I found a game a while ago called Hatoful boyfriend: the player is a girl at an all bird high school where she is the only human, it’s sort of a dating game and you choose to do and say different things and that decided who you end up with. At the end of the game you give the bird you like beans. There are fourteen possible different endings to the game. During the game you uncover mysteries that are going on at the school and with each ending you learn new things about various characters and sometimes meet new characters which would have been otherwise missed all together. It’s listed as a visual novel and an indie game, I’m playing it on my computer through steam.
The game no actual moving graphics it’s all made up of still frames and text, there is music but no voice overs. As a game I did really enjoy it the first time, the second time fun still but then it’s slightly repetitive, but I did still desperately want find out all the possible endings, plot twists and secrets. I have spent about 8 hours playing in two days and have almost finished the whole game, I have found myself compelled to finish it as soon as I can, but at the same time is so bizarre I have had to take breaks, I do find myself thinking about it during the breaks still.
*I’m about to talk about the plot next, if you are planning to play it there are spoilers*
The game seems pretty innocent to begin with, weird as anything, but just a high school game. It gets really dark pretty quickly. You find out that the school doctor is performing experiments on the students and cutting them up and he sent us a bird earlier in the game to eat for Christmas that he later tells us was another student. There are other plot lines which are slightly creepy but not like that: there is a student that turns out to be a ghost trapped in the room where he killed himself.
One plot line is just very bizarre there is a bird obsessed by pudding, he starts lots of fights over it and in the end he is a pudding god and accents to haven: he tells us there is a little bit of pudding in all of us. The game has lot a of little word plays in it, they say everybirdie not everybody and anybirdie. There are some pigeons that try and mug you at one point and they are called punkeons. These sort of add to the generally bizarre feeling of the game.
There is a cafe that you have the option of working in and at the end of your career there it gives you a map of where the cafe actually is in japan! It even has a website: birdcafe.jp I thought that this was a really interesting element to the game, it gives it a link to real life.
*I’m about to talk about the ending, so even more spoilers than before here*
After completing all the character endings you get to play a really long, and I mean about 2/3 hour long ending. it explains all the other in the game. you go through abandoned buildings and birds die. the story is pretty complicated, the doctor is actually trying to do the right thing and fulfil the wish one of the pigeons made as a child (can a pigeon ever be a child?) that humans and pigeons would never fight but the way he was going to achieve this was to kill all the humans with a strain of bird flu which doesn’t effect birds only humans. to complicate things the strain of bird flu can only be caught by a bird with a very weak immune system so he has been systematically weakening the pigeon who made the wishes immune system to implant it in him! He manages to implant it in him by force down in an abandoned tunnel but then the doctor is shot and the infected bird stays in the tunnel as quarantine until an antidote might be found. The character that you perviously played at was murdered and her brain put in a scarecrow.
Then after all this there is an epilog, everyone is getting along despite everything that happened, then it suggests they find a cure to all the things the doctor has done in complete this pigeons wish and that now they might all live happily!
I don’t think I can ever look at pigeons or maybe any bird in the same way again.