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Modern games have optional "social link" features, where you can build up relationships between supporting characters granting different benefits.
These are often found in Tactical RPG games, where unlocking a social link can boost certain stats.
You might think of dating games as only being the Japanese ones where you play a cute girl and you have to go on dates with handsome anime guys until you're able to win one as a boyfriend.
These are the typical otome dating simulation games that started the trend (otome meaning "maiden" or "girl" in Japanese).
Video game magazines that I read regularly would cover Japanese imports and niche titles, but dating sims were merely a curiosity and nothing more. The games industry has grown exponentially and modern gamers are interested in titles beyond the scope of the action, shooting and role-playing genres.
We've been seeing stronger interest in PC gaming lately, and we have the rise of Steam to thank for this.
All this is a huge boon for visual novels and dating simulation games, which would have lingered in obscurity outside of Japan, otherwise.
Steam on the other hand, has made digital distribution cost-effective, efficient, and accessible to a massive audience. I understand standard dating sims have SEX in it... Drawn with a mouse, this is my first dating sim for guys... your parents will approve :) Trust Bomee's humor, k? Let's see if we've got what it takes to establish fulfilling relationships with them with the best dating simulation games out there!The majority of dating simulation games usually has the player assuming the role of a male protagonist in the lead role, as he tries to win over the hearts of several beautiful girls.