A porn game releasing this month touts that it has the “Ultimate Character Creator” that will let players create a perfect partner. I tried it out, and was surprised to find a dizzying array of options, many of which you can’t find in a conventional game. (This post is not safe for work!)
Honey Select Unlimited is a game from the developer Illusion, who have made titles like VR-Kanojo, a virtual reality game where you spend time with a virtual reality girlfriend, and the infamous RapeLay, where you stalk and rape a family of three. It’s the first game to be published by english language hentai manga publisher Fakku. The full Honey Select Unlimited looks ambitious, including dozens of costumes, scenarios and sex positions in the full game, as well as VR support. The demo is way more limited, with way fewer options for clothing, hair and sex acts than the full game, but it’s still impressive. While many games feature character creators, Honey Select’s is robust and intimidating—it’s basically sliders on sliders on sliders. I’ve been watching people on Twitter and Tumblr make facsimiles of their favorite anime characters with a surprising amount of success. I’ve also watched as some people used this same technology to make monster girls, aliens and elves. Someone even made Knuckles.
The amount of options seemed endless, and I wanted to know what was possible.
When I first booted up the game, I was fascinated by the fidelity with which I could customize the characters’ breasts. There were options that I hadn’t even considered—nipple thickness, areola puffiness, breast weight. Although the physics of these breasts are out of control, where a light touch sends them careening in all directions, messing around with these sliders resulted in the greatest amount of breast shape diversity I’ve seen in almost any piece of media. They could be round, they could be pointy, they could be saggy or perky. The only thing they couldn’t be was asymmetrical, which disappointed me but wasn’t that surprising.
After you adjust to the overwhelming amount of options, though, certain things start to stick out. There a dozen sliders for breasts, but just two sliders for adjusting the butt.
Making a character with eyes smaller than “anime sized” tends to make the face feel off-balanced.
Adjusting the face in general is strange. You can change the angle of the jawline and bridge position, but if you want a different mouth, you’re going to have to change the face preset. Not being able to change specific parts of the mouth, like the cupid’s bow in the center of your upper lip, really bothered me.
The character creator also seemed very concerned with the “protrusion” of certain parts of the face. If I wanted a character to have defined cheekbones, for instance, I couldn’t just manipulate that part of the face. I’d have to change the position of the “upper cheeks” and then change the protrusion of the top part of her head.
You can also make a male avatar for your female characters to sleep with. He’s essentially nothing more than a floating dick, and according to the trailer, in some game modes, he can actually just be a floating dick. That would explain how stripped down the options are for the male customization. You can’t even change the male avatar’s dick, which seemed to me like a huge oversight.
It makes sense. The focus of this game is on making women. Male avatars are barely seen in the sex scenes, their faces usually obscured by hair or shadow. The men are incidental, you’re just creating a body to be a vessel for the penis that goes inside the woman you’ve made. Still, pensises are different from each other, and I wanted the option to change its size and shape, just as I could adjust the breasts.
When you save a character, you have a little photo shoot with them, where you can make them pose in front of a variety of backdrops, manipulating their expressions into something silly or sultry. I liked playing around with this feature the most, even if after changing every pose, my character’s breasts looked like they were about to explode off their ribcage.
It’s in this that I see the romantic side of Honey Select Unlimited. The game wants you to believe that these women you’re making are distinct people. One character would pose in their bikini on a beach, but another character makes more sense in an office. Even if the end goal is to have sex with them, your attraction to these characters is supposed to be unique. You can even give them limited personality traits like “serious” or “boyish,” as well as a sexual preference, like “sensitive breasts” or “likes receiving.” You can also make your character “sex averse,” which made me think of Illusion’s other, darker titles. These characters don’t have a choice but to have sex with your onscreen avatar, even if you make her not want to have sex.
In the demo, the sex itself is pretty limited. There’s only one personality type available: the vaguely named “bright,” personality. You can make out, get a blow job, have sex in the missionary position, and you can only orgasm inside the character’s vagina. It’s also rote and unerotic. For the most part, you’re scrolling up or down on the mouse wheel until you find a speed that your partner likes. Or you can ignore that entirely, and just want a looped animation of the character you’ve made slobbing on your avatar’s knob, overlaid with muffled speech and gagging sounds. When you ejaculate inside her, you pull out soon after and watch your semen dribble out of her vagina. After spending so much time personalizing the character, this sex seems as impersonal as you can get. Your character’s eyes don’t even look at your avatar—they’re staring through the screen at you, her head following you as you move the camera. In the trailer for the full game, you can see scenarios involving dungeons, girls masturbating themselves on the edge of a desk, bondage, and spanking. It looks just as clinical as the missionary, but at least there’s some variety there.
Honey Select Unlimited gives you what seems like an endless list of options, but spending time with it reveals its limitations. It gives you so many options, but playing around with them you see that in actuality, you’re basically making a variation on a vaguely attractive woman with nice breasts, with which you will have glossy, structured, porn-like sex with. I still feel the pull of Honey Select Unlimited’s character creator, but also some alienation. With its promise of giving me the “perfect partner,” I want to try to push the game to its limits. I don’t know that Illusions expected to find an audience with bisexual brown girls in the US, but I do want to be able to find, or make, porn that feature women that I’m attracted to, presented on my own terms. That’s the theoretical promise of Honey Select’s character creator. In the meantime, I’ll have to console myself with monster girls and aliens.