HUNIECAM STUDIO Review

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HUNIEPOP was easily 2015’s most pointed jab in gaming. The explicitly, yet facetiously, pornographic puzzle game acted both as a critique of the vapid dating genre (much in the spirit of HATOFUL BOYFRIEND), while also serving as the freshest take on the “match 3” formula since BEJEWELED popularized it with middle-aged women 15 years ago. Of course, HUNIEPOP’s following hardly intersects with the tile-matching demographic, nor does the latest Hunie title, HUNIECAM STUDIO, share an audience with tycoon games, the target of the developer Huniepot’s “next depraved corruption.”

That’s certainly a half-true endorsement, in any case. HUNIECAM is the definition of depraved, putting you in charge of scouting, managing, and generally exploiting an ever-growing number of camgirls. Every level of the operation is under your control, from buying facility upgrades and advertisements to sending out girls to the corner store on a cigarette run. Each girl you hire satisfies different fetishes; the more fetishes you appeal to, the greater your viewership, which in turn will allow you to hire more girls and continue the cycle.

Naturally, your girls get tired after hours of exposing themselves to the world and will expect a paycheck, and this is where industrial virtue is rewarded. You can purchase drugs to keep your girls coked up and complaint free, but sustaining an addiction can become expensive. To make a quick buck, you can turn to pimping your girls out to wealthy clients, but this runs the risk the escort contracting an STD. No one wants to watch a girl with herpes or chlamydia get off on camera, so you’ll have to fire the spoiled goods and replace them with fresh talent.

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*Ambiguously laughing/crying emoji*

HUNIECAM’s subject matter is soul-crushingly dark, but it’s swept under the same gleeful veneer of the thousands of FARMVILLE clones emulated in the gameplay. The game is tongue-in-cheek, but unlike HUNIEPOP, the genre it satirizes isn’t guilty of oversexualization. The lows you grind your workers to could be seen as an allegory for the cruelty of capitalism in both gaming and the greater world, but even then it’s the business model of freemium games, not their content, that is deplorable.

This is where the main disconnect between HUNIEPOP and HUNIECAM’s impact lies. HUNIEPOP was a dating sim. HUNIECAM is only mechanically a browser tycoon game, but remains a standalone, seven dollar purchase. Where CLASH OF CLANS will keep you playing, and paying, for months, HUNIECAM has its limits, ending after 21 ingame days (roughly three hours). It’s just too short. Though there is a lot of strategy trying to corner the market on a specific fetish in the early game, by the time money starts rolling in there’s little brainwork involved, meaning that, while deep, HUNIECAM has very little staying power. Ten hours would be a stretch for what this game is worth, and there’s very little incentive to stick around after a couple of playthroughs. Even the sexual content, a huge selling point for HUNIEPOP, is only explicit in name here. The cutesy art style isn’t erotic in the slightest, and the entirety of the game is spent managing your empire from an overview, so if it’s baser delights you seek, there’s hundreds of better sources in Steam’s “dating” category (also, y’know, porn).

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“Awesome! +10 to poor life choices!”

Where freemium titles are evil in their calculated addictiveness, HUNIECAM is harmlessly fleeting. It’s too outrageously left field in its crassness to successfully lampoon the tycoon genre’s image and too barebones in its scope to make a point about the insidious nature of freemium. HUNIECAM STUDIO was a brave departure for Huniepot, but it was ultimately a gamble that failed to deliver the punch of their previous work. Take the money you’d spend on this and buy a Brazzers subscription instead.

Verdict: Do Not Recommend

Reviewed on PC

Ed Dutcher

Ed Dutcher is the Video Games Editor here at Crossfader. The last time Ed had a meal that wasn't microwaved, George W. Bush was president. He only learned to read so that he could play Pokemon.

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