They are built to anticipate and encourage that style of play.Many Western players new to the genre miss out on that fundamental aspect of the experience, writing dating sims off as shallow and basic after dipping their toes in.
I downloaded a handful of IP, which I technically should be boycotting at this point, but I already bought the game ages ago so playing it didn’t make any difference to their bottom line.
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.
Overall, there are four types of dating sims: bishoujo games (pursuing girls from a male perspective), otome games (pursuing guys from a female perspective), GL games (girls pursuing girls), and lastly BL games (guys pursuing guys).
MYSTIC MESSENGER, for example, is an otome game with one GL route.