Boys’ Love (yaoi) games feature men in relationships with other men -- created by and marketed to women.
And while their games seem cute, don’t let that fool you: the endings are bittersweet.
In Nameless you play as a woman who likes to collect ball-joint dolls, and who recently lost the grandfather she grew up alone with.
But you’ll need to focus, as playing the field can result in an unsatisfying ending, and no one likes that.
These games are often designed to be played multiple times.
Tools like multiple save slots, quick-save features, and the ability to skip text and rewind help players efficiently pursue every potential partner character and reveal every story path.
It’s like backwards-engineering a narrative database -- and you may be surprised to find how much the story changes when you focus on a different partner each time. Hakuoki is a period piece, taking place in the Bakumatsu period of Japan at the time of civil unrest between the Emperor and the Shogun.
This creates a very different relationship dynamic, since you are inside Haru's head and are the active pursuer, rather than the pursued.
NTY also features a cast of targets with a much wider range of body types than found in typical BL games, with some of the men well past middle age and even body-hair toggle options for different preferences.
Generally you meet several characters, and will have to choose one to court.
In Japan, dating sim characters are referred to as “capturable” -- whether that means you capture their hearts or their bodies depends on the game.
There's even a talking skeleton adorned with roses who will chat with you on occasion and give you romantic advice.