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Welcome to Otomevisual dating games made with women in mind. They enjoy a healthy fandom, but many acclaimed titles remain in their native Japanese—frustrating, because romance and relationship games are more popular than ever. Always Remember Me is available from Winterwolves. Lots of players get turned onto these aspects from story and character-driven BioWare games like Dragon Ageand if you're a fan of those, I have a few recommendations to help welcome you into the otome genre.
While all you need to be "good at" is reading and making choices — don't worry if you don't normally play games — there are some important things to know about how these games work. Generally you meet several characters, and will have to choose one to court. In Japan, dating sim characters are referred to as "capturable" — whether that means you capture their hearts or their bodies depends on the game. But you'll need to focus, as playing the field can result in an unsatisfying ending, and no one likes that. These games are often deed to be played multiple times.
Tools like multiple save slots, quick-save features, and the ability to skip text and rewind help players efficiently pursue every potential partner character and reveal every story path. It's like backwards-engineering a narrative database — and you may be surprised to find how much the story changes when you focus on a different partner each time. Gotta catch them all? Hakuoki Japanese dating sims for guys a period piece, taking place in the Bakumatsu period of Japan at the time of civil unrest between the Emperor and the Shogun.
You play as Chizuru, who disguises herself as a man to travel to the capital of Kyoto in search of her missing father. She accidentally gets tangled up with the local police, the Shinsengumi, and the story evolves from there. Oh, and blood-thirsty demon hybrids are involved. It's a samurai history lesson with a Twilight twist. The Shinsengumi are a genuine part of history with many modern pop culture adaptations, tropes intake. It's hard for me to think of an equivalent phenomenon in the Western canon—what if developers allowed us to date the historical figures found in Assassin's Creed games?
Hakuoki has a full voice cast of stars, some of whom would be familiar to fans of subtitled anime. Hakuoki is one of the only examples we have of a traditional console-style otome game available in English. Aksys Games originally d and localized the game back in and has been using that translation to release ports to other platforms.
The Hakuoki series has many different incarnations in Japan, including a version that transposes all the characters into a high-school setting. Aksys Games also released another otome game, Sweet Fuseinwhich features a modern setting and non-traditional characters. In Sweet Fuseyou play as the niece of Megaman creator Keiji Inafune, and suddenly get trapped in a game-of-death at the theme park he's just about to open.
Both Hakuoki and Sweet Fuse are made by studio Otomatea subsidiary of Idea Factory that focuses on only making dating sims for women, and Japanese dating sims for guys have quite the extensive existing library in Japanese. Last year Idea Factory opened an International publishing arm in the United States and many otome fans were hopeful that this would mean an opening up of Otomate titles in Englishbut so far they have only released further rehashes of their Hyperdimension Neptunia games and some RPGs.
One can hope they eventually figure it out. Hakuoki is available in English on a wide range of platforms. Not sure what's up with that. Ren'Py is the same game engine that Christine Love uses to make her visual novels, and is accessible for beginners to work with, too.
In one of her games, a rude character steals an item from her — and she later learns that character's player goes to her school. This one has a low barrier to entry, and it's a good example of Western fans being influenced by and borrowing gameplay styles from Japanese dating sims. Developer sakevisual has since gone on to make a fully-voiced commercial visual novel called Backstage Passwhich is currently up on Steam Early Access.
The game has a bold art style with intense flourishes, and while you play as a Shadow Every-Girl, all your your potential partners range from bratty kings to zombies to ghosts. There's even a talking skeleton adorned with roses who will chat with you on occasion and give you romantic advice. Compared to similar games on the app stores, this one has extremely good localization and copy-editing. Sloppy localization can often let dating sim fans down.
It's such a pity, because I think a game of that caliber would have been perfect to link to people asking me for good examples of dating sims. Shall we date? Boys' Love yaoi games feature men in relationships with other men — created by and marketed to women. But the game genre has languished over the past decade. Ladies like porn? Imagine that! Last year MangaGamera publisher usually known for its and-older fare aimed at men, announced that they've d and are translating two new titles in Japanese dating sims for guys attempt to appeal to underserved audiences, mainly women and queer men.
One of these titles is PC otome game, Ozmafia!! In general, comics made by gay men for gay men have completely different aesthetics and conventions than Boys' Love for women, as can be seen in Fantagraphic's fantastically informative collection Massive: Gay Erotic Manga and the Men Who Make It. But No, Thank You!!!
In No, Thank Japanese dating sims for guys This creates a very different relationship dynamic, since you are inside Haru's head and are the active pursuer, rather than the pursued. NTY also features a cast of targets with a much wider range of body types than found in typical BL games, with some of the men well past middle age and even body-hair toggle options for different preferences.
I say "targets" because all the men you end up in relationships with are billed as "straight" and Haru is an overly-energetic, horny puppy who admits he partakes in "sexual harassment" as a work pastime. This can be off-putting to some friends, so I usually warn them ahead — you can always first check out the game's demo to see if it's right for you. Haru can be pretty pushy and consent can seem hazy at times, but all the relationship routes in the game play out in a compelling manner and Haru's prodding of boundaries le to intriguing character insights.
And No, Thank You!!! If No, Thank You!!! While it was initially influenced by Japanese BL games, it covers more Western sensibilities. No, Thank You!!! There's also a free demo you can try. Korean company Cheritz has been releasing their Japanese-style dating sim games into English for a couple of years now, and recently got those games onto Steam through Greenlight. Their latest, Namelessis quite beautiful and differs from their last entry, Dandelionin that it does not contain stats and instead is a straight up visual novel.
And while their games seem cute, don't let that fool you: the endings are bittersweet. In Nameless you play as a woman who likes to collect ball-t dolls, and who recently lost the grandfather she grew up alone with. One night, her dolls suddenly come to life as a group of fully-sized hot men.
It sounds ridiculous, and she reacts to the situation as pretty much anyone would. But the relatable protagonists and good writing make the game a charming experience — I often find the game's writing mirrors my own responses.
While the pacing can be slow like a juicy Korean drama, you definitely are getting your money's worth. There is also a free demo you can try either through Steam or direct. Hatoful Boyfriend is a popular game where you date pigeons. But it was created from and works best with an existing knowledge of how otome games operate. While you go through the game repeating each school year to pursue your next pigeon of choice, it quickly becomes apparent that something is very off about the world you live in — besides the whole pigeon-dating thing.
Eventually upon reset the game asks if you want to "fulfill the promise" and that's where the real experience begins. The initial dating sim parts are actually only extended character prologues meant to get you attached to the birds, and the final Bad Boys Love route tears all you love down. It's very effective storytelling if you see it through to the very end. PS4 and Vita ports are planned to be released later this year. Hopefully you'll find this a helpful overview for dipping your toes into the otome genre. Japan has a vast library of these types of games particularly for women, with large glossy magazines released every month featuring the latest games, upcoming series, available goods, drama CD tie-ins, and voice actor interviews.
But Western publishers are still apprehensive because of past failures and Japanese dating sims for guys large up-front script translation cost with an unsure audience. Some publishers see that times are changing and are taking a chance, with MangaGamer's two new titles and Sekai Project, which has had a lot of success crowdfunding translation of men's dating sims, stating that they would like their next project to be an otome or BL game. Addionally, with the opening of indie game platforms like itch.
Even if all those cool-looking Japanese dating sims don't make it out in English, a new generation of Western developers are being influenced by the genre and putting their own twist on it. And that is exciting! Capable but large about a foot wideI can well imagine using the Steamdeck as a tiny gaming PC attached to monitor, keyboard and mouse with occasional jaunts on the deck or lounger.
You can pick from American, Japanese and British fare and must contend with turbulence and a deliberately immiserating control system. DRM often punishes legitimate players without stopping pirates, but piracy being the only way to enjoy a game broken by DRM is another thing entirely. The s this summer haven't been pretty. It's one thing when Death Valley hits degrees. Sure, that's insanely hot, but we expect stuff like that.
It's Death Valley, for God's sake. But last month was the hottest June on record for the United States, as a "thousand wave heatwave" baked western states.Japanese dating sims for guys
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Six Japanese Dating Sims to Fall In Love With