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The save button can be employed at any point during the game, which also features several pages of save slots, allowing gameplay to be easily picked up from prior to a choice the player made.
An arrow button in the upper right corner also allows the player to skip dialogue and interactions they have already experienced.
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).
Choosing to live a normal life will result in a normal playthrough, while choosing to fulfill the promise locks the player into the true route or scenario Bad Boys Love, or BBL (also known as Hurtful Boyfriend), which explores the full extent of the underlying plot alluded to by the documents and various points of foreshadowing in the dating simulation portion of the game.
If the player chooses to fulfill the promise, aside from several dream sequences, gameplay at first appears to continue normally until the in-game date is 2 September.
In a departure from the generally lighthearted romantic routes, Bad Boys Love is presented as a murder mystery psychological thriller, and is significantly longer than any other route in Hatoful Boyfriend, making up most of the game's actual length.
There are several changes to gameplay and the way text is displayed during Bad Boys Love in the original version of the game: saving is disabled except at certain points in the story, the function to skip dialogue and interactions is removed, and plot-important dialogue and narrative are highlighted with colored text; usually yellow, though text of particularly critical importance is highlighted in red.
It was developed by manga artist Hato Moa's dōjin circle Pigeo Nation Inc., and is the successor of a Flash game of the same name she created for April Fools' Day in 2011.
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.
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.