10 Romance Novels That Would Make Great Dating Sims

Dating simulations are to the world of video games what romance novels are to the world of literature. Romance novels and dating sims primarily focus on the detailed interactions of a romantic relationship and the events surrounding it. The main differences lie in the element of player choice that comes with dating sims.


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The player has multiple love interests and paths to choose from, whereas a romance novel reader is simply in the game. Although romance novels don’t have the same range of options as dating sims, they can provide good inspiration for situations and environments to use as settings for romantic stories.

10/10 The Selection series sets up the perfect plot

Kiera Cass’ The selection The series and its subsequent spinoffs present the search for a mate for the nation’s heir as a pageant-type competition. In the novels, the process begins with regional auditions for available young women who choose to come forward.

The story continues by sending a small group of finalists to the castle to spend time with the prince and show off their suitability for royal life. A dating sim could have the player assume the role of heir to the nation in search of a spouse and allow them to pursue the candidates of their choice while unraveling the political plots against them.

9/10 The Soul Mate Equation Asks a Fascinating Question

The Soul Mate Equation by Christina Lauren follows statistics geek Jesse Davis as she joins a dating site that matches participants based on their DNA. This setup would provide a great premise for a dating sim.

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Hilarity would ensue as the player character was given multiple matches at once, forcing them to choose between different options. They might decide to pursue the person who’s the best match for them thanks to the company’s algorithm, or they might defy the math and find love in unexpected places with a less likely match.

8/10 Sarah Dessen’s Gender Norms Arrange Age-Old Premise

In the realm of contemporary romance, Sarah Dessen is one of the best-known names in the industry. Her summer novels, primarily aimed at teenagers, have been entertaining readers since her first novel This summer created in 1996.

Although each book differs in detail, they dwell on the same themes of protagonists spending the summer in an unfamiliar place and finding love along the way. A dating sim inspired by Dessen’s work would have the player character arrive at their new home for the summer and immediately develop a quirky cast of friends and romantic interests.

7/10 Evelyn Hugo takes the stage in Old Hollywood

Nothing mixes up the typical starters of the romantic genre more than a unique period piece. One of the most popular love books of the last ten years is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

This novel follows a famous Old Hollywood actress as she chronicles her illustrious life and outrageous escapades for a reporter. This “story of the past” dynamic would make for a fascinating and refreshing premise for a dating sim, positing all character actions and choices as reminiscences of events that have already happened.

6/10 A final stop creates a bridge between the past and the future

The most recent publication by acclaimed contemporary romance novelist Casey McQuiston, One last stop, promotes a fascinating couple dynamic. One partner comes from the past and another from the present. This bridge between periods allows the two romantic protagonists to learn new things and explore unknown ideas.

One last stop also explores concepts and events from LGBTQ+ history and culture. A dating sim based on this novel could continue to delve into these events, allowing the player to witness another era and learn to navigate both its romance and its new surroundings.

5/10 The Bridgerton series already fits well

The Netflix series Bridgerton met with unbridled success, sparking a resurgence in popularity for the Julia Quinn novels on which it is based. A Regency Era dating sim with similar themes could bring the trend to the gaming world.

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A society with many rules, regulations, and social norms surrounding courtship and marriage would make a great setting for a dating sim. This element of societal pressure could also be reinforced by protagonists who like to push the limits. It would then be up to the player to avoid the consequences and ensure the maintenance of his social status.

4/10 A court of thorns and roses is a well-known fae romance.

The trend of Sarah J. Maas A court of thorns and roses the series almost reads like a dating sim on its own. It features multiple potential love interests, intriguing fantasy elements, and the backdrop of a story that goes beyond the romances in the spotlight.

Many readers love the series for its world-building surrounding the culture of fairies and other magical beings inhabiting its world. A dating sim inspired by ACOTARas it is often called, could delve even deeper into the courts and their magical aesthetic.

Although publication of the series began in 1991, Diana Gabaldon Foreign The series took off when the TV adaptation began in 2014. The historic Scottish Highlands are a common setting for romance novels, however, the dating simulation game subgenre has no modern title. based on this place and time.

There are many options for a game of this nature. Players can be a newcomer to the historic Scottish Highlands, someone from the future displaced out of time, or even a local adult who finds themselves embroiled in some sort of conflict.

2/10 Coffeehouse Angel includes a younger audience

Most dating sims are aimed at adult players, but teens love romance as much as anyone else. coffee angel by Suzanne Selfors involves all the classic tropes and themes of a contemporary-fantasy romance novel while still being appropriate for its target audience of young adults.

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Turning coffee angel in a dating sim could allow the player to interact with multiple angels on their missions. The conflict could also be directed more towards the town they are in, rather than a friend of the protagonist’s family, as in the book.

1/10 Only the weekend puts a twist on a classic love triangle

Avid readers of romance novels and gamers who prefer encounters with sims have something in common: they both encounter an abundance of love triangles. Dean Atta Only on weekends presents this classic romantic trope with a modern twist.

The protagonist, Mack, must find a way to choose between a new flame in a new land or his long-distance partner from before he left. The element of a long-distance relationship could well translate to a dating simulation game, as one relationship could focus on digital dates while the other enjoys in-person encounters.

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