The first ending many people experience when playing notorious pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend involves being ambushed by ninjas for "failing to display sufficient intimacy with the birds." You are unceremoniously killed and brought back to the main menu to start over from the beginning or are forced to resume from an earlier save point.Dating simulation games like Hatoful Boyfriend most often take the form of visual novels, interactive text adventures with images and animations accompanying the branching story.As you repeatedly go through one of these games with your different romantic focuses each loop through you'll notice that things in the story can change pretty drastically after a designated turning point, depending on how that particular sim is laid out.Characters who are hale and hearty in one route will up and die in another, enemies become friends and vice versa.At this stage I advise friends new to the genre that they need to focus on a chosen character early and aim for that goal ceaselessly.And I assure them not to panic from this seemingly premature decision, because dating sims are specifically designed so that you will want to see all the available characters, each attempt requiring its own separate playthrough on a different timeline entirely.
Japanese dating sim players often refer to the romanceable characters in the games as "capturable." Whether you want to interpret that as literal or prefer to see yourself as "captivating" the various characters’ attentions is up to you, and sometimes up to the particular game’s themes.
We’re going to offering some hints at how to get the most out of all manner of dating sims, along with some places to start.
If you’ve ever been curious about the genre, this is your excuse to jump in. Bad ends, like the aforementioned assassination, exist to teach players how to engage with most dating sims.
There are some people who dislike this disjointed storytelling style, such as those found in transmedia properties, so these types of games may just not be enjoyable for them.
999: Nine Persons, Nine Hours, Nine Doors and Virtue's Last Reward director Kotaro Uchikoshi spoke of his attempts at harnessing the player's experience and perception of a game's story during multiple playthroughs.