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You'll start as strangers and as you interact(talk) with them, your relationship will level up to friends, good friends, close friends and best friends.

The idol can only be your boyfriend upon 3 successful dates.

In recent years, there have been many Role Playing Games that incorporate dating sim elements.

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With these games come a number of sexy, emotionally turmoiled men ready to fall over the heroine and fulfill the player's desire for a perfect and perfectly attractive boyfriend.

Unfortunately, for every shy gentleman and jerkass with a heart of gold there is a creepy, possessive, or sadistic love interest who can only be described as psychotic.

Because there is almost no market for true Dating Sim games outside of Japan, it's a frequent misunderstanding among western gamers that "Dating Sim" is the general term for all ren'ai (romantic love) games.

In fact, many romance games are Visual Novels, which is a much different game style.

1Dreamboy 2 is a One Direction dating sim game where you get to interact with the five One Direction members: Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan.

You have 60 days to make one of them fall in love with you.

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Otome games -- visual novel dating sims where the female protagonist can romance a number of attractive men -- have become increasingly popular and available in the West.

(See for example, the difference between the series, which is very close to a Visual Novel style of gameplay, and the DOA Xtreme series, which is the closest thing to a true Dating Sim with mass-market appeal in the US.) If the game plays out like a Choose Your Own Adventure, that's a Visual Novel.

If it feels like you're playing an RPG, trying to keep track of everyone's feelings about you and giving out presents, that's a Dating Sim.

So before this week's column gets started, I figured I should introduce myself. I'm Caty Mc Carthy, and I’ve joined the USgamer team as the shiny, new Assistant Reviews Editor.

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