Many a moon ago, I wrote an article on games that you can play to stop you feeling a case of the lonelies over the notorious Valentine’s Day. As you can probably assume, I was in fact very single, and the content might have been somewhat bitter. Fast forward to V-Day 2018, and I am less bitter (about love anyway), and ready to write something perhaps a little more cheerful.
Consequently, this time around, I thought I’d write about a few dating sims that you could try your hand at over this loved-up holiday. Whether you’re single or not, these are some games that will have you thoroughly entertained, and feeling that heart-eyed feeling.
Magical Diary is a rather magical (duh) little visual novel/RPG from Hanako Games. If you’re looking for a game with a whole lot of replay value, then this is the one for you. It’s essentially a Japanese version of Harry Potter where you get to learn spells and fall in love. The brilliant thing about this title is that unlike many other visual novels there’s actually a lot of interesting game mechanics, as opposed to the usual “click, click, decision, click click” loop of infinity. You can have fun choosing stats to prioritise and actually build up your character into someone unique on each playthrough. The story, albeit fairly trivial and downright weird in places, is well written, and the characters are easy to connect with. An underrated game from an underrated developer, I’d definitely recommend it. Even better - try the demo for free on Steam!
Don’t tell me this isn’t a dating sim, because it bloody well is. Okay so that might not be ALL it is, but for me - it’s the main selling point. There are so many incredibly well-written character backstories, and wonderful opportunities to experience pixelated love of the highest calibre, that you’ll be swept away in no time. I’ve logged over 100 hours on this game and have still yet to see all it has to offer. Grab this game immediately, and start your farm in Stardew Valley, and get ready to meet its glorious inhabitants.
What’s better than cats? Nothing, is the correct answer to that question. As a cat person through and through I was of course delighted to discover the existence of Purrfect Date, which as you can probably glean from the title, is a game where you can date cats. Don’t look at me like that. Picture a beautiful island full of mystery ready for you to explore, now picture that island covered in talking cats that you can romance. I know, it’s pretty awesome right? In all seriousness, the game is actually really funny with an interesting plot line and captivatingly cute characters. If you’re a cat fan, this is 110% worth your time, ESPECIALLY as you can play this on iOS on your phone (talk about handy). If you’re not a cat fan, GTFO.
I’m just going to say it. This game is ridiculous. I mean, if you’re after something that’s going to make you say “wtf” frequently, and in an increasingly higher pitch each time - then give this a try. The writing is borderline inappropriate pretty much constantly, and the plot makes little to no sense whatsoever, and yet somehow it keeps your attention. Trust me, I don’t know how, but I kept clicking to the next sentence over and over. There’s a reason why this game has a huge cult fanbase, and it’s definitely an extensive story - so it’s worth a look into, if you feel so inclined.
Now here’s a dating sim and a half. Want to be a hot daddy and meet other hot daddies to pair with your own hot daddiness? Of course you do!! This game has over 2500 positive reviews on Steam, which is close to catching up that feathery classic Hatoful Boyfriend. In all seriousness, despite the jovial facade of the game, Dream Daddy is actually a pretty great step in the right direction for diversity and representation. Whilst a lot of dating sims are based around young teens with their pick of amply-bosomed young women in very skimpy attire, this one is based around not just more mature characters, but gay ones at that. It’s great to see diversity coming through on every level, and Dream Daddy is no exception.
So there we go folks, five games to try this Valentine’s Day, if you’re looking for some easy entertainment. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article, and I’ll no doubt see you in a couple of years with another love-infused piece.