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Many anime and games have spawned off of each other. The Castlevania games got an anime adaptation and popular anime like Dragon Ball Z have gotten tons of video games. In the niche gaming world of dating sims, anime adaptations also exist. The dating sim subgenre of video games that have existed since the 90s. What makes a game a dating sim is that traditionally the end goal of the story is to end up in a romantic relationship with another character that the player can choose from the cast.
Presently, the most successful RPGs have taken on a bit of dating sim elements and blending them into action-adventure games. When it comes to pure dating sim games though, they are known to be tailored more towards Japanese gamers and are considered niche to international audiences. In fact, international audiences may be aware of the anime, but not the dating sim games that inspired them in the first place.
Updated on August 19th, , by Allison Stalberg: Dating sims are getting a tiny bit more popular. This can be part of an increase in human isolation, from just more word-of-mouth on the internet, or a combination of the two. Some would consider dating sims to be a guilty pleasure, but that stigma is getting old as dating sim games became more internationally normalized. After all, some of the most popular video games are those that include romancing someone out of a selection of characters like Mass Effect or Fire Emblem.
The anime inspired by these games also played a role in making these titles more popular and less internationally obscure. Technically, Hakuoki is an otome game. Otome is a bit of a subgenre of dating sim games, as it always has a female lead who chooses a male character to form a strong bond with and the bond is not always necessarily romantic.
Not only is this title an otome game, but it also is historical fantasy. The game inspired an anime that lasted for three seasons. Not only that, but it got two movies. The story follows a girl among the Shinsengumi a special police force during Japan's Bakumatsu period. Various characters have an affection meter and how the game ends partly depends on where the meter is at. Sakura Wars is a steampunk dating sim owned by Sega. While its first game was released in the '90s, the latest entry came out in The anime and games feature women with magical abilities and steam-powered mechs that they use to fight supernatural enemies.
There are five titles to the main series and plenty of spin-off games as well. This dating sim combines sports and romance. The sport in question is called "Stride," which is a lot like parkour. The sport has teams that consist of six people that run through town. The main character is Nana Sakurai though players can change her name , and she becomes the leader of her own team and must prepare herself and them for the tournament. The game came out for the PS Vita in and got a 12 episode anime just a year later.
This trilogy was for the PS Vita from to It is another otome game and contains five different storylines. The player chooses a card deck symbol between Heart, Spade, Clover, Diamond, and Joker, each standing for one story route with a specific male character. Each route is in a parallel world. As the game title hints at, the main character has amnesia. Depending on the route, the protagonist also gets amnesia in different ways.
The story is about a powerful organization that makes contracts with Arcana cards that give them various powers. The leader of the organization decides to retire and holds a contest for who will be the new boss. Whoever is the new boss will also win his daughter's hand-in-marriage. He likes to do photography and meets girls at his school through that passion. An anime series based on Photo Kano came out in with 13 episodes. The game was popular enough to get an enhanced version for the PS Vita in the same year as the anime release.
While players are given options as to which girl to date, the most well-known one is on the game's cover, Haruka Niimi. She is Kazuya's childhood friend. There is an original trilogy as well as a sequel trilogy. Those who watch the anime and those who play the games might know the characters as different people though, as their personalities are altered depending on the media.
The storyline is pretty different as well. Doki Doki Literature Club is a psychological horror story dressed as a dating sim, and that is part of what makes it famous. It deconstructs the genre in a way that is surprisingly impactful in its plot twists. It has won awards, which is not very typical of dating sims, and it dives into themes such as depression and grief.
It is certainly not a title for the light-hearted. The anime version is far less known. Later in , it got its own console game for the PS Vita. The anime series came out in with 12 episodes. The games are not known for their plot, as they mostly come down to interacting with virtual female characters and trying to get their intimacy meter up.
Players have a ton of choices since there are over a hundred female characters, each with a unique voice actress. Sometimes abbreviated to "Comipa," this dating sim was actually inspired by a real convention called "Comiket" that occurred in Tokyo twice a year. A manga and anime adaptation for the game came out around the same time in The anime got a sequel called Comic Party Revolution.
The player's choices both influence how many copies of his work he can sell as well as which woman at the convention he can date. Only launched in Japan, Angelique is a series with many games, spin-offs, and film adaptations. It is pretty popular among import gamers and there has been a strong desire for the series to get localized for non-Japanese players.
The first Angelique game came out in and the latest in The games spawned a 13 episode anime and a sequel in and As for the series story, its fantasy elements render it complex. Basically, the next Queen of the Cosmos is being chosen.
Players take the role of a contender to be the next Queen, Angelique. As she completes her examination, she has nine guardians to pick from as possible lovers. This dating sim came out only in Japan for the PS2 in Around the same time, a manga for it was released. A year later, the anime Amagami SS came out with 26 episodes. Two years after that, the anime got a sequel. The story is pretty basic. The player takes the role of a male character whose heart was broken on Christmas Eve.
However, he meets six girls during his second year of high school and is ready to try love again. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a seemingly infinite abyss of secrets, with fans now discovering pieces of hidden dialogue. Writer, author of The Awei Series, and cat foster parent. Share Share Tweet . Related Topics Lists anime. Allison Stalberg Articles Published.
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10 Best Dating Sim Games