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A free demo version of Hatoful made with the Famous Writer engine was released later that year, followed by a full commercial version released on 30 October 2011 at COMITIA 98, and an English version released in February 2012.An international remake by developer Mediatonic and publisher Devolver Digital, dubbed Hatoful Boyfriend HD in Japan, was released on 4 September 2014 for Microsoft Windows, OS X, and Linux and for Play Station 4 and Play Station Vita on 21 July 2015 in North America, and on 22 July 2015 in Europe, respectively. Hatoful Boyfriend received generally positive reception; reviewers praised the game's replay value as well as its writing and characterization, while repetitive gameplay and the accessibility of the game's Bad Boys Love mode received a more mixed response.A sequel, Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star, was released on 29 December 2011, with an English version being released on Christmas Day the following year.In addition to the main games in the series, Hatoful Boyfriend has made transitions into other media: a monthly webcomic was serialized in the anthology Manga Life WIN , several supplementary materials and official dōjin works have been released, and four drama CDs based on the series have been made. A bird, Ryouta, flirting with the player in the original version (top) and the 2014 remake (bottom).In the 2014 remake however, the option to save is available at all times, the skip function is retained, and text is no longer highlighted.
In both versions, the game's interface and controls change from that of a standard visual novel to similar to that of a '90s-era turn-based role-playing game during certain segments of the narrative.The player's perspective then switches from the protagonist to the protagonist's best friend, and the events of the scenario begin regardless of any other choices made by the player up to that point.If the player obtains all other possible endings prior to starting Bad Boys Love, an extended epilogue plays after the game's credits upon completion of the scenario.The player assumes control of the protagonist, a teenage human girl.As the game follows a branching plot line with multiple endings, at various points during gameplay the player is allowed to make choices that determine which character's romance route the player will encounter.Gameplay in Hatoful Boyfriend is similar to most other visual novels for the PC, with the controls limited to the mouse and the only interactions being clicking to forward the game's narrative or to choose between multiple plot choices.