Dating can be tough, but dating sims can make the game even harder. Meet the Steam-downloadable title HuniePop, the match-three tiles dating simulation with an adult edge to it. Think of it as Harvest Moon meets a slightly naughty manga.
The Game Review
Set in a village filled with anime ladies ready to be romanced, HuniePop offers a unique twist on both the puzzle game format and dating sim genre.
As a male (or female) hero, players will learn the likes, dislikes, and general quirks of each of the ladies’ personalities all while challenging them with puzzle game “dates.”
Designed and programmed by Ryan Koons, HuniePop is a purely single-player experience and is available in a censored format on Steam and in uncensored versions via Humble Bundle.
Released in 2015, HuniePop is very much a part of the traditional dating sim game, aside from its addition of some more adult elements. Outside of the core matching tile game, HuniePop also lets players earn an in-game currency called Hunie that can be used to level up the player’s stats.
Hunie is earned by interacting with the women which includes talking to them and giving them gifts.
This inclusion of a light role-playing game element makes HuniePop a unique game for its genre.
Leveling your character’s stats increases the chances of success during a date because the player can extract more points from the matching game.
Players who are familiar with touch-based games of a similar nature will note the limited number of moves that you have to complete the required score for the date. But don’t worry – HuniePop doesn’t want you to buy some kind of energy bar or what have you to reset the moves counter.
That said, sometimes you’ll hit a board that’s just impossible in the number of alloted moves and that’s a waste of time.
Further, it doesn’t seem like the matching game has any real strategy to it. Aside from the luck of the draw, players can try to cascade tiles by linking multiple matches together. Doing this requires thorough scans of the playboard for areas where such cascading matches can be made.
The best result is a kind of waterfall effect wherein cleared out tiles disappear, allowing the tiles above them to fall down which passively creates another match via chain reaction.
The best match-3 tile games have this as the essence of the gameplay, but it seems lacking here in HuniePop. There’s too much random chance and that makes parts of the game – especially towards the end – tedious.
Outside of that small quirk, HuniePop is a thoroughly engaging game and a little bit addictive, too. Whether you choose the adult version or the censored version doesn’t impact the core gameplay but it might influence your enjoyment one way or the other.
- Fairly decent puzzle game with a dating sim attached
- Different personalities and character quirks make the ladies of HuniePop interesting
- Beautiful, vibrant graphics and great sound
- Why are you solving puzzles on dates?
- Match-3 gimmick wears thin towards the end
- You can date a bunch of anime girls but that’s about it - why not play Stardew Valley instead?