Why Are Idle Dating Sims So Much Fun?
An opinion piece on the attractiveness of idle dating simulation games.
So, this is an interesting article to conjure up, but it’s one that I felt was worth talking about. I’ve found myself being increasingly drawn to this style of gameplay, and the main reason I find it interesting to talk about is because I hate the whole aspect of the idly clicking away at a game for hours component. This brings me to a very useful reason for writing this article and that is that by justifying my own reasons for playing these types of games, despite previously said disinterest in the main aspect of the game, I might be able to convince other people who share a similar aversion to idle click nonsense as me to try out these games as well.
To offer up some examples of what I mean by idle dating sims, the main games I am familiar with in this genre of gameplay are Crush Crush and Blush Blush. I have recently started playing Blush Blush, but I have also spent a fair amount of time playing Crush Crush in the past. Now, both games are created by the same company as you can probably guess by the name. I don’t know the name of the company right off the top of my head, but both of these games are available for you to download and play for free on Steam should you be compelled to try your hand at them after reading this article. It is my understanding that loads of other idle dating sims exist, but I haven’t branched out into playing these other games. Now, this might immediately lead you to believe that the sheer lack of interest I have in any other dating simulation game besides Crush Crush and Blush Blush must mean that these games are painfully boring and taxing on my free time; however, you would be wrongfully mistaken because the lack of interest I have for other dating sims stems from the fact that I do not have a lot of free time to give, and I find Crush Crush and Blush Blush so amazingly entertaining that I don’t really focus on devoting time to other games of this type, at least for now.
But I’m already getting ahead of myself, so before I start justifying my argument, I should provide you with a better understanding of what these idle dating sims are in case you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing this type of game for yourself. In the case of Crush Crush and Blush Blush specifically, these idle dating simulations place you in some type of world where you basically have no choice but to associate with a large group of different men/women. The gender depends on the game in the case of Crush Crush and Blush Blush, but I also have no reason to believe that other idle dating simulations don’t just alternate between different genders. Now, your goal in these games is always to make each and every person you encounter fall in love with you. Once they do fall in love with you, you don’t even have to talk to them anymore because you are usually notified that you have completed their story and now you can focus on all the other people you’re wooing because, trust me, you’ll be wooing a lot of people at one time—that is if you intend to be any good at the game, but I guess that how many people you choose to woo at one time is actually, in fact, totally up to you. So, these types of games are pretty simple in terms of story and completion and the gameplay itself is very straightforward and easy to pick up. As is clear from the name of the genre, these games don’t require any complex skills typically associated with most video games in that you literally just click. There’s some amount of strategy involved in having to manage your in-game time wisely, but I’m not a big fan of strategy games and I can handle the time management in these games with relative ease. Once again, the main aspect of the game is to get money to take these people on dates and buy them things while also leveling up in certain hobbies to make you a well-rounded person as well as spending countless amounts of time talking and clicking on these people in order to get them to like you.
Now, strictly thinking about Crush Crush and Blush Blush for example, the main portion of the game doesn’t even take place while you’re playing it but happens while you’re away and you allow yourself to slowly accumulate money and skills. At first, it seems like you’re making a lot of progress quickly, but the amount of money you need for certain items and dates increases significantly as you play, as well as how long it takes you to level up a skill once you are so far along. You can reset your game in order to progress faster each time, but this is an aspect that I don’t want to go into too much detail with because I seldom reset my game after the first couple of days, and I find that the reset mechanic is another aspect I don’t find particularly pleasant, so it doesn’t impact my argument here.
Getting back to my main argument now, I find these games surprisingly fun for several reasons. First, they don’t require any strategy or skill. As I already pointed out, the game is mostly about clicking and managing time, so that as long as you are making sure you’re using all your time up and that you are actually progressing in the skills you need to be progressing in at the moment, you really can’t mess this up. There’s a sense of achievement and stress relief in playing a game that you can be good at without thinking about it or without having to debate whether or not you should have put a skill point in this or that. I find that I’m stressed about basically everything, including games where I must make choices, so these styles of idle games are relaxing in ways that other video games (games that I still enjoy that is) aren’t.
Second, even though it’s possible to spend several hours clicking on suitors and maxing out relationships as quickly as possible, the game doesn’t require you to put forth a lot of time into it. In fact, the game plays itself, and as long as you remember to log in at least once a week, you’ll collect currency and skill as well as some small amount of affection even away from the game. And once again, this aspect works well because in the early stages of the game, you progress quickly, but then the progression slows down as you get further along. Not coincidentally, I find that my interest in the game is higher during the first week or so that I start playing the game where I am logging into the game three or even four times a day, but eventually, the game becomes less addicting for me and I begin to check it maybe twice a day, then only once a day, all the way down to the minimum of once a week. It’s because of this that I think the scaling of the game works to its favor and another reason I don’t feel compelled to constantly reset my game in order to progress faster.
The third and final point I want to make about these types of games is character development. Obviously, the romance stories for these types of games are shallow and even strange, but the development of the suitors as characters that you can actually grow attached to is big and one of the main reasons I even bother to keep clicking on them in the first place. The dialogue is very corny and funny at times, and as you progress your relationship with each suitor, the dialogue changes to resemble their growing attachment to you. The suitors themselves can appear to be gross stereotypes of a certain kind of female or male, but the suitors are all vastly different from each other because of this aspect, so it keeps the game entertaining because everyone you meet is different and has a very different approach to you. You’ll almost always have a favorite that you spend the most time wooing. I know that I always do.
Just to reiterate in proper argument style fashion, I started playing Crush Crush several years ago under the impression that I would hate the game and not enjoy it because the idea of clicking on something rapidly in order to progress in a game was stupid and not fun. However, once I got involved with the characters and started to understand that the game didn’t require me to click excessively unless I wanted to, I grew very invested in the completion of it. Even today, I logged into Blush Blush to buy some suitors gifts with the money I had accumulated within 24 hours, and even though I won’t think to check it again today or maybe even tomorrow, I can assure you I’ll be back on it before the week is out ready to read some more cheesy dialogue from my favorite suitors and to relieve stress after a long and tiring week of managing my time wisely.
Thanks for reading!!!!