Sim dates (or Otome Games) are a popular visual novel sub-genre where you, as the player, have to get the male and/or female characters to fall in love with you in order to get the good/true endings of the routes. If done right, the story and the gameplay are rather worth the countless amounts of laughter, tears and moments of frustration from trying to choose the correct answers in order to get a good ending.
Many people see those who do play them as people who are lonely and need some love- of any kind- in order to “fill the void”. I would refute this opinion; however, I have played them since I was a teenager…mostly to do just that. Obviously, that wasn’t the only reason why I would- and still do- play them. Ever since I played my first dating sim, I was forever addicted. The fact that people work countless hours in order for you to play countless hours of reading and choosing answers- with maybe- 10 or more chapters along with the many outcomes and different events (of certain games) has to offer, is rather fascinating and impressive.
Now, the first finished sim date game I played was actually not from an app or one that I bought online, but one that I found online after searching “dating sim” on google. Now, the reason why I searched “dating sim” and why I said “finished sim date” was because I played a sim date made by a fan of Pico’s School (Warning: the game is very graphic/gruesome and includes unacceptable behavior. If you choose to play it/ look it up, know that you have been warned.) called “Pico Sim Date” on Newgrounds. Of course, I never finished it out of pure frustration of the mechanics; however, I did like the thought of getting to “date” 2-D characters. It didn’t take me a long time to find one though since there were countless of them online. The one that immediately caught my eye was “Wonderland Days Sim Date” by Pacthesis on DeviantArt. I was around 13 or 14 when I found it, and the word “Wonderland” made me excited since -other than Beauty and the Beast- Alice in Wonderland is my favorite story: both from the book and the movie. The game took me a while to play since I didn’t know the correct answers and such for the routes that I wanted…my personal favorite being Lance, mostly because he reminded me so much of Ikuto from Shugo Chara. When finishing a specific route, you get a cheat code which you can write in a particular place in the game (and other sim date games she’s made)- which, I admit, I ended up looking up all of the cheat codes in order to make the game easier (sue me!).
After finishing the game, I ended up playing her other games for hours on end. I even repeatedly play the games year after year. In fact, I played the game that made me find out about Vocaloid because of a version of Rolling Girl she included in-game called “Idol Days Sim Date”. My favorite one by her, though is “Kingdom Days Sim Date” mostly because it has everything that I love: kings, ghosts, vampires, werewolves, and elves. Recently, I looked her up, and she created her own website (pacthesisgames.com) with all of the dating sims she’s made- along with another series of games called “Xolga and Mr. Toko”. She hasn’t made any more games which is a bit sad, but understandable since, if she is planning on releasing more games, she has to plan, write, and draw everything while also having to work on everything else for her daily life. All of her games have a good sense of humor while also making sure you feel the right amount of sadness and love for the characters and the story itself. She is a good writer and I hope that she is doing rather well with her life. Please check out her website and games, I promise you won’t be disappointed with them.
Anyways that was my first dating sim, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed it. If you played otome/dating sims before, what was your first? I always find a person’s first game, anime, book, ect. rather interesting even though others might not think so. Right now, I’m working on playing many different otome games on my laptop and phone for Valentine’s Day so I hope you all look forward to it. Until next time, keep your paws and bowls of ramen up, everyone! Nya! 🐾