding an excuse to run after him and confess my love.

Devolver Digital

Only to have him reject me, because he was too hurt from another love affair and also I'm a student.

The fact we're different species is not really a concern, though.
Devolver Digital

The fact we're different species is not really a concern, though.

But then, he told me he will wait for me, if in many years later, as an adult, I still loved him.

Honestly I almost welled up at my desk.
Devolver Digital

Honestly I almost welled up at my desk.

Undeterred, I started a final game, determined to find true love with the pigeon of my dreams.

Devolver Digital

Everything was going swimmingly; it was even revealed that my character saved his life.

I mean, if that isn't a reason for someone to fancy you, then what is?
Devolver Digital

I mean, if that isn't a reason for someone to fancy you, then what is?

But he has a tragic backstory: He has severe health problems, as does his mother. He also has to work in a cross-dressing café to support himself and his mum.

Devolver Digital

What happened next was not what I have ever expected of a pigeon dating game.

Devolver Digital

His mother died. I never expected to be left vaguely emotionally traumatised by the death of a fictional pigeon on an iPhone app, but life is strange in that way.

Devolver Digital

And though he loved me, being with me would be cruel, because he would only leave me alone in the world like his mother left him, and he couldn't infilict that pain on someone he loved.

Devolver Digital

But I persisted, and eventually convinced my pigeon lover that pain is part of life, and whatever happened the love we have for each other would make it all worthwhile.

Devolver Digital

The story ends with us tearfully deciding to spend whatever time we have left on this planet happily together.

Even though humans on average outlive pigeons by approximately 68 years.
Devolver Digital

Even though humans on average outlive pigeons by approximately 68 years.

I was left feeling oddly emotionally vulnerable for the rest of the day.

you walk into hatoful boyfriend like "lmao im gonna romance a pigeon" then you walk out a shell of your former self

I will never again make the foolish, naive assumption that a game based around seducing pigeons will be funny rather than totally devastating.

If you too would also like to get more emotionally involved in a pigeon dating game than you ever thought possible, you can get it in the iTunes Store for £3.99.