Of all the strange games to come from Japan over the years, this one might just take the cake as the strangest. Hatoful Boyfriend takes all the normal conventions of typical Japanese dating simulators and replaces all of the characters with pigeons.
Yup, you read that right. “Hatoful,” if written correctly in katakana, can be read as “Heartful,” meaning a boyfriend full of hearts and love, or “hurtful” if your bird of choice breaks your heart. In the most ridiculous play on words ever, “Hato” also translates into “pigeon.” I’m not sure if that helps clear the air or not. Trust me when I say they wring this pun for all its worth.
You play as the last human on Earth, and the only way to repopulate is to score a pigeon boyfriend after enrolling in a pigeon high school. You throw yourself at the attractive birds, hoping one of them will be your boyfriend and your mate.
Although English versions have been made available before, this HD remake of the original is getting an official Steam release thanks to the team behind Amateur Surgeon and Foul Play, and it even features a new ending written by the original creator, Hato Moa. You can pick it up for 10 percent off the $9.99 price tag now, or you can wait until the Aug. 21 release date.
The Hatoful Boyfriend Summer of Dove Collector’s Edition is also available, and it comes with a downloadable soundtrack and digital comic from Hato Moa as well.