HuniePop was one of the big surprises of 2015, a game that had no right to be as fun as it was. It was a dating sim game that had a really creative take on Bejeweled built into it. Now we have the spiritual sequel, HunieCam Studio! Now I say spiritual because even though it uses the same characters, it's an entirely different game. HunieCam Studio is a game about managing cam girls, and if you don't know what a cam girl is, you're not old enough to play this game. HunieCam Studio is a refreshing change of pace from its predecessor. The developers at HuniePot could have just made HuniePop 2, and that would have sold well out of name brand alone, but they decided to take a risk with an entirely new game, and I would have to say that it absolutely paid off.
There is something about games from HuniePot that makes them so charming, and fun, and hard, all at the same time. HuniePop had so much love put into it, with voice acting and an original puzzle game that just fit in with the themes of the game perfectly! HunieCam Studio is no different, there is voice acting, challenge, tons of replayability and a lot of depth to a game with a really simple concept. HunieCam has a lot of similarities in tone to HuniePop but there are a lot of differences besides the gameplay. The art style is completely different, much softer and simpler and while there are a lot of the same girls from HuniePop, it's less personal than it was before, girls only have a couple of lines of dialogue.
HunieCame Studio is a time management game, along the lines of a Tycoon game. You have to manage your girls, raising their style and talent levels, as well as making sure they're bringing in the money and making sure they aren't getting over worked. There is actually a lot more to the game than just that, there's a mall where girls can buy sex toys and drugs, you have to keep restocking your supply of alcohol and cigarettes to keep your girls happy, and there's even a sleazy hotel where you can try to earn a lot of money fast, but with the risk of getting an STD.
Here's the kicker, you only have twenty-one days of game time before you're graded on your work. You have to get as many fans as possible within the time limit, and you get rewards at the end of those three weeks in the form of tokens which can be spent to redress your girls, and a dick trophy to mark your accomplishment. HunieCam Studio is legitimately hard, and for a couple of reasons. You have to make sure you don't go bankrupt but you also have to make sure you're constantly earning fans so you do well at the end of the game. There's a constant struggle to try to decide what you should be doing with your girls, what items to give them, whether they should be focusing on earning money or fans. I actually found it really handy to have one girl to just go around shopping for items for the other girls.
I played through HunieCam Studio for about four or five successful cycles, and on my best try, I was able to reach the golden trophy (three out of five). Every time I play I learn a little bit more of what I could be doing better, what I should be doing and what not to do. There is definitely an aspect of risk vs reward in HunieCam Studio and it really makes the game feel intense at times. If you rush getting a lot of girls at once, you may find yourself not having enough money to keep your company afloat, but if you don't play aggressively, you won't make any progress at all. It actually is really fascinating to see a risk vs reward system in a time management game like this. In a lot of these games, I find myself taking very few risks, and that just going at a normal pace will be satisfactory. But this game doesn't have a pace, it's erratic and nerve racking, and it works so perfectly in tandem with the gameplay!
There is very little I can say to criticize this game, it's just that fun, and for the price, I can't recommend it enough. One of the nice things about HunieCam Studio is that it's played in real time. A full twenty-one days in the game takes around an hour and a half to play and it's long enough that you can sit down and enjoy it, feel like you've gotten in a good session of gaming, but short enough that you don't feel exhausted or overworked by the end of it.
If there was one thing that bothered me about HunieCam Studio it would be that because the game is played in an hour and a half session at a time, there never feels like there is a long-term investment in any given time you play the game. After the twenty one days, you're allowed to continue that run through of the game, but there's no post challenge, it's just playing for the sake of playing, and at that point there just isn't enough to do. I think it would be really valuable to have a marathon mode or something that isn't based on the twenty-one days to make the game last longer. Admittedly as much fun as I had with the game, I was done with it after a few hours.
Between the sheer challenge of the game and the rewards you get after each game, HunieCam Studio has an astonishing amount of replayability. I keep finding myself coming back to HunieCam Studio even though I always think to myself that I can't do better than I did before. I legitimately liked HunieCam Studio more than I thought I would. It was the same with HuniePop, I can't believe how invested in these games I can get.
HunieCam Studio was reviewed on Steam with a code provided by the developer.
Fans of HuniePop will like this game, and people who like time management games will love HunieCam Studio. It's a game with lots of replayability and it's a creative take on a real life industry.