Dating simulation games started gaining popularity in Japan during the 90's. However, this was never the case in other parts of the world. Video game magazines that I read regularly would cover Japanese imports and niche titles, but dating sims were merely a curiosity and nothing more.
Things are very different now. The games industry has grown exponentially and modern gamers are interested in titles beyond the scope of the action, shooting and role-playing genres. We've been seeing stronger interest in PC gaming lately, and we have the rise of Steam to thank for this. The PC is an open platform with tons of great development tools, making it ideal for small indie developers to target.
Steam on the other hand, has made digital distribution cost-effective, efficient, and accessible to a massive audience. All this is a huge boon for visual novels and dating simulation games, which would have lingered in obscurity outside of Japan, otherwise. A bevy of 2D hotties are waiting for us to make the right move. Let's see if we've got what it takes to establish fulfilling relationships with them with the best dating simulation games out there! The majority of dating simulation games usually has the player assuming the role of a male protagonist in the lead role, as he tries to win over the hearts of several beautiful girls.
It was developed by Key and initially launched on Windows PCs back in , selling incredibly well. So much so, that it was ported to other platforms and also received anime, manga, and film adaptations. And the gameplay will engage even the most discerning of visual novel fans with its branching plot line and multiple endings.
Unfortunately, the English localization is censored which takes some of the edge off. Linux and Mac OS X users have often been treated like poor stepchildren, especially when it comes to receiving game ports. It seems that Windows users have all the fun, while users of competing operating systems are left out in the cold. Fortunately, the tide is changing since the latest wave of dating simulation games also support Linux and OS X.
Katawa Shoujo is part of this brave new world, and hopefully a larger audience will dig into this unique visual novel. The story revolves around high school student Hisao Nakai and the five young women who he encounters. They all have their own disability to deal with, which makes for a thought-provoking experience to say the least. Yuuji Kazami executes black ops operations for a Japanese government agency. He now leads the life of an ordinary high school student after transferring to Mihama Academy. There are five main plot lines for each girl with multiple endings.
The player must choose from several options which will either progress the story further, take it down a different branch, or end it abruptly. There's even one girl option, though it's light on potential romance. While some routes will definitely not be for everyone the brothel and love triangle routes in particular , the story is not the strong point of this game, so you won't you'll feel like you're missing out if you don't complete all of them. Even so, it's still worth playing for its gorgeous art, witty English localization, and quirky cast of characters.
Period Cube can most easily be described as Sword Art Online: The Otome Game, only this time the protagonist is not a long-time MMO player, but a girl who ventures into an MMO along with her childhood friend when her brother is rumored to have gone missing inside it. As she uncovers the mysteries of the MMO, she comes in contact with a number of different players.
Period Cube stands out for not only having very good romance routes, but also a great cast of supporting characters. If you can, go into Period Cube with as little knowledge about the characters as possible — it's even more fun when their real-world personalities are a surprise! Shackles of Amadeus is available for PS Vita. Out of all the games on this list, Mystic Messenger may be the most widely-known. This is a game where instead of dating human boys, you date pigeons. It starts off with a whole lot of silliness, poking at visual novel conventions, but there are hints of something more sinister under the surface.
Get ready for a game that's a whole lot more than just a few bird puns! There's also a fan disc an add-on to the original game that's not quite a full sequel titled Hatoful Boyfriend: Otome games tend to be criticized for having bland protagonists who don't take a active role in their narratives, despite being the central player character. While a less-defined protagonist may be easier for players to imagine themselves as, many players prefer protagonists with their own personalities, motivations, and character growth.
Here are a few otome games with standout heroines:. The protagonist Enju is the daughter of the head of one of these clans, and she's determined to become a full-fledged ninja despite her village's insistence against it.
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With five male romance options, an action-packed plot, and lovely visuals, Nightshade deserves a spot in every otome game fan's library. You can find Nightshade for PC on Steam. In this game, Tokyo is stricken by a terrorist organization called Adonis, who conduct a series of murders related to a countdown to the mysterious X-Day.
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Protagonist Officer Hoshino is on patrol in Shinjuku when she's attacked and fitted with a locked collar filled with poison around her neck. The suspense-filled plot follows her quest to uncover the truth behind the collar and X-Day, along with the help of five former police officers. Unfortunately, the localization could have used some more editing, but Collar X Malice is still a great otome game choice for PS Vita if you're looking for a darker story and stronger female protagonist.
You play as Saki, the fictional niece to Megaman creator Keiji Iwafune.
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Saki finds herself in a sticky situation when she attends the unveiling of Iwafune's brand new amusement park, only to be trapped by a psychotic pig that wants her and the other attendees to participate in a dangerous game. Saki is one of my favorite otome game protagonists because she isn't afraid to speak her mind, even if it means telling her male suitors off!
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Trust me, it's worth the trouble! Pillowfight is one of many non-Japanese developers dipping their toe in the otome game genre. A young boy named Sorata stars in the prologue. Seemingly transported into the past, the highly intelligent Sorata is frightened and confused. He is lead onto a mechanical biosphere by a kindly girl called Koharu.
psy-practice.org/modules/ziziwizi/ribi-goroskop-sovmestimosti-s-skorpionom.php They meet a number of passengers on this strange airship, some of whom have supernatural abilities! To find out what on earth is going on, you must chose to play as one of three heroines: Koharu, Mikoto or Nanami. Play their routes, find out their secrets, fall in love and solve the mystery behind this bizarre, yet familiar, world!
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Var Commons definitely packs in the content. With nine different routes, each with numerous endings, short stories, bonus CGs, character interviews, an 8-bit mini game and more, you are unlikely to get bored with this otome. The downside of having so much content seems to be a lack of continuity in terms of story quality. Some routes are given more attention than others, with the same plot developments being repeated across multiple character stories.
I also think more could have been done with the three heroines. If you are going to have three main characters, you might as well have them there for a reason, right? The game could have been a bit more special if more thought had been put into how the characters interact with each other. Var Commons was a truly fun game to play with lots of interesting characters and gorgeous art to admire.
You can find my review of Norn9: In this otome game you play as an ordinary high school student named Sayori. One day she finds a shiny trinket buried in mud. She picks it up, and that night she has the strangest dream she has ever had! A princess of the ancient Mochizuki clan begs her for help in preventing her assassination. The next morning, Sayori wakes up in Hatsuhime castle! In order to save the poor princess, Sayori must befriend several rough-around-the-edges ronin types and ask for their help.
Will Sayori be able to change history? Yo-Jin-Bo is another otome game that fills me with nostalgia. There are five bachelors for Sayori to fall in love with, all with colourful personalities and interesting character designs.
Humour also plays a large part in the game, and you are sure to find yourself laughing over the characters antics a particular scene involving a hot spring comes to mind. Yo-Jin-Bo also has a surprisingly adult tone attached to it nipples are left censorship-free! The game might be slighted dated in design, and for sure, a plot involving time travel and body swapping is far from unique nowadays, but Yo-Jin-Bo is a pleasing classic that I cannot help but recommend.
You play as the intuitive heroine, Saki Inafune, who gets invited to a videogame-themed theme park designed by her uncle. She, along with six attractive men, must face puzzles, riddles, zombies, songs and combat, before time runs out and the bombs littering the park go off! In terms of gameplay mechanics, Sweet Fuse: At Your Side showcases some very unique features. The heroine is a bit of a bomb herself, one that goes off through anger! The screen will shake and you will begin to see red as you decide whether or not Saki should lose her cool.
With an intriguing story and entertaining characters, Sweet Fuse: At Your Side is not an otome game you want to miss!
Under the instruction of her missing father, the lonely Cardia lives inside a dilapidated mansion, completely isolated from the world. Afflicted with a condition that makes her skin poisonous to the touch, she is dubbed a monster and feared by the locals. One day the Royal Guards ambush poor Cardia in the night.
There she meets three more infamous men: Together they attempt to cure Cardia of her condition, find her missing father and solve a number of mysteries that plague London. Love may well may be on the table, but so is the threat of war, murder, genocide and conspiracy. Will Cardia be able to help these young men with their own afflictions?
There is some excellent writing in this game, and the variety present in character routes is truly impressive. The sweet, soft-spoken Victor Frankenstein will take you down a road you never expected.