Review | HuniePop 2: Double Date
Sequels to popular titles have it rough, they have to live up to expectations, balancing new and returning content. Thankfully, the long awaited HuniePop 2: Double Date proves this task is not impossible. The HuniePop series is a curious one; mixing several genres for a unique experience. Unlike typical dating sims, you only progress through each relationship route by winning match three games. You play as the protagonist of the previous game, now a well off bachelor, when Kyu the love fairy returns with a new task. It seems that twin gods of destruction are on a collision course with earth, and only your romantic prowess can stop them.
The entirety of your HuniePop 2 playthrough will be spent on the tropical island of Inna De Poona. Here you’ll meet a colorful cast of 12 characters, with several returning from the original game. Each character has a fully fleshed out personality and hours of voice lines. If you’re playing to get to know the characters, you’ll have a lot to do. Gone are the repetitive conversations of the first game. Now, each tidbit you learn about the girls you meet has relevance to gameplay. HuniePop 2 strikes a better balance between visual novel and game by increasing the amount of time you spend in the conversation screen. Overall, compared to the original there is so much more to do.
The core gameplay element of HuniePop 2 is it’s match three gameplay. In my opinion this is some of the best match three outside of the AAA realm. Everything feels just right; the token movement is snappy and precise, and the balance is perfect. The new additions are balanced to the original portion of the game, and doesn’t feel tacked on. Unlike the previous game, you’ll be going on double dates, which require you to balance both girls needs. If you make too many moves without switching girls, you’ll exhaust her and make the game harder on yourself. If you exhaust both girls its game over. Thankfully, the game provides several new date gifts to keep the action going. In addition, you can also give new types of gifts before a date to boost a certain stat of your choice in exchange for stamina.
Aesthetically, HuniePop 2 is an improvement on the original. Visually, the game now fully supports higher resolutions, which is a huge plus. Romancing girls will earn you additional outfits to customize them with, among other things. The game features slightly above average voice acting quality, with only a few bad lines. As for the music, the game sounds great, so if you choose to play with the volume on you’ll definitely have something to listen to. Of course, be mindful of the dialogue, which can get pretty risque. Meanwhile, the UI layout is fairly simple and effective. To sum it up, HuniePop 2 is a very slick game.
Throughout my 30 hours of play, I experienced only a few issues. The game did crash a few times during the initial version, but a patch fixed this problem. Thankfully I was never set back due to a robust autosave. HuniePop 2 is also a lengthy game, clocking in at about 20 hours to complete a save at lower difficulties. Subsequently, this means you can complete as much content as you want and still not feel like you missed something. However, I do have some complaints with the game, albeit minor ones. The first being that the representation boasted about in headlines is almost completely optional and matters little to your experience outside of a few tongue in cheek lines. The second is the complete lack of secret unlock characters, meaning that there’s very little exploration to be done, unlike the three secret characters in the original title.
In conclusion, HuniePop 2: Double Date is a great sequel, and continues the streak of fun titles from Huniepot. If you are a fan of the series, this is well worth the 20 dollars, and it’s a fun experience even for a first timer. Whether you want a well polished romantic visual novel or a unique twist on a classic match three format, you’ll find something here. Just be aware of the more mature content.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10