We’re going to offering some hints at how to get the most out of all manner of dating sims, along with some places to start.
If you’ve ever been curious about the genre, this is your excuse to jump in. Bad ends, like the aforementioned assassination, exist to teach players how to engage with most dating sims.
Most otome game plots start out rather formulaic, cheesy, and generic, especially since it requires you to be introduced to a number of eligible 'catchables' as soon as possible.
It's only when you decide to stick with it and keep exploring new characters, new interactions, and new storylines that the beauty of storytelling really begins to shine.
My best friend got the original Sims game when it came out in 2000, and I remember staying up late with her playing it for hours.
a) Haven’t played the latest batch of space ‘sims’ and am therefore not very well-equipped to assess them.
Because there is almost no market for true Dating Sim games outside of Japan, it's a frequent misunderstanding among western gamers that "Dating Sim" is the general term for all ren'ai (romantic love) games.
In fact, many romance games are Visual Novels, which is a much different game style.
The first ending many people experience when playing notorious pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend involves being ambushed by ninjas for "failing to display sufficient intimacy with the birds." You are unceremoniously killed and brought back to the main menu to start over from the beginning or are forced to resume from an earlier save point.
Dating simulation games like Hatoful Boyfriend most often take the form of visual novels, interactive text adventures with images and animations accompanying the branching story.
They are built to anticipate and encourage that style of play.