%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1295056920027243300
%% Please do not change or remove without starting a new thread.
%%
[[quoteright:350:[[LightNovel/{{MM}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Ryuumaru_M_9586.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[GuideDangIt Hold on while I check the FAQ...]]]]

The Dating Sim is a type of game designed to set up goals, usually in the forms of schedules and stats corresponding to social skills, which must be achieved to discover a story focused entirely around the CharacterDevelopment of the player's chosen girl/guy, get [[HGame into his/her pants]], or both. This leads to MultipleEndings, though some Dating Sims make it possible to see several of these "endings" in a single playthrough.

Some Dating Sims have been made into [[HaremGenre Harem]] anime, though the result is usually nothing special due to [[BleachedUnderpants the removal of sex]] and the fact that the narrative can no longer focus on any single character.

Because there is almost no market for true Dating Sim games outside of Japan, it's a frequent misunderstanding among western gamers that "Dating Sim" is the general term for all [[RomanceGame ren'ai (romantic love) games]]. In fact, many romance games are {{Visual Novel}}s, which is a much different game style. (See for example, the difference between the ''VisualNovel/AceAttorney'' series, which is very close to a VisualNovel style of gameplay, and the [[VideoGame/DeadOrAlive DOA]] Xtreme series, which is the closest thing to a true Dating Sim with mass-market appeal in the US.) If the game plays out like a ChooseYourOwnAdventure, that's a VisualNovel. If it feels like you're playing an RPG, trying to keep track of everyone's feelings about you and giving out presents, that's a Dating Sim.

In recent years, there have been many {{Role Playing Game}}s that incorporate dating sim elements. These dating sim elements are often referred to as {{Romance Sidequest}}s in the RPG genre.

----
!!Examples

[[index]]
* VideoGame/AgarestSenki - where the level of affection between the protagonist and the chosen heroine will affect the outcome of the next generation protagonist.
* VideoGame/AlwaysRememberMe
* Franchise/{{Angelique}}
* VideoGame/{{Amagami}}
* ''VideoGame/AzureDreams'' - a large component of the game was a dating sim.
* VideoGame/BlackMatrix
* VideoGame/BraveSoul is a cross between DatingSim and EasternRPG genres.
* VideoGame/BrooktownHigh: The infamous and highly despised Americanized TokimekiMemorial.
* VideoGame/ChronoDays
* VideoGame/CuteKnight
* VideoGame/CuteKnightKingdom
* ''VideoGame/{{Dandelion}} - Wishes Brought to You -''
* VideoGame/DeadOrAlive "Xtreme Beach Volleyball"
* VideoGame/DreamCClub
* VideoGame/GalaxyAngel gameverse
* VideoGame/GateKeepers
* VideoGame/HarukanaruTokiNoNakaDe
* VideoGame/HarvestMoon games include DatingSim subplots.
* VisualNovel/HatofulBoyfriend
* VideoGame/Heartache101SourIntoSweet
* VideoGame/HuniePop
* VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptuniaMk2 - The first game didn't have any RelationshipValues, but this one has [[LesYay boatloads of it.]]
* VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptuniaProducingPerfection - It's a minor feature, but present.
* VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptuniaVictory
* VideoGame/TheIdolmaster games all include this, except ''Live For You''.
* VideoGame/{{Kimikiss}}
* VideoGame/KingdomDays
* VideoGame/KiniroNoCorda
* LoveHina Advance
* VideoGame/LovePlus
* VideoGame/LuckyRabbitReflex
* VisualNovel/MagicalDiary
* Anime/MaiHime (Unmei no Keitouju)
* VideoGame/MatchesAndMatrimony: A ''Literature/PrideAndPrejudice'' Tale
* VideoGame/MeineLiebe
* VideoGame/MemoryDays
* VideoGame/MitsumeteKnight
* VideoGame/NamcoHigh
* ''VisualNovel/{{Nameless}} - The One Thing You Must Recall -''
* VideoGame/{{Nicole}}
* VisualNovel/OtometekiKoiKakumeiLoveRevo
* LightNovel/PapaNoIukotoOKikinasai
* VideoGame/{{Persona 3}} - [[XMeetsY A fusion]] with EasternRPG, with RelationshipValues aid in dungeon raiding. And not all relationship are romance.
* VideoGame/{{Persona 4}} - See above.
* ThePKGirl
* VisualNovel/PrincessDebut
* VisualNovel/REAlistair
* ''{{VideoGame/Redshirt}}'' - contains Dating Sim elements amongst various other life simulator aspects.
* VideoGame/RivieraThePromisedLand contains some Dating Sim subplots.
* ''VideoGame/{{Roommates}}''
* ''VideoGame/RuneFactory''
** ''VideoGame/RuneFactoryFrontier''
** ''VideoGame/RuneFactory2''
** ''VideoGame/RuneFactory3''
** ''VideoGame/RuneFactory4''
** ''VideoGame/RuneFactoryOceans''
* VideoGame/SaveTheDate
* VideoGame/SakuraWars
* SentimentalGraffiti
* ShiraOkaSecondChances
* Franchise/TheSims series: You can devote all, none, or some of your gameplay towards romance subplots.
** VideoGame/TheSims
** VideoGame/TheSims2
** VideoGame/TheSims3
* LightNovel/SisterPrincess
* StarOcean: A series of {{Eastern RPG}}s that include a relationship-building system similar to Dating Sims.
* VideoGame/SummonNight
* VideoGame/{{Sweet33}}
* VideoGame/ThousandArms (also an EasternRPG)
* Franchise/TokimekiMemorial was one of the first hugely popular and successful games in the category, paving the way for everything that came after.
** VisualNovel/TokimekiMemorialGirlsSide is its otome variant.
* TokyoMajin
* YoakeMaeYoriRuriiroNa
[[/index]]

!!Parodies
* ''Anime/ExcelSaga'', naturally, did an episode parodying these. In a RunningGag, the male characters suddenly find themselves in a game with several options, the last generally being "[[FreudWasRight Put It In]]."
** "Who puts a [[Franchise/TokimekiMemorial BOMB in a DATING GAME]]?!!"
*** [[VideoGame/SuperPaperMario NOOOOOOOOOO! MY GRAPHICS CAAAAAAARD!]]
** Il Palazzo, playing the game, gets a bad ending by killing the PatientChildhoodLoveInterest who wakes him up in the game, before even leaving for school.
** In the last two episodes, Watanabe gets the dating sim option popup when he encounters Hyatt. He almost gets the good ending, too, but Excel interrupts.
* Likewise, one episode of ''Anime/AbenobashiMahouShoutengai'' featured a world that partially functioned as a Dating Sim (with an all-girl cast and drawn in a {{Moe}} style), to the point of Sasshi requesting a replay so he could end up with a different girl.
* ''Galaxy Angel'' (ONLY [[VideoGame/GalaxyAngel the games]]; the [[Anime/GalaxyAngel anime]] is something altogether different)
* ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' parodies the genre in a pre-BossBattle cutscene. When the boss, a geeky chameleon named Francis, meets Princess Peach, the game turns into a dating sim with Francis playing it and the player providing her responses. Princess Peach quickly becomes annoyed at the concept, and sics Boomer on the [=Nerr2Babe=] Interface - which has the side effect of nuking Francis' video card. Cue the boss battle, folks.
** To both reiterate and answer the ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' quote, Peach indeed had a bomb available.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' has an ongoing [[SatireParodyPastiche pastiche]] of one, which leads to dating one of four characters (one of which is TheLancer and [[GayOption extremely male]]) at a minor scene later on. Interestingly, all of them contain some character and plot development - Aerith's scene foreshadows Cloud's TomatoInTheMirror moment later on, Tifa's serves as proof that she CannotSpitItOut, Yuffie's is the only one in which Cloud [[ChasteHero actually gets a kiss]], and Barret's is part non-sequitur rant, part self-parodying HoYay, and culminates in Cloud being (bizarrely) accused of being a paedophile. Cloud's relationships with other characters also affect several other scenes, including one near the end of the game that may imply a [[OptionalSexualEncounter sexual encounter]] with Tifa if her RelationshipValues with Cloud are high enough.
* In ''{{Genshiken}}'', shameless {{Otaku}} Madarame spends almost a whole episode in a room alone with DungeonMastersGirlfriend Saki, trying to work up the courage to talk to her. This is emphasised by dream sequences in which he imagines her as a character in a DatingSim, complete with ArtShift - and repeatedly ends up clicking 'Do nothing'. He bemoans in his internal monologue how real life has more choices than just three, and how it's [[ButThouMust not always obvious which one to make]].
* In ''AxisPowersHetalia'', Korea asks if China likes him. China is about to respond with no, but stops when he sees a little box above Korea that says that any response will lead to sex. Which is somewhat awkward considering the two are brothers.
-->'''Yes:''' "Than it's alright if I XXX than?"
-->'''No:''' [[BlackComedyRape "If you don't like me, I'll just XXX you!"]]
** Don't forget [[HighSchoolAU Gakuen Hetalia]].
* In ''Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic'', Sousuke's classmates attempt to prepare him for a date by having him play a DatingSim. His military-wired mind causes him to be blatantly honest to the girl, upsetting her and losing the game, much to his consternation.
** A similar arc occurs with Vanilla in ''Anime/GalaxyAngel''.
* ''VideoGame/{{La-Mulana}}'', upon acquiring certain {{MSX}} [=ROMs=], lets you play what at first appears to be an MSX knockoff of ''Franchise/TokimekiMemorial'', and the heroine, Shiori, is talking about how she'd like to take her friendship with Taihei (your character) to the next level until [[spoiler:she comments that she had a toothache since this morning. Taihei then discovers a piece of fake skin on the ground, and Shiori then [[ReplicantSnatching reveals herself to be a]] VisualNovel/{{Snatcher}}. After satrical dialogue on women in dating sims, you're thrown into a battle against Shiori while being careful not to shoot the "game mascot", Gyonin (A.K.A. Metal Fish [=MSX3=] Turbo R Plus)]]. After the whole ordeal is over, another girl named Nijino runs up... [[spoiler:only to reveal herself as a Snatcher as well.]] And the whole thing starts all '''Syntax error in 1220'''
* [[http://www.missmab.com/Comics/Arch_PD.php This bonus arc]] of [[DanAndMabsFurryAdventures DMFA]] is an AffectionateParody of this.
* This is the main point of ''[[TsunamiChannel Experimental Comic Kotone]]''.
* ''SetoNoHanayome'' has an episode where San's Dad, Lunar's Dad, Shark Fujishiro, and Masa played one of these games in an attempt to understand girls' feelings so they can better relate to San and Lunar. It ends up failing in an epic fashion.
* ''Manga/TheWorldGodOnlyKnows'' takes this to {{metafiction}}al levels, featuring a DatingSim {{otaku}} who captures escaped spirits by applying his knowledge of dating sims and their sub-genres.
* ''[[Manga/NoMatterHowILookAtItItsYouGuysFaultImNotPopular No Matter How I Look at It, It's You Guys' Fault I'm Not Popular!]]'' also makes focus on {{Dating Sim}} tactics (particularly of the ''Otome'' variety), but unlike the above example it gets played in a CringeComedy setting akin to ''Anime/WelcomeToTheNHK''.
* Done as a joke at a comicon in Japan, where Studio Pierrot showed a redubbed set of Manga/{{Bleach}} clips meant to be an advertisement for an upcoming dating sim.
* There's two 'dates' in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker'', where you can go to the beach with either Paz or [[GayOption Kaz]]. You speak to them using the Co-Op battle cries, and then (if they like you) you can invite them into the cardboard box for [[SexyDiscretionShot quality time]]. They're parody, but both Paz and Kaz have different personalities which come out during the dates (Paz likes being complimented and treated gently, Kaz likes being punched and Big Boss staring at his crotch with the binoculars). Hilariously, you have to successfully seduce both to get the HundredPercentCompletion conversation.
* In the Strong Bad email [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail81.html date]], Strong Bad creates the “WebAnimation/HomestarRunner and Marzipan Extra Real Dating Sim XR” to simulate what he imagines what Homestar and Marzipan actually do on a date.
* LightNovel/NyarkoSan:
** The fourth episode of the Haiyoru! Nyarani short flash animation. Nyarko is seen playing ''[[Creator/HPLovecraft Lovecraft]] [[LovePlus Plus]]''. It's an [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] DatingSim, the character has [[SanityMeter SAN]] among the [[TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu character's stats]], which measure your resistance to the {{Yandere}}s [[StalkerWithACrush who are after you]]. Lose enough SAN and you end up with her forever, wallowing in your mutual insanity.
** The eighth episode of the television anime has the cast [[TrappedInTVLand stuck in a cursed dating sim]], and they will only escape once Mahiro declares his love for one of them. [[{{Tsundere}} He is reluctant to do so]], so it works out as an inversion as above. The episode parodies or references plenty of romance game/anime clichés (Starting with Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion).
* A Yuria100Shiki omake features the Yuria 100 Shiki {{eroge}}. The first options all immediately lead to a sex scene except for the youngest female character, which immediately leads to the player getting arrested as a pedophile.
* The JournalComic [[http://doodlediaries.comicgenesis.com/d/20110325.html Doodle Diaries]] featured a short parody of dating sims, starring the three main characters as the love interests.
* ''LightNovel/DateALive'' plays this straight with the twist that the protagonist doesn't make the decision making part. Rather, it's his ''sister'' and the Ratatoskr crew aboard the [[CoolShip Fraxinus]] who makes the decision making part.

!Special Mentions
* Oddly enough, ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV GTA IV]]'' has this as a feature, complete with different places to go, activities to play, and different opinions with each and every girl. You can even meet them online on the internet and eventually have "hot coffee" with them. Your clothes, vehicle, driving skills, calling time, amount of calling (if you call too much, you're a stalker, but too little, and they'd think you'd forgotten them), all count in to how they view you. They remember what you have and where you go too. Each girl also has a totally different personality and interest, along with benefits if they like you enough. Even more surprisingly, you can also hook up with guys, although they are of the guy friend variety, like drinking or going to a strip club, but it's still the same basic feature. With all this, they also implement this feature directly into the storyline several times, along with the horrify ending with deciding [[spoiler:the death of a dear friend or already mentally scarred girlfriend]].
** ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas San Andreas]]'' also had this feature (a stripped down earlier version), although it didn't tie too much into the story aside from stealing an access card from one.
** The main point of these friends is to make the player's life easier: free transportation, {{Get Out Of Jail Free Card}}s, guns, cars, lower wanted level...
** DatingSim elements are creeping into Western games more and more -- see Bioware's ''Franchise/MassEffect'' and ''Franchise/DragonAge'', and ''TheWitcher'' before that.
* Flash games: a number of English-speaking fans have created stat-driven dating simulations using Flash. The "sim date" games emphasize gameplay over story or characterization. There are a number of games which use original characters and settings, both for male and female audiences. Others are based on popular series, such as Naruto.
* [[OtakuSurrogate Konata]] from Anime/LuckyStar plays these games A LOT. To the level of being WrongGenreSavvy.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'': Legion, a robot, purchased a dating sim based on a blockbuster romance film between two different aliens. His score is 15 (hopeless), humorously contrasted with the rest of his game scores (that consist of a million sniper kills on a generic FPS, et cetera).
* The awkward dialogue of [[http://www.funny-games.biz/festival-days-sim-date.html Festival Days]] must be seen to be believed.
* The happiness level in some versions of ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' has more than a shade of this, with your Pokémon reacting well to "gifts" like Potions and Stat Ups and badly to failures in your cooperative battles.
* ''SleepingDogs'' reportedly has something similar to ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV GTA IV]]'' with 4 women to date that offer a bonus once your relationship is good enough. In-game, though, it amounted to one side-mission per girl and collectables showing up on your map.
* The ''Dawnguard'' DLC for ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' has shades of this in the form of [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire Serana]]. Throughout the questline, when her past and lineage are slowly revealed, you can be polite and understanding in your dialogue, or you can be forceful and rude. While you can't marry her, if you're polite enough, [[spoiler:you can convince her to cure herself of vampirism if you ally with the Dawnguard]].
* ''VideoGame/MountAndBlade'' is mainly a StrategyRPG, but it does have a rather complex courtship system that allows you to woo and possibly marry various ladies. Each lady has a certain personality that affects her opinion on certain matters (your character's Honor and Renown, tournament dedication, various bits of poetry you can recite, etc.). Of course, since the game takes place in a medieval setting, there's [[ArrangedMarriage more to it]] than just winning ''her'' favor most of the time...

----