At this stage I advise friends new to the genre that they need to focus on a chosen character early and aim for that goal ceaselessly.And I assure them not to panic from this seemingly premature decision, because dating sims are specifically designed so that you will want to see all the available characters, each attempt requiring its own separate playthrough on a different timeline entirely.There are some people who dislike this disjointed storytelling style, such as those found in transmedia properties, so these types of games may just not be enjoyable for them.
It’s a troubling view of human relations in general but it’s one that simple gameplay mechanics can handle.
So now we come upon the quantum conundrum of dating sims.
The first ending many people experience when playing notorious pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend involves being ambushed by ninjas for "failing to display sufficient intimacy with the birds." You are unceremoniously killed and brought back to the main menu to start over from the beginning or are forced to resume from an earlier save point.
Dating simulation games like Hatoful Boyfriend most often take the form of visual novels, interactive text adventures with images and animations accompanying the branching story.
If you walk off the path, you'll be pushed back onto it. The systems in these romance-focused visual novels are usually not robust enough to support complex social sims, they're more like long and pretty choose-your-own-adventure novels.