In recent years, there have been many Role Playing Games that incorporate dating sim elements.
These dating sim elements are often referred to as Romance Sidequests in the RPG genre.
Personally, I’m interested to see what format the new games are going to be released in, since Japan’s leaning so heavily on mobile games these days.
With the surprise cult success of jokey pigeon-dating sim on foreign shores (thanks to an authorised translation), we’re hoping that the Japanese game devs are going to consider introducing some of their more popular dating sim games to the folks overseas, too.
For example, if your chosen guy or girl likes someone who’s good at sports, you’d better get those physical parameters up as high as they can go.
Similarly, if the object of your affections places a lot of value on appearance, you’ll need to work on your fashion sense.
(See for example, the difference between the series, which is very close to a Visual Novel style of gameplay, and the DOA Xtreme series, which is the closest thing to a true Dating Sim with mass-market appeal in the US.) If the game plays out like a Choose Your Own Adventure, that's a Visual Novel.
If it feels like you're playing an RPG, trying to keep track of everyone's feelings about you and giving out presents, that's a Dating Sim.The general format for the games usually involves taking on the role of a high school student who advances through several years of school while attempting to forge relationships with a variety of NPCs.Clever dialogue choices aren’t enough to win you the heart of your pixellated beloved, though – you’ll need to build up your parameters and stats, too.Dating sims are a huge thing in Japan, but in the West they’re kind of seen as a bit of a joke.Perhaps it’s not “cool” to role-play as a character when the aim of the game is to win someone’s heart instead of fighting a war or defeating a dastardly nemesis?But if you’ve ever played dating sims before, you’ll know that they can be a huge amount of fun.