A look at Hunie Pop’s in game screenshots and there’s no mistaking its audience, if you’re a fan of anime and dating games, this one is for you. Where it deviates from many other anime dating games on Steam is that it isn’t a Visual Novel but the bulk of the game replaced by a match 3 game, where completing each round of ‘match 3’ results in a successful date.
There’s little ‘story’ here but the premise is that you play a lonely guy with no friends (surprise, surprise) and you’re given tips on how to handle girls better by a love fairy. You meet different girls at various locations in the game, at the cafe, university, beach, shopping mall etc. After a bit of wooing, its off to a date, which comprises of a match 3 game. You get 20 moves to make matches of 3 coloured shapes or more to attain the minimum of points required to clear the level. Matching different shapes gets you different rewards not just points, for example matching 3 bells gets you 1 extra turn. Matching 3 tear drops gets you sentiment which then allows you to use items in your inventory. Items help in clearing the screen or turning a specific shape into another. The base match 3 game is generally well done, though it does outstay its welcome pretty quickly.
Aside from the the match 3 part of the game, this is a dating sim by default so you get a chance to chat up the girls. Here you can ask questions to find out more about the girl and fill out her bio, get tested on what you know about the girl or give the best answer to a girl’s question, with the correct answer likely something that would fit her ‘personality’. Getting it right nets you some ‘hunie’ points. These ‘hunie’ points allows you to level up your own character so you get bigger bonuses during the match 3 game. The developer has put in a bit of effort to give all the girls some personality. Yes you’ve got the cute stock standard uni student Tiffany, and the naughty love fairy Kyu, but then you’ve also got the adult actress Jessie and foul mouthed french girl Audrey. Some of the lines are pretty funny. It’s not the main reason to play this game but it helps take it from a completely average game to something that stands out from a lot of other mediocre anime visual novels.
The other part of the game is the huge collect-a-thon on offer, where you buy the girls gifts. Winning a match 3 game nets you ‘munie’ which you can then spend on gifts, food and drink. Every girl has a bunch of weird odd gifts to buy. It’s not necessary to complete, but it helps fill out the game for those that like to 100% games.
Overall, this is an interesting diversion for dating sim enthusiasts. The game probably outstays its welcome before the end given the repetitiveness of it being a match 3 game, but its quite polished and its funny (funie) and fun while it lasted.
Score: 6.5 hearts out of 10