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Romance games, known in Japanese as ren'ai (romantic love) games, are a category of videogame that covers several mechanics and demographics. The distinguishing factor of these games is that the primary goal of the game is to establish a romantic relationship between the Player Character and one or more of the NPCs. Although the genre originates in Japan, they are also made elsewhere, particularly in the form of "Doujin-soft" (noncommerical fanmade games).

Most ren'ai games are Visual Novels (a type of Interactive Fiction) or Dating Sims (a type of Simulation Game), although many are hybrids, such as Role Playing Game / Dating Sim or Action Game / Visual Novel. Many ren'ai games contain some erotic content; those where this is a major feature may be classified as eroge (short for "erotic games").

Bishoujo Games:

In Japan, the term "Bishoujo (beautiful girl) game" covers any game for men that offers pictures or animation of attractive girls, regardless of gameplay style or narrative content (see Bishoujo Genre). In the West, the term is generally used to cover ren'ai games aimed at a male audience.

Examples of Bishoujo Games:

Otome games:

Otome (maiden) games cover any game aimed at a female audience that is not a Boys Love game; the majority are Visual Novels with romantic elements. Many are made by departments or subsidiaries of bishoujo game companies; for example, Tokimeki Memorial has an otome game spinoff, Tokimeki Memorial: Girl's Side.

Examples of Otome Games:

  • Always Remember Me
  • Amnesia
  • Angelique series
  • Crimson Empire ~Circumstances To Serve A Noble~ From Quinrose, the same company that made Alice in the Country of Hearts (see below), this one includes RPG elements and is set in the same universe as two other games from the same company.
  • Chrono Days Sim Date
  • Date Warp
  • The Fantasia Trilogy
  • Fatal Hearts
  • Festival Days Sim Date (A Flash game with original characters.)
  • Frozen Essence
  • Girls Club Released in English in 1992 for 3D0 systems.
  • Hakuouki
    • This one has been released on the PSP in North America thanks to Aksys, one of a very few Otome titles that has reached North America.
  • Harukanaru Toki no Naka de series
  • Hatoful Boyfriend
  • Heart no Kuni no Alice (Alice in the country of hearts)
  • La Corda d'Oro series
  • Love And Order (An indie life/dating simulation game about an attorney, released in English during February 2011.)
  • Lovely Juliet (An episodic, stat-driven Flash game, translated from French to English.)
  • Lucky Rabbit Reflex
  • Magical Diary
  • Matches and Matrimony: A Pride and Prejudice Tale
  • Mc Kenzie And Co (Released in 1995 in English on computers.)
  • Meine Liebe series
  • My Candy Love is a browser game from French company Beemoov inspired by Japanese games, intended for preteen girls, and available in Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Polish, and German.
  • My Forged Wedding for iOS and Android
  • My Virtual Boyfriend (an iOS game with polygon graphics)
  • Neo Angelique (remake/spinoff of the original Angelique series)
  • Pinky Distortion (a story about a band manager, only available for iPod Touch and iPhone, with a flawed translation)
  • Oracle of Tao. It's an RPG, which is primarily involved more with a girl's romantic plot, than "save the world." (It has that too, though...)
  • Perfect Date 2.0 (an iOS game)
  • Pirates In Love (English version released for iOS in July 2011)
  • (P)lanets
  • Plundered Hearts A rare example of commercially released Interactive Fiction which centers around a female main character, and which includes at least one romantic ending.
  • Poke Boy (worksafe iOS game)
  • Princess Debut
  • RE: Alistair
  • The Shall We Date franchise, including games like Shall We Date Heian Love (has an adequate English translation, only on Apple iOS) and Shall We Date?: Ninja Shadow (iOS, Facebook Game Room)
  • Starry Sky series
  • The Flower Shop: Winter in Fairbrook (A gender-flipped follow-up to the first Flower Shop game.)
  • Tokimeki Memorial Girl's Side series
  • Under the Moon
  • V-Boy (A 3G cellphone "virtual boyfriend" game, which was available in English for a few years.)
  • Wonderland Sim Date (Also a Flash game, inspired by Alice in Wonderland.)
  • X Note
  • Yo Jin Bo

Boys' Love Games:

Games aimed at a female audience that feature male-male romance. Like otome games, most are Visual Novels and many are made by departments or subsidiaries of bishoujo game companies; for example, Togainu no Chi and Dramatical Murder were made by Nitro+ CHiRAL, a subsidiary of Nitro+ .

Examples of Boys Love Games: