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Romance Game

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Romance games, known in Japanese as ren'ai (romantic love) games, are a category of video game that covers several mechanics and demographics. The distinguishing factor of these games is that the primary goal of the game is to establish a romantic relationship between the Player Character and one or more of the NPCs. Although the genre originates in Japan, they are also made elsewhere, particularly in the form of "doujin-soft" (noncommerical fanmade games).

Most ren'ai games are Visual Novels (a type of Interactive Fiction) or Dating Sims (a type of Simulation Game), although many are hybrids, such as Role-Playing Game / Dating Sim or Action Game / Visual Novel. Many ren'ai games contain some erotic content; those where this is a major feature may be classified as eroge (short for "erotic games").

See also Romance Sidequest for games where the romance isn't the main focus.

See also "Reborn as Villainess" Story for a (mainly Light Novel) genre that emerged in The New '10s which combines this with Isekai to turn the genre's (alleged) tropes on their head.

Bishoujo Games:

In Japan, the term "Bishoujo (beautiful girl) game" covers any game for men that offers pictures or animation of attractive girls, regardless of gameplay style or narrative content (see Bishoujo Genre). In the West, the term is generally used to cover ren'ai games aimed at a male audience.

Examples of Bishoujo Games:

Otome games:

Otome (maiden) games cover any game aimed at a female audience that is not a Boys' Love game; the majority are Visual Novels with romantic elements. Many are made by departments or subsidiaries of bishoujo game companies; for example, Tokimeki Memorial has an otome game spinoff, Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side.

Not to be confused with otoge, which is Japanese slang for Rhythm Game.

Examples of Otome Games:

Boys' Love Games:

Games aimed at a female audience that feature male-male romance. Like otome games, most are Visual Novels and many are made by departments or subsidiaries of bishoujo game companies; for example, Togainu no Chi was made by Nitro+ CHiRAL, a subsidiary of nitro+ .

Examples of Boys Love Games:

Yuri Games:

Games which feature female-female romance. Unlike the other genres on this page, the term "yuri" does not imply a particular target audience; games aimed at a male audience and games aimed at a female audience are both included under the "yuri" label.

Examples of Yuri Games:


Games which don't fall into any of the above categories. Some of the titles on this list include games focused on male/male pairings that are aimed at a queer male audience as opposed to the typically female audience of BL, while others include games with customizable player character genders and/or mixed-gender love interest optionsnote .

Examples of other romance games:

Alternative Title(s): Renai Game, Bishoujo Game, Otome Game, BL Game, Boys Love Game, Ren Ai, Yuri Game