THE ARCHIVE 2011-2015

The National Girlfriend

The Not-So-Innocent Story of Japan's Puppy Love Video Game Phenomenon

The Japanese dating sim is one of the most characteristic and most ridiculed of the country's gaming world. The category eventually flatlined on the path of mediocrity for nearly 20 years until Konami gave it new life with the debut of Love Plus on DS, a game with communication features that brought as much controversy as they did innovation. But what was the dating sim like before that, and just what was Love Plus' impact?


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