The best dating sims for Valentine’s Day


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The best dating sims for Valentine's Day

The best dating sims for Valentine’s Day

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Dating The Sims, on the other hand, don’t bring the stress and heartbreak that comes with putting yourself out there. So if you’ve always wanted to get into the genre, or just wanted some advice on what to play next, here are some dating sims to check out this Valentine’s Day or anytime.

By standards, every game on this list is safe to work on (any of them surpass some of PG’s suggestive humor) and are firmly in the dating sim genre. I chose the latter because of the amazing intersection between horror games and dating sims, while some games, like the fantastic but unmistakably frightening “Doki Doki Literature Club”, use dating sims and visual novel tropes to enforce their fears. And we don’t mean to hurt you.

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“Ghost Speed ​​Dating”

Platform: PC, Nintendo Switch, iOS

Yes, I know starting this list with a game about ghosts seems to violate the whole “no horror game” standard, but hear me out. In Ghost Dating, you play as a lone soul searching for love in the afterlife, navigating branching dialogue choices in an attempt to lure a ghost suitor of your choice. The concept is creepy and absurd, and the game’s dialogue, written by Ben Gelinas, who has worked on Dragon Age and the Mass Effect series, blends it with an impeccably dark sense of humor.

A ghost still thinks she’s alive, which puts you in the awkward position of giving her bad news. Another ghost immediately took the lead, “Want to make money?” and asked you to give up the activity and go rob the bank together.

While Ghost Speed ​​Dating embraces its brand of morbid stupidity, it doesn’t shy away from the somber reflections, existential fears and other complex emotions associated with death. It turns out that just because you’re dead doesn’t mean your inner demons don’t haunt you anymore.

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Platforms: PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, iOS

One of the things you’ll notice quickly about the dating sim genre is that when the developers make a joke, they crime (See also: Colonel Sanders Dating Simulation Game). This spirit can turn even the most memetic concept into a truly engaging game. In “Dream Daddy,” you play a father who must balance settling into a new home with his daughter and trying to date a hot dad nearby.

As you might expect from a game about a dad dating a dad, the dialogue includes plenty of dad jokes and harrowing puns, but not at the expense of a compelling narrative. Sure, other dads you can date are comic book characters, but when you get to know them, they gain a surprising level of depth into the struggles they have in parenting, or connecting with you and their respective children An awkward but well-meaning attempt to connect. Dream Daddy’s sleek UI and gorgeous, sensual art style complement a captivating gaming experience.

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Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4

“Monster Ball” is a combination of a dating sim and a party game, so it’s the only multiplayer game on the list. As a Spooky High student, you only have a few weeks at prom to date other monsters from your school, such as joke-loving werewolves, nerdy vampires, or pranksters who just want to party (“You only live twice!” ).

Every day, you decide how to spend your time, either by building your stats to get your crush to notice you, or by triggering events and choosing dialogue options that can affect your relationship with different characters. How successfully you pursue your lover determines how you end up. The story of each game is random, combining different events and endings based on your actions, so each time feels like a new experience.

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While “Monster Ball” is still enjoyable in single-player mode, a lot of the fun comes from the drama that unfolds when playing with friends, such as trying to sabotage a player vying for your same love interests by saying bad things about their crush.

Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One

Arcade Spirits is a moving visual novel about the struggles of youth and the emotional bonds that come when like-minded people work together. It’s set in a future where the video game crash of 1983 never happened, and the arcade scene is still thriving decades later. As such, the art style is full of homages to the 70s and 80s, punctuated by neon lights.

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You play as Ari, a 20-something who has spent most of her life dealing with erratic growth and financial hardship. After losing her job, she finds a job in a retro-themed arcade and begins to approach her co-workers and regulars — romantic or platonic, depending on the player. The dialogue options you choose determine Ari’s character traits, such as brave, kind, or eccentric, which affects the endings available in each game, encouraging players to play multiple times and try different answers.

If you’ve played any of the dating sims on our list, or have a suggestion for a game we should check out, let us know in the comments.

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