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(as distinct from the similar but unrelated title True Love).
The Dating Sim is a type of game designed to set up goals, usually in the forms of schedules and stats corresponding to social skills, which must be achieved to discover a story focused entirely around the Character Development of the player's chosen girl/guy, get into his/her pants, or both.
This leads to Multiple Endings, though some Dating Sims make it possible to see several of these "endings" in a single playthrough.
Some Sim Date games have been made into Harem anime, though the result is usually nothing special due to the removal of sex and the fact that the narrative can no longer focus on any single character.
High heartthrob can then be leveraged to ask the girl out on a date, or simply to effect a permanent increase in her love meter.
Later True Love Story games added further complexity to this system, such as a "combo" system measuring the number of consecutive good choices of conversation topics.
In large part because of this system, True Love Story is one of the most gameplay-rich dating sims.
An OVA based on the True Love Story; Summer Days, and yet...
The True Love Story land are notable for their gekō (下校), or walk-home system.
When the player asks a girl to walk home with him from school, the game enters a special conversation mode.
In this mode, in addition to the usual long-term, strategic "love meter", the girl you are conversing with has a short-term, tactical "heartthrob meter" representing her level of immediate interest in the conversation with you.
The player is given the choice of approximately 30 topics of conversation to choose from, and the heartthrob meter will increase or decrease based on the appropriateness of his selections.