They’re most popular in Japan, but from what my personal anec-data show me, the genre is quickly gaining a bit of traction in the U. as well, and is especially popular with indie creators.

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While all three terms are often used interchangeably (by me at least), my definitions overlap more like rectangles and squares: all the otome games I’ve played are visual novels, but not all are dating sims.

As a quick peek at Wikipedia shows us, otome games are literally “girl games.” They’re aimed at a female audience and are evidently a fairly new genre.

Visual novels tend to be extremely story-driven with the outcomes determined by the choices you make along a branching story route.

Dating sims often have you scheduling your character’s time in order to raise specific stats by doing certain activities.

It was really no surprise to anyone, with my existing interest in anime & manga.

But it leads us to confession time #2: My husband is an otome-enabler.If you have the platform, I would recommend you get Stories instead of the original game because it includes the entire first game plus tons of additional, mostly romantic, content. Cinders (Moa Cube) If you like alternate fairytale stories, à la Wicked or Once Upon a Time, you NEED to play this game.Cinders is beautiful & thoughtful, with the best variety of endings I’ve ever seen.I don’t personally have any trigger issues, so I may be more forgiving than some, but even I can’t get past the intro of a game wherein the “desirable” male character(s) sexually threaten the main character like it ain’t no thang.So with all that said, I suppose I consider myself somewhat of an expert in the genre, and I *certainly* consider myself to be an expert in taste, so I here present to you (in no particular order), my Top 5 List of Amazing Otome Games/Visual Novels You Need to Play Right Now!He’s the one who convinced me to play DA: O in the first place and got me my first indie dating sims.