Each character has their own unique personality, forcing you to cater to their likes and dislikes in order to woo them.

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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.

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.

These games often feature a day-night cycle with a time scheduling system that provides context and relevance to character interactions, allowing players to choose when and if to interact with certain characters, which in turn influences their responses during later conversations.

While bishōjo games make up the bulk of dating sims, other types of games exist.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.The most common objective of dating sims is to date, usually choosing from among several characters, and to achieve a romantic relationship.The term "dating sim" is also often used incorrectly in English as a generic term for romance-driven games (ren'ai games), a subject matter which is stereotypically associated with the visual novel genre.A good dating sim has memorable characters and a compelling story to suck you right in.