You know what genre I’ve never been good at? Management sims. I swear, I find business as easy as feeding my dog her pill. Twenty minutes into one of these and I’m $10 million in the red. My city is a ghost town, roller coaster bankrupt, civilization conquered, college discredited, cruise ship sunk, space craft disintegrated, zoo abandoned, planet depleted and prison emptied (because all the inmates escaped). I might as well face facts: I am better at murdering things than maintaining profit margins. No demon lord ever asked me to invest his savings.
What’s funny is I used to feel the same way about puzzle games. Then a company called HuniePot released HuniePop, and suddenly I was into match-3 as much as my wife. The secret was simple: HuniePot took the concept and dressed it in sleaze. My reward for investing time wasn’t a personal sense of accomplishment or UFO animation but implied sex and unlockable nudity. Beyond that, HuniePop was a solidly built product with addictive gameplay.
Three years later, just as I’ve finished burning down my last pre-built metropolis, I’m grabbing HunieCam studio during the Steam Summer Sale. It’s packed with the same minute detail monitoring I’ve failed to grasp for almost thirty years. Why, then, am I sinking in so many hours and skipping so many meals? Why do I care?
Because it’s filthy. It’s also a damned fun game. HunieCam Studio, like its predecessor, has all the right ingredients to not only grab my attention but keep me caring for days on end.
The plot: Kyu, HuniePop’s Love Fairy, is the CEO of an adult cam site operation. This is either a sequel or an alternate Hunie universe. Whatever. Kyu hires you on as a manager and gives you a 21 day probational period. Your task is to bring in as much money and fans as possible before the time limit expires.
You begin by selecting from a pool of available models, each equipped with specific body types and attributes. Some are teens, some are MILFs, some have big boobs, giant asses or flat chests, and all vary in racial demographics. Their job is putting on cam shows for hordes of horny customers.
Fans are HunieCam Studio’s essential element. The more fans, the more money the girls make. The key to success is aiming at trending demands, determined by a pie chart that breaks down the biggest kinks. In addition to run-of-the mill preferences like ethnicity, age or body size, the fans might be hardcore caliber patrons, into such proclivities as bondage, water sports or cake farting.
You attract fans by generating free photo shoots, purchasing ads, or adding sex toys to the girls’ inventories. The likes of vibrators and water bottles open doors to fetishes through prurient interest appeal. The local strip club increases cam show talent while the boutique makes the promotional pics look attractive. After that, the task falls back on gaining fans, as talent and fashion increases a model’s pay per hour.
The game gets further bogged in micromanagement the longer it goes on. Models too stressed to work anymore visit the day spa to alleviate tension. Most of the girls, casually or voraciously, dwindle the studio’s cigarette and booze supply. Deprived of either vice, models gain 10% stress every second of game time.
It adds up to a clicky, taxing juggling act. Girls calming their nerves at the spa or going on booze runs is time that could otherwise be spent earning money. Every building on the map plays a role in avoiding bankruptcy.
Well, not every building. You could send your girls to the Sleazy Motel for additional revenue, but this carries a fifty-fifty risk of models returning with sexually transmitted diseases. STDs bring in all sorts of game wrecking debuffs. Some, like AIDS, are incurable and just no fun at all. The safest way to pimp without an STD risk is putting a condom in the girl’s inventory beforehand. But since rubbers are an unfortunate rarity in the Adult Shop, a wise tactic is never whoring your girls at all. Of course, for those who want to sabotage their empire in a manner similar to the monster in SimCity, there are a number of disease-centered Achievements.
The harried micromanagement was intimidating, but once I fell into a working pattern my operation pulled in more revenue than expenses. With the right strategy of balancing the budget and catering to fans, it’s possible to become a millionaire after a short learning curve. The real challenge is hurrying to get fans before the 21 days are over, an endeavor that can lead to profuse sweating.
I don’t mean sweating over arousal. Unlike HuniePop, Studio isn’t meant to double as pornographic jerk off material. In contrast to the sexy anime babes from the first game, the art inof a ridiculous, intentionally unappealing Bratz style. There are no nude/sex scenes to unlock, although you can earn tokens to dress the girls in more revealing outfits. In short, Studio’s overall aesthetic favors raunch over titillation. It’s a very adult game without the ability to peek in on the hardcore adult bits.
HoneyCam Studio is the second game by HuniePot, and also the second in what is proving to be an amazing track record. Once again, they have pulled me into a genre I otherwise wouldn’t care about due to how much I suck at these.
It makes me wonder what HuniePot will tackle next on my list of avoided game genres. Rhythm? Stealth? Tower defense?
Oh, I hope it’s a sleazy tower defense game. Do it, HuniePot. Turn my hate into love once more.
It stays. With any luck, I will get that diamond dick trophy.
FINAL GRADE: B