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While bishōjo games make up the bulk of dating sims, other types of games exist.
Games where the player character is female and potential objects of affection are male are known as Gx B or otome games.
This gives the games more replay value, since the player can focus on a different girl each time, trying to get a different ending.
Dating sims such as Tokimeki Memorial often revolve almost entirely around relationship-building, usually featuring complex character interactions and branching dialogue trees, and often presenting the player's possible responses word-for-word as the player character would say them.
There are many variations on this theme: high-school romances are the most common, but a dating sim may also take place in a fantasy setting and involve such challenges as defending one's girl from monsters.
One game series that often includes dating, with the goal of marriage, is the farming sim series Harvest Moon.
Play as either the gamer Harold or the cheerful Kayla.
In recent years, there have been many Role Playing Games that incorporate dating sim elements.Some Japanese dating sims may allow the player to have romantic or sexual relationships with characters in their teens.The degree of sexual content varies, but may often include intercourse.Dating sims such as Tokimeki Memorial, and some role-playing games with similar relationship based mechanics to the genre such as Persona, often give choices that have a different number of associated "mood points" which influence a player character's relationship and future conversations with a non-player character.These games often feature a day-night cycle with a time scheduling system that provides context and relevance to character interactions, allowing players to choose when and if to interact with certain characters, which in turn influences their responses during later conversations.
While the two genres often share a common visual presentation, dating sims are sometimes considered to be more statistically based than the "choose your own adventure" style of visual novels.