Generally you meet several characters, and will have to choose one to court.
In Japan, dating sim characters are referred to as “capturable” -- whether that means you capture their hearts or their bodies depends on the game.
Welcome to Otome, visual dating games made with women in mind.
They enjoy a healthy fandom, but many acclaimed titles remain in their native Japanese—frustrating, because romance and relationship games are more popular than ever.
It's hard for me to think of an equivalent phenomenon in the Western canon—what if developers allowed us to date the historical figures found in Assassin's Creed games?
You play as Chizuru, who disguises herself as a man to travel to the capital of Kyoto in search of her missing father.
She accidentally gets tangled up with the local police, the Shinsengumi, and the story evolves from there. It's a samurai history lesson with a Twilight twist.
Tools like multiple save slots, quick-save features, and the ability to skip text and rewind help players efficiently pursue every potential partner character and reveal every story path.
It’s like backwards-engineering a narrative database -- and you may be surprised to find how much the story changes when you focus on a different partner each time. Hakuoki is a period piece, taking place in the Bakumatsu period of Japan at the time of civil unrest between the Emperor and the Shogun.
Lots of players get turned onto these aspects from story and character-driven Bio Ware games like Dragon Age, and if you’re a fan of those, I have a few recommendations to help welcome you into the otome genre.
While all you need to be “good at” is reading and making choices -- don’t worry if you don’t normally play games -- there are some important things to know about how these games work.
The Shinsengumi are a genuine part of history with many modern pop culture adaptations, tropes intake.
Souji Okita will almost always be tragic and tubercular -- if you Google his name, his historical Wikipedia profile will appear alongside art of his Hakuoki incarnation.