HuniePop is a Western Dating Sim, RPG, and Puzzle Game by Ryan Koons. In the game, you play a nameless protagonist whose love life is nonexistent. The goddess of love, disappointed by the lack of romance in your life, decides to send Kyu, a magic love fairy, to help you out. Kyu profiles eight beautiful eligible girls in town and, after a few helpful tips, starts you on your quest for love or lust.
The puzzle section (making up the date portions of the game) is, at its core, fairly standard Bejeweled fare but with some added complexity. The player has to score enough points to fill an Affection meter within 20 turns, and each girl has favorite and least favorite token types that change how many points each give out, along with Passion tokens that increase a score multiplier, Joy tokens that give extra moves, Sentimentality tokens that allow the use of special items, and Heartbreak tokens that penalize you if you match them.
Aside from leveling up a girl's relationship status, clearing a date also gives the player money to purchase gifts for use in the dating sim section, where the player talks to the girls to acquire "Hunie", which is then used to upgrade various traits (such as token effectiveness, lessening heartbreak penalties and increasing the score multiplier cap for Passion tokens) for use in the puzzle section.
The game was developed by Ryan Koons with several artists (Kopianget, Agata Wiejak, Ninamo, Kaskia and Pinguin-Kotak), and music composed by Jonathan Wandag. Brad Brown of the webcomic Blaster Nation was originally attached to write it, until he left over creative differences. The game was released on January 19th 2015, and became an unexpected hit.
Later in 2015, the developers announced HunieCam Studio, a spinoff business simulator game in which the player manages a Cam-girl business empire, featuring most of the original HuniePop girls plus several new characters. It was released April 4th, 2016. Watch the trailer here.
A third game in the Hunie series, called HuniePop 2, was confirmed to be in the works in October 2016. Details are currently sparse, aside from the art style appearing similar to that of HuniePop's and a projected release in 2019.
The game provides examples of:
- 100% Completion: Achieved when all outfits, all hairstyles and all presents for all 12 girls are unlocked. In a Take That, Audience! manner, the corresponding Steam achievement is called "Zero Life".
- All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: Played for Laughs with Celeste's third gallery picture showing her being "attacked" by them. If you take her to a date in the Hot Springs, she'll note how relieved she is that no tentacle monsters showed up.
- All There in the Manual:
- Despite the same last name and similar appearances, Jessie and Tiffany's relationship is only hinted at in-game.
- The girls' countries of origin are only stated in supplementary bios. The only exception is Aiko, who's explicitly stated to be Japanese in the dialogue.
- Animesque: It was created in the USA, but the art style is decidedly Anime-like.
- Anti-Frustration Features: The Valentine's update contains a couple of these to make achieving 100% Completion easier. After spending the night with a girl, the player can choose the location of the date and thus which outfit the girl is wearing, and the chance of her letting you ask a question about her increases. After bedding Venus, the player can also purchase gifts directly from the girl's gift inventory screen instead of from the randomized store inventory, but at a higher munie cost. This also comes in handy when trying to unlock Momo.
- Artistic License Economics: The money (Munie) you need to buy gifts is earned after dates.
- Bestiality Is Depraved: Mocked by Kyu after getting Momo's panties. Unlocking the character even earns you the "Bestiality" achievement.Kyu: Bestiality, huh? Hey, not judging though. Gotta do what you gotta do.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Kyu does this a lot.Kyu (Upon correctly answering one of her questions): "Oh, like you didn't just look it up on the internet."
- But Liquor Is Quicker: Giving booze to the girls increases the amount of Hunie you get when talking to them and also gives you up to 6 bonus Sentimentality points at the start of the date puzzle. One of the most used strategies is to give alcohol to a girl before the final date to increase the odds of getting them in bed. Taking on the Self-Imposed Challenge of bedding every character without using alcohol at all is rewarded with the "Sobriety" achievement on Steam.
- But Thou Must!:
Kyu: I said, let's go meet some broads!
- At several points early in the game, you can choose dialog options to reject Kyu's help, but you don't really have a choice in the matter.
- During the first part of the tutorial date with Kyu, you aren't allowed to make moves other than the ones she instructs you to, even if the moves are valid. For example, the game won't allow you to match the 4-of-a-kind sexuality tokens as your first move.
- Buxom Is Better: Large breasts are regularly depicted as being better. Even the girls with C-cups show clear symptoms of A-Cup Angst.
- Choose Your Own Adventure: The player can choose to pursue one of the girls or all of them.
- Divine Date: Your final challenge after you score with every other non-secret girl is Venus, the Goddess of Love.
- Developers' Foresight:
- You can try to bring up the profiles on the HunieBee when you are being quizzed... but it hides everything and just displays "Nice try, cheater!".
- Most girls will refuse alcohol early in the day.
- They also thought of everything when they made the "censored" version for Steam. It turns out, that the censored version's code is not altered in any way. The game simply checks for the presence of a certain file in the directory the executable was in. The contents of the file don't matter, only the name - it can be zero bytes. If the file is present, then the uncensored version runs, even if you bought it on Steam. The obvious intent was for Steam to have an censored version so Valve wouldn't complain, but anyone that is even remotely internet savvy and has access to Google can un-censor their copy in about two seconds.
- Everyone Is Bi: Because of your Purely Aesthetic Gender every girl in the game can be considered bi. They'll go out with you either way. However, it's implied a few times in the game that at least some of the girls are not bi, they're either straight or gay depending on which gender you pick.
- Experience Booster: Passion tokens increase the girl of your choice's affections towards you.
- Exposition Fairy: Kyu, a literal fairy in this case. She's a bit...quirkier than most.
- Fanservice: One of the main draws of the game, so much so that they went overboard and had to split the game into two versions just to get it on Steam. Quite a few Kickstarter backers were shocked when they first started linking to explicit images in their Kickstarter updates.
- Foreshadowing: There are eight girls who are available for dating at the start of the game, with each of them having a preferred drink that is unique to them. But there are twelve different drinks available to purchase, hinting that there are more girls that can be dated later on in the game.
- Gotta Catch Them All: Unlock and date 12 girls until you've bedded them all!
- Groin Attack: When Audrey's hungry and you try to talk to her, you may get, depending on your Player Character's gender:If I dont get some food right now, Im gonna punch somebody in the cunt/dick.
- Guide Dang It!:
- The process to unlocking Momo and Celeste is pretty vague. For the former, you must purchase a Goldfish and discard it outside (doing this in indoor locations won't work) during the day, then leave. There is some hint in the item's flavor text, but as no other item in the game has unique flavor text the player is unlikely to have read it. For the latter, you must have the Weird Device, go to the beach at night, and leave. This is more straightforward, since the device is "covered in sand," and the player is likely to go to the beach at night at some point during the game. The unintuitive part comes from getting the device, which involves giving an item not listed as a gift (the dirty magazine) to Kyu. It makes some sense in context, since Kyu is a porn fiend, but it's still unintuitive. Not helped by the fact that you start the game with the magazine and a box of tissues that seem more like gags than items with a purpose. Prior to the Valentines update, the tissues were a gag. Now giving them to Kyu gives you the exclusive Kyu Plushie date gift.
- Dragging a Joy token, even if none of them are matched, will sometimes not use a move. This is entirely up to the player to learn by trial, error, and being perceptive. It's likely only meant to prevent the player losing a move immediately before gaining one through matching the tokens.
- Hot Coffee Minigame: When you get a girl's affection for you high enough, finishing a date successfully at night time results in a... ahem... bonus round. You don't see the important bits in the censored version, but the sound and the dialogue prior to it makes what's happening very clear.
- Hot Springs Episode: One of the possible dating locations. Lampshaded by Kyu.Kyu: Ah, the Hot Springs. A classic Dating Sim staple.
- The Immodest Orgasm: During the date stages, many of the girls have no issue "expressing" how well you're doing. The reactions of the more innocent and inexperienced Tiffany, Nikki, and Momo are far more muted.
- Interspecies Romance: You can romance Kyu under the right conditions. In addition to her, there's also Momo the Cat Girl, Celeste the Green-Skinned Space Babe Human Alien, and finally Venus the Goddess of Love.
- Lampshade Hanging: Aiko and Kyanna's preferred unique gifts are based off of their respective ethnicities: Aiko likes Japanese gifts like chopsticks and rice balls, Kyanna prefers Mexican items like sombreros and maracas. One of Aiko's stock responses to getting such a gift is "God, you're so racist!" (said in a teasing and playful tone of voice).
- Last Lousy Point: Not as bad as most examples, but still prevalent. If you're trying to bed all the girls, it can be pretty annoying once you've gotten all but one done; you have to specifically succeed a date with them at night, and at this point the difficulty level has definitely gotten rather high. This means you have to dawdle around for a full ingame day, hope that they're actually awake and in town (god help you if Lola's your final target), then succeed the at-this-point difficult puzzle. Even worse if you haven't done all their previous dates yet, meaning you have to waste multiple days getting those other dates done, as you can't go on more than one date a day per girl regardless of if you succeed or not.
- Love Dodecahedron: Kyu and Venus explicitly know about the other girls and encourage your pursuits. Jessie (explicitly) and Aiko (implicitly) are okay with an open relationship. Momo probably wouldn't care, as long as you gave her enough attention. The others? Good thing the game doesn't go much deeper.
- Low-Level Run: Choosing not to trade your Hunie for trait upgrades for as long as possible while still successfully completing dates is the equivalent of a Low Level Run. A Steam achievement, "Lucky Loser", is rewarded if you can seduce three women without upgrading any of your traits, i.e. for a minimum of 12 dates.
- Luck-Based Mission: Since the order and placement of the date tokens are randomized, it's entirely possible to be unlucky enough early on in the game that a date can be impossible to complete successfully. Fortunately, this doesn't result in a game over.
- Multinational Team: The main girls in the game are composed of two Americans (Jessie and Tiffany), a French girl (Audrey), an Englishwoman (Lola), a Latina (Kyanna), an Indian woman (Beli), a Japanese woman (Aiko) and an Australian girl (Nikki). And four non-humans note .
- Nintendo Hard: The eventual point of Alpha Mode, which permanently ratchets up the goal score with every successful date.
- No-Damage Run: Bedding every character in the game without failing a single date nets you the "Smooth as F*ck" achievement on Steam. Doing this within 18 in-game days requires you to not waste a single time slot and nets you the "Pickup Legend" achievement.
- No Ending: Even after the player has scored with all 12 unlockable girls, the game just keeps going without any indication of your accomplishment. The Valentine's update rectifies this somewhat by adding a short cutscene with Kyu after the player spends the night with Venus and tells the player how to unlock Alpha Mode.
- Not Even Bothering with the Accent: Despite the Multinational Cast, listed above, all of the girls have American accents. The developers said it's because they were having trouble finding actors that could accurately portray the accents, so the girls are all American, but descended from their former nationalities (Audrey is of French descent, for example).
- Only Smart People May Pass:
- While the normal girls' questions are questions about yourself, Kyu instead grills you about things that happened during the tutorial or how she told you to approach the girls. Momo asks cat trivia questions, Celeste asks for space trivia, and Venus asks specific questions about all the other girls.
- The normal girls' questions are kinda tricky themselves since you need to guess which answer they'd like. But they aren't as punishing since they don't ask them as often.
- Parts Unknown: While the other characters have more down-to-earth nationalities, Kyu and Venus are from Sky Garden, Celeste is from the planet Tendricide, and not even Momo has any idea where she's from.
- Poison Mushroom: Purple broken-heart tokens give an affection penalty when they're matched up. Date gifts that transform or remove them are extremely valuable.
- Power Echoes: The girls' love cries and moans echo at the point of orgasm.
- Quest for Sex: The Protagonist starts dateless and unable to form a coherent sentence in front of cute girls. Kyu gets them in the way of 8 hot chicks, gives them some tips, and then leaves them on their own with the mission of getting at least one of the women in bed.
- Sarcastic Confession: Tiffany will occasionally ask if you're seeing any other girls the answer that scores points with her is "Yeah, but only like seven other chicks", which she laughs off.
- Equally, when first meeting Lola, the player has an option to tell her "I just do what the magic fairy that follows me around tells me." Lola just laughs it off as a pick-up line she's never heard of.
- Secret Character: There are four extra girls to be unlocked past the start of the game: Kyu, Venus, Momo, and Celeste.
- One of Celeste's outfits is basically the Slave Leia outfit.
- Beli has a hairstyle and outfit which, when paired, make her a dead ringer for Princess Jasmine.
- One of Jessie's photos comes from one of her webcam shows, where the caption has her wondering why someone's asking her to put a shoe on her head.
- Venus's "Terra" hairstyle has her green hair in a high ponytail. Where have I seen that combination on a character with that name before Her default hair and attire bears a strong resemblance to Palutena.
- Aiko's "Elegant" hairstyle + "February Air" outfit = Rin Tohsaka.
- One of the Unused Voice Clips from Aiko is her saying "Welcome To The Ricefields MotherFucker.
- Stalking Is Love: The Hunie Bee keeps track of every girl's location, even when they're asleep. How romantic.
- Stealth Pun:
- All of Jessie's Unique gifts are Christmas-themed.note
- Kyu is a love-fairy who helps you romance the ladies. She's a wing woman.
- Her name itself is one on multiple levels it sounds like like "Cupid" (which she is) and "Cute" (which she considers herself to be). Also, "kyuu" is Japanese for nine and she's the ninth girl you'll date/bed in a typical playthrough. And when doubled, "kyuu-kyuu" is the Japanese onomatopoeia for rubbing, which is something Kyu likely does a great deal of.
- One location in the game is called Dawnwood Park. Dawn is another term for the time of early morning. You figure out the rest.
- Through Their Stomach: Taking a girl on a date with a full stomach gives you 4 extra moves.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Kyu claims that she's Invisible to Normals, which means that it isn't much of an issue when she starts going out and about once you date her. Though that could bring up a whole other issue of the weirdo walking around with their invisible date), but Cat Girl Momo and Blue-Skinned Space Babe Celeste have less of an excuse. Celeste claims she at least makes an effort to stay hidden, though you could easily find her hanging out at the nightclub the night after she says that.
- Virtual Paper Doll: Each girl has a set of clothes and hairstyles which can be unlocked, then mixed-and-matched or set randomly.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Notably averted for the most part, despite the game's Animesque style. Nikki all but states that she dyes her blue hair ("Yes, I have naturally blue hair.") Although, as her final picture reveals, her carpet matches the drapes. Audrey's Multicolored Hair is more than likely a dye job, since some alternate hairstyles have her hair color change entirely. The only other characters with unnatural hair colors are non-human characters like Kyu, Celeste, and Venus.