Despite combining the traditionaly lucrative genres of RPG, Adventure Game, Soap Opera, and Straight-Up Porno, the "Dating-Sim" has had difficulty establishing a foothold in Western markets. But there's one place where the artform is getting more popular than ever and that's internet fandoms. With only a few art assets and even less programming knowledge, these creators have been releasing romantic homages to their favorite properties with sexy(?) results. 

 

1. Five Nights at Freddy's

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Five Nights at Freddy's is a controversial subject in the gaming community, you either love it or you... are older than 15. The original game was basically a spooky puppet show, but fans constructed so much lore that it now makes The Silmarillion look like a Garfield anthology. In chibixi's Five Nights of Love you're once again thrust into the role of new security guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, but instead of surviving, you need to seduce one of the animatronics within the titular five nights. 

 

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Oh man, it turns out Freddy Fazbear is a total tsundere! I don't know what's weirder, the fact that I sincerely just wrote that sentence, or that most of our readers will sincerely understand it.

 

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It's kind of amazing to see just how neatly the FNAF mechanics adapt to romance. You have to continuously jump from room to room, manage your energy reserves, and avoid running into rogue animatronics like Balloon Boy. On my first playthrough I found it fairly easy to mack it with Foxy, and on my second playthrough I was bold enough to make a move  on Springtrap...

 

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Unfortunately it didn't go so well. If you want to take a shot at wooing a haunted corpse in a bunny endoskeleton, you can play it here.

 

 

 

2. TF2 DATING SIM: HIGH SCHOOL AU

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"What if instead of a team based multiplayer shooter, Team Fortress 2 was a visual novel based in an alternate dimension where all the playable classes were high school students?"

The answer to this improbably specific question is now answered thanks to schiphys. Enjoy the thrill of joining the art club alongside The Spy, or maybe fall in love with the class president, Miss Pauling. 

 

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I named my protagonist Counter McStrike, but only because "Jonathan Globaloffensive" wouldn't fit in the dialogue box. 

 

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There's something so tonally off about this project. When I think of TF2, my mind is flooded with visions of exploding gibs, blaring horns, and chaotic slapstick, but TF2 DATING SIM: HIGH SCHOOL AU is slow, quiet and idyllic. The only thing I can think to compare it to would be a Lamaze class taught by Duke Nukem. 

 

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So far there's only a demo (download link). Yet from what I've played, I just prefer gonzo SFM animations to this particular take on the Team Fortress universe.