Play a dating sim game
Play along with the captivating story and be with the guy of your dreams!
Once you're done with it, there are a couple of great reviews of the experience on Rock, Paper Shotgun and Geeky Universe.It isn't a good game because it’s hilarious to date pigeons, it's a good game because of what it does to you after you become attached to all the pigeons and then play again one last time in order to "fulfill the promise." The epilogue is the real story.Another hurdle I see people experience when starting out playing dating sims is that they spread themselves too thin.The player must accept their limited role in these spaces and do what they can in order to dig the interesting bits out of these games’ juicy narrative databases.Some dating sims even go as far as avoiding a common-route affection rating approach entirely, like that found in Hatoful Boyfriend, by prompting the explicit choice of what character you want to pursue during the beginning of the game.Japanese dating sim players often refer to the romanceable characters in the games as "capturable." Whether you want to interpret that as literal or prefer to see yourself as "captivating" the various characters’ attentions is up to you, and sometimes up to the particular game’s themes.
But when playing dating sims you are actually being quizzed on how much you know about a particular character you’re after, either learned through attentiveness or knowledge of tropes.
And this is where us in the West run into misconceptions about the depth of these games.
Many folks never see Hatoful Boyfriend subtly transform into its final revelatory route that blows everyone's minds.
Paper Dino Software's Save the Date is a rather unique game.
You play as an unnamed character who is tasked with arranging a date with the object of your affections, Felicia.
Many Western players new to the genre miss out on that fundamental aspect of the experience, writing dating sims off as shallow and basic after dipping their toes in.