The technical definition of a dating simulation game, known as a romantic simulation game in Japan, can involve several technical elements such as a time limit, several statistics such as looks and charm which can be boosted through exercise, or an "attraction meter" which can increase or decrease depending on one's decisions.
Reina Scully from Source Fed NERD explains the genre this way:, reverse harem anime follows a female protagonist who is surrounded by a bunch of sexy boys. […] The lead is indecisive about who [s]he wants to choose, and subsequently is sorta, kinda with all of them.
Developers working for American game companies are still trying to wrap their heads around expanding the otome appeal.
Last summer, Kotaku began to trace Japan’s history of dating simulators, touching briefly on the games’ growing popularity in the states.
Though there is undoubtedly a market for fictionalized dating roleplay in Japan, American companies are still struggling to define exactly who is playing otome, choosing between illustrated men based on their personality profiles.
Though we haven’t quite figured out how to talk about otome, it’s likely to continue growing as an enterprise.
Many users may just continue to buy the games and play through them in secret.
Some are based in workplaces, others in academic settings.
A great many involve different paranormal storylines, fantasy characters, mythological creatures, monsters and/or aliens.
Otome is a still-emerging genre of mobile gaming which allows the user to roleplay as a character, typically female.
The primary objective of otome games is to navigate social structures and eventually choose a NPC “boyfriend” after being presented with several options.
This can lead to confusion, as visual novels are considered a subgenre of adventure games and are not technically included in the dating sim genre.