Dating simulations are a type of computer game in Japan (where they are referred to as "romance games"). The player controls a point of view (POV) game character who interacts with other game characters in the hopes of winning the love of one of them. These games are mainly set in high school, and are usually aimed at heterosexual boys/men, but these games are made with all types of settings and for all kinds of audiences. The thing that all dating sims have in common is deciding what to say to the characters and what activities to do with them, like studying with them or going out on dates. Depending on what you do, your "score" or "appreciation points" with each character will increase or decrease; if you score is high enough at the end of a game, then you win that character's love. Also, depending on what you say and what you do, different opportunities open and close themselves to you, so that there are multiple pathways through the game, and multiple endings. Many games have personal statistics, like how athletic you are, how good you are at math and history, and so on. You have to decide which statistics you want to spend you available time improving, by exercising, studying for a certain subject, and so on. How much a character likes you, if she will be willing to go out on a date with you, and even if you get to meet her in the first place can depend on what your statistics are. Other than that, there are a lot of variations in the games. Some only have what's described above. Some are combined with other games, like having to fight a character in a Street Fighter type game, or you have to play a card game against another character. None of these games have been released in English yet, so if you want to play them you'll either have to be able to read Japanese, or you'll have to play with a game guide telling you what the choices are in each scene.

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Game Tour: World Neverland Plus
Review. "A traditional RPG type game (fighting monsters, gathering items and such), with the addition of dating sim elements and the ability to make your living in a mundane way."
Kari - Virtual Girlfriend
Kari is the most advanced girlfriend simulations to date. Kari is an artificial intelligence entity which can learn and have a real conversation with you.
Lemma Soft Forums
Discussion of fan-made dating simulations and about software for making your own.
Megatokyo: Dating Sims and Visual Novels Forum
A web forum on dating sims, on the site of the Megatokyo webcomic.
Ren'ai Archives
Free, English dating simulations for download. Created by American and British fans of the genre.

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July 2, 2016 at 10:24:05 UTC
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