Oct 2, Although not dating sims specificially, visual novels with a focus on One major difference I've noticed between Japan and US: Loveplus itself. Eroge (エロゲ) is a Japanese shortening of "erotic game". These can also be called H-games. Native Japanese speakers sometimes use the. Sorta like the difference between Animu and "Japanimation". Many dating sims are in visual novel format (at least partially so), but not all.
A more canonical example would be Higurashi no Naku Koro nithough purists will sometimes insist on calling it a "Sound Novel" as this is the official description.
More on this in the related terms section.
Dating sim - Wikipedia
Calling something a visual novel emphasizes the "novel" aspect and suggests that there is at least some semblance of a story. It would not usually be used to describe eroge which are solely sex scenes. Visual novel can also be used in a more technical way to describe games where the text is overlayed over the background as opposed to being presented in dialogue boxes. This distinction is more common among Japanese speakers than English speakers.
In English usually people will abbreviate this as NVL, and games where the dialogue is in a box at the bottom of the screen are called ADV. Dating Sims are a different category of game from Visual Novels. These games do feature gameplay, but the object of the gameplay is to get into a romantic relationship with a character from the game. The most familiar example is probably the Tokimeki Memorial series, though there are many other highly successful examples such as Love Plus.
Unlike visual novels, the gameplay here can be fairly complex. These are marketed at heterosexual males. It includes a lot of games that would be classified as dating simulators and a lot that would be classified as visual novels. There are a lot of other closely related terms that could be used to describe these kinds of games. I'll describe these briefly here: A Sound Novel is a type of visual novel.
The term is a trademark by Chunsoft and emphasizes the sound aspects as opposed to visual aspects. Sound novels are actually older than visual novels but because of the trademark the term "visual novel" is the one that's stuck in the long term.
For older games the distinction between the two is somewhat notable, but for most modern games there's basically no difference between the meaning of the two terms.
A Kinetic Novel is a type of visual novel without any gameplay at all. That includes things like making decisions for the protagonist. Because of the lack of any player input, the story is entirely preset and the player just reads through it without any input.
Nyarko is seen playing Lovecraft Plus. It's an Inverted Dating Simthe character has SAN among the character's statswhich measure your resistance to the Yanderes who are after you. Lose enough SAN and you end up with her forever, wallowing in your mutual insanity.
Visual Novels vs. Dating Simulation Games
The eighth episode of the television anime has the cast stuck in a cursed dating simand they will only escape once Mahiro declares his love for one of them. He is reluctant to do soso it works out as an inversion as above. A Yuria Shiki omake features the Yuria 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 Journal Comic Doodle Diaries featured a short parody of dating sims, starring the three main characters as the love interests. Date A Live 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 Fraxinus who makes the decision making part.
Parodied in Gravity Falls with Giffany, a perky AI from a Japanese dating sim which gained sentience and became a psychotic yandere towards anyone who plays her game.
Masques and Murder is a vicious Genre Deconstruction: Flirting with Papyrus during your battle with him unlocks an optional dating sidequest. As Papyrus's never dated before, he consults a guidebook on what to do and ends up believing that you're madly in love with him even if you spend the entire date insulting him.
Not only that, but his Large Ham personality leads to him treating the date as more like a competition to see who has the most "Dating Power".
Visual Novels vs. Dating Simulation Games | 魔法☆全開 ~オタクSPOT~
At the end of the date, he admits that he doesn't like you in that way and would prefer to just be friends. The True Pacifist route includes a similar comedic "date" with Alphys at the local garbage dump. Being a bit Genre Savvyshe brings gifts intended to increase your Relationship Values with her, but they're all obviously intended for a different person, namely Undyne, who actually wrote the love letter Alphys mistakes you as the author of.
The date turns into more of a pep talk session that's then unceremoniously interrupted by Undyne. Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun had a story where Mikoshiba convinced Nozaki to try a dating sim in order to try and understand girls better. However, the only character with whom Tomoda has any meaningful interaction is the main character himself, which results in the doujin unintentionally becoming Boys' Love.
Special Mentions Grand Theft Auto Oddly enough, Grand Theft Auto 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, and 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 to. Each girl also has a totally different personality and interest, along with benefits if they like you enough — dating the lawyer Kiki, for instance, will allow you to get out of a wanted level of up to three stars.
A similar system is even used with some of the male characters. Although their activities are strictly of the guy friend variety, like drinking or going to a strip club, it's still the same basic feature, and you can get similar bonuses from being friends with them — your cousin Roman offers free cab rides, Little Jacob offers discounted weapons, etc.
They also implement this feature directly into the storyline several times; you have two canonical girlfriends over the course of the game, while the ending you choose results in the death of either your dear cousin or your already mentally scarred girlfriend.
San Andreas also had this feature, albeit a stripped down earlier version.Why You Shouldn't Play Dating Simulators
It doesn't tie too much into the story aside from stealing an access card from one of your girlfriends, though you do receive rewards like special outfits and access to their cars.