Title: HuniePop 2: Double Date
Release Date: February 8, 2021
Reviewed On: PC
Genre: Puzzle Adventure
Match three games come in all shapes and sizes, but I don’t know if anyone was ready for HuniePop when it was initially released in 2015. It was like you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing about this match-three game that also had a sexual aspect to it. Maybe it wasn’t revolutionary, but it came during a time when Steam wasn’t known for featuring these types of games. Now, developer HoniePot has returned to the franchise with HuniePop 2: Double Date. While it shows a significant amount of improvement across the board, expectations need to be set that this is still a puzzle game.
HuniePop 2: Double Date’s narrative is nothing short of insane. There is a legend known as the Nymphojinn that if awakened will bring forth a devastating PMS onto the world, unlike any humans have experience. It’s up to the player to gather enough fairy wings to awake the entities, commence a threesome, and hopefully prevent an age of premenstrual torture. To get these wings, players will travel to an exotic island to have threesomes with girls.
The narrative is okay, but its disconnect from reality is substituted by an understanding of the player. The writing seems to be directed at the fans of these games cracking jokes about weebs, music, fashion, and anything else you can think of. I smirked a few times, but its direct approach is pretty juvenile and something that wears off after a few hours. The best character would have to be Kyu. She just has some of the best lines in the game, which is good because she probably talks the most.
During the dialogue, players get to make choices. However, the first time meeting characters to establish their attraction to each other will offer choices that don’t impact the story. I found that I rushed through these moments since I honestly didn’t care about all the girls in the game. This ends up being a problem later on because you’ll need pretty much date all of them to face off against the Nymphojinn. Further, you are able to talk to the girls, and during these scenes, they are affected by your responses, which is rewarded with in-game fruit currency or baggage.
Baggage is pretty funny and acts as a negative handicap during gameplay. However, I noticed that some girls had handicaps that made the matches easier, such as one where broken hearts had a positive effect on the girl, which allowed me to get rid of them easier. I wish there were a little more balanced as each girl has three, and one is chosen for the match, but if one handicap had a semi-positive effect on the match, I feel it would make things more interesting.
The gameplay is pretty much match-three, but this time you have to focus on two girls. Thankfully, there isn’t any real time limit that I encountered until the end of the world, which is good because you’re in for a pretty lengthy experience depending on your skill level. Players can focus on one girl at a time during a match, who each have their preferred personality type represented by one of the colors. Still, there are also hearts, which influence lust, water, which allows you to use items, bells, which give you an extra move, shield, which increases stamina; and broken hearts, which knock one of the girls out for a few turns.
Players have 25 turns to reach a goal, which can change depending on the difficulty you set, with more turns available through items and conversation. However, this game only gets more challenging the more times you win. The goal will constantly be raised, and you are sure to fail more than a few times. There’s no timer on gameplay, so you can plan out any strategy you want. However, I feel like luck played a role in a few of my games. Lust will increase the points rewarded, so I typically focused on that first and tried to add as many more moves as possible along the way, but mistakes can easily be made.
The game is padded by this increasing goal, which reached well over 1000 halfway through sleeping with the different pairs of girls. Some items help you out, which can be purchased through the store using fruit earned from gameplay. The fruit is earned whether you win or lose, so it’s possible to progress even after a series of losses. The items will just make the girl receive more points during matches, but it’s a slow burn to the top. If you’re going into this for some quick relief, you’re sure to be soft long before you actually see anything.
The match-three elements are actually super intuitive and creative. There’s a real strategy in place that forces you to think about how you’ll spend your turns. You’ll need to consider the girl’s stamina and interest as well as her level of lust. Those factors alone make it a challenge, but the reward is that you get to unlock a CG of the two girls for winning. Strangely, none of the CGs include the guy or girl you chose to play as, which makes it look more like a yuri game, if anything. You have a few options to put clothing on the girls in the CGs, which is nice for those trying to stream.
You can change the girl’s costumes in terms of other features, but there is very little here other than the puzzle game systems. The whole draw is this puzzle element, and it’s not meant to be a speed run. You’ll be playing for a long time. Thankfully, the game has voice-over dialogue for all of the girls, which was pretty good. They fit the character’s personality and complemented the delivery of some of the jokes. I did have one issue where I just didn’t believe these girls would have a threesome with the other girl. Whether or not they were compatible with me wasn’t the problem. I just didn’t see them as attracted to the other girl.
HuniePop 2: Double Date isn’t meant to be a serious story, but it is a serious match-three puzzle game. The gameplay systems are strategic and punishing as they force players to play multiple rounds to gain currency for items that will make the girls strong enough to reach the ever-increasing goal. Evidently, threesomes are a marathon and not a sprint, but at least you’re trying to save the world, right? Wait, I might have forgotten why I was even on this island in the first place.
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