The Nintendo Switch offers games from a variety of genres to appeal to all kinds of gamers. One of these genres is the dating sim. These games provide many things that a lot of other games might lack, such as interesting character interactions, story and of course, romance.
While dating sims are associated with casual play and escapist fantasy, some can actually provide a bit of a challenge and even a good laugh. And though some dating sims follow the traditional tropes associated with romance in all kinds of media, others are genuinely funny, even heartwarming.
If you have ever wondered what it was like to be a single dad who dates other dads or are looking to have a good laugh, then look no further than Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator. It is a visual novel game developed by Game Grumps where the player moves into a town full of dateable dads.
Each of the seven Dads has their own personality and style, and players can choose which ones they’d like to build a relationship with. There is a Goth Dad, Bad Dad, Teacher Dad and many more. The game provides some lighthearted comedic relief or some uncomfortable cringe with its seemingly endless amount of dad jokes. There are also dad-themed mini games, options to create Dad characters called “Dadsonas” and multiple endings. The game is also filled with hidden secrets and easter eggs for players to find as they try to find their perfect dream daddy.
Later Daters sets itself apart from the usual Dating Sims by having players play as an octogenarian, providing its own unique charm. Not only is the game funny, but it also has lots of cute moments as the elderly characters take a chance on love. Play as the newest resident of Ye OLDE, a retirement community, where you’ll engage in conversation with many other seniors who are single and ready to mingle.
It is not all fun and games though, because Later Daters also provides intimate moments that deal with vulnerability and mortality. The visual novel game has eight characters for players to interact with, and even gives players the option to have pets from dogs to robots. The game also has polyamorous relationship options for all the Silver Fox hunters out there. Currently, only the first part is available, which contains the first three episodes. The second half is scheduled to release this Fall.
LongStory: A dating game for the real world is another popular Dating Sim available on the Nintendo Switch. This time, players take the role of a student at the rather interesting Weasel Heights Middle School. The school is complete with all the recognizable aspects of middle school society, including goals to become a social butterfly and steering clear of enemies.
A charming game, it even has a mystery story where players try to find out what happened to the previous owner of their locker. The game features eight episodes, each with one main goal: navigate the awkward social world and embarrassing relationship building that comes with middle school. Don’t worry though, because this game promises it will all be better this time around as players take their shot at finding true love while surviving middle school all over again.
A romantic-comedy adventure game, Half Past Fate brings with it all the cheesy and charming tropes of the genre. It has a 3D pixel art style and supplements players with a slice-of-life story set in the present day. This Dating Sim is less of a meme that the others, offering more of a traditional dating sim experience and normalcy mixed with some philosophical ideals. Players can eat spicy ramen, change the tires on cars and interact with a lot of friendly characters.
Of course, it would’t be a rom-com without some romance. Building relationships with characters can take from eight in-game hours to eight in-game years. Players will jump through time and witness how six people’s lives become intertwined. The game is also chock-full of relatable stories about life, love and fate that will change how you see these things. Just like in the real-world, the challenge of this game is balancing work, life and romance all at the same time.
An upcoming game originally scheduled to release on May 14, Best Friend Forever has since been delayed until June 18. This dating sim can either be a blessing in disguise or a nightmarish curse as players try to balance the difficulties of pet care and handling with their in-game love life. After all, nothing says “love is in the air” more than caring for an adorable and lovable pet dog. It is the first game of its kind to combine curbing a dog with romance, albeit the two actions probably do not happen at the same time.
With their four-legged companion, players must try to flirt and woo the multitude of attractive singles of Rainbow Bay. In the meantime, they have to care for, play with, pat and train their dogs, who also interact with the player as the story moves forward. It has a simple yet charming art-style, and the game may be more realistic than it appears: studies have shown that owning a pet can make a person more attractive.
There are plenty of dating simulators available on the Nintendo Switch, from traditional ones to more quirky options.