There are many variations on this theme: high-school romances are the most common, but a dating sim may also take place in a fantasy setting and involve such challenges as defending one's girl from monsters.
The term "dating sim" is also often used incorrectly in English as a generic term for romance-driven games (ren'ai games), a subject matter which is stereotypically associated with the visual novel genre.
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.
They are also sometimes put under the category of neoromance.
The most common objective of dating sims is to date, usually choosing from among several characters, and to achieve a romantic relationship.
Sexually explicit dating sims may fall into the category of H Game or Eroge.
Eroge only gets released to PC because large Japanese game companies do not want to release games with sexual content on their game consoles.The subplot of dating is more focused towards choosing one of several girls or guys (dependent on the player character's gender) and offering them presents or joining them on events in the game.The Star Ocean series of RPGs also feature dating sim elements in a similar manner.The game lasts for a fixed period of game time, such as one month or three years.When the game ends, the player either loses the game if he failed to properly win over any of the girls, or "finishes" one of the girls, often by having sex with her, marrying her (as in Magical Date), and/or achieving eternal love.Because of this, Eroge companies make a censored all-ages (15 ) version of the PC version for various consoles.