Dating simualtion games
The technical definition of a dating simulation game, known as a romantic simulation game in Japan, can involve several technical elements such as a time limit, several statistics such as looks and charm which can be boosted through exercise, or an "attraction meter" which can increase or decrease depending on one's decisions.
Some original-English dating sims include Sim Girls, In a typical dating sim, the player controls a male avatar surrounded by female characters.
This can lead to confusion, as visual novels are considered a subgenre of adventure games and are not technically included in the dating sim genre.
While the two genres often share a common visual presentation, dating sims are sometimes considered to be more statistically based than the "choose your own adventure" style of visual novels.
One game series that often includes dating, with the goal of marriage, is the farming sim series Harvest Moon.
The subplot of dating is more focused towards choosing one of several girls or guys (dependent on the player character's gender) and offering them presents or joining them on events in the game.
There are many variations on this theme: high-school romances are the most common, but a dating sim may also take place in a fantasy setting and involve such challenges as defending one's girl from monsters.
The gameplay involves conversing with a selection of girls, attempting to increase their internal "love meter" through correct choices of dialogue.
The game lasts for a fixed period of game time, such as one month or three years.
The Star Ocean series of RPGs also feature dating sim elements in a similar manner.
Some Japanese dating sims may allow the player to have romantic or sexual relationships with characters in their teens.