Hatoful Boyfriend is... Well, let's save space. This is the worlds best - and to my knowledge, ONLY - Pigeon Dating Game. You are a young woman who dates pigeons! The premise is hilarious, and the writing is good enough to keep ya around even after the initial shock has worn off. If you're someone who plays quality Visual Novels, like Katawa Shoujo, without thinking too much of the premise, you'll find very interesting characters, some great laughs - and well, it's a game about dating pigeons! How awesome is that? You have a strong core/supporting cast who each grow from beyond somewhat simple characteristics into quality characters. The originally silly atmosphere becomes part of that story-telling itself... And that is something impressive.
The main character is very interesting - and tied into that story - a modern-day tribalist, who hunts for her own food and survives on her own; yet isn't presented as being unintelligent because of this (though her book-learning leaves a lot to be desired if you don't take the right classes..!). This is a very pleasant change from most of the shrinking violets you play as in these kinds of games, and see fluffing out the supporting cast... But also leads to one of my biggest fault with the game and its writing.
You can be killed by a certain character, with no option to fight back. Putting aside the fact said character is a pigeon and you are supposed to partially 'want' the impending death (which offended me on mindnumbingly stupid level), you don't have the option to TRY. Maybe the character you are opposed by is so fast they can finish you before you wring their neck. Maybe you are shocked and lose ground, or something. But c'mon, really? Thus continues a long (and frankly) disappointing tradition of women in these games being barred from fighting back; again, there is not even an option to attempt so that gets you a 'bad' ending. I am very tired of this, especially when it is coupled with '.. and then you were the inspiration for a bunch of (pigeon) men after your tragic death!.. Gee. Swell.'
Would I still recommend this? Yes, because the writing is very good and the concept - for those who have hit it as a stumbling block - is engaging. But I am very, very tired of implications.