Most fans of dating simulators point to Summertime Saga when asked about their favorite realistic and immersive titles. The game had an engrossing story and a great aesthetic, and it managed to become something more than the sum of its parts.
Also, it brought to life a romance-infused fantasy – something that most people seek out both in dating sims and video games in general. We all love exploring interesting new worlds and immersing ourselves in someone else’s story, but with a dash of reality.
That’s the whole point of simulation games, affectionately called ‘sims’. They strive to mimic certain aspects of real life while introducing enough otherworldly elements to make the whole package as interesting as possible.
In that genre, dating sims are one of the most popular subcategories. And while Summertime Saga is a grand example, plenty of other games like Summertime Saga are worth your while. We’ll explore some of the best right here!
Here are the best 10 games like Summertime Saga.
Love Language Japanese
As you’ll see once we start getting through this list, plenty of these games either come from Japanese studios or take inspiration from anime and manga. So, it’s only fitting that we start things off with Love Language Japanese – a game that doesn’t just entertain you with a love story, but also provides an intricate language learning system.
Yep, that’s right. This is an educational dating simulation game, what a time to be alive! Predictably, the story’s setting is a young adult school, where your main character will befriend (or romance) girls and learn plenty of Japanese along the way.
Love Language Japanese is only slightly erotic, especially compared to most of the other games like Summertime Saga. And the fact that it actually gives you Japanese lessons goes a long way toward you feeling like an actual student in a Japanese school.
Besides lessons, there are plenty of social activities and dialogues to go through, where your choices will determine whether you manage to make friends.
Besides its educational element, the game still manages to be an entertaining dating sim with all of the romantic elements fans love about these kinds of games.
The ‘idle’ game genre is one of the most curious new types of games that have started coming out since the advent of smartphones. They take out a lot of what makes a game interesting, like stories, complex gameplay mechanics, and a degree of nonlinearity.
However, they distill the gameplay into something all gamers chase – a pure, undiluted sense of progression. And that’s exactly what Crush Crush gives you with its interesting combo of an idle clicker game and a regular dating simulator.
Of course, all idle clickers have plenty of actions you can achieve with a bunch of frantic clicks. In this case, you can buy gifts, text with girls, flirt, and take them out on various dates.
The cartoonish anime-style visuals of the game clearly tell you that it doesn’t make the mistake of taking itself far too seriously. By the end of the game, you’ll be taking out everyone from actual bears to mutated cat-girls out on a date.
If you’re a fan of the two genres that Crush Crush combines, you’ll find that it’s a great way to spend some free time. It will keep you occupied for hours as you strive to impress the game’s various girls by dabbling in increasingly wacky hobbies and doing more jobs to earn money. It’s one of the most unique idle games on Steam.
With Helltaker, we’re continuing our theme of games like Summertime Saga that add a twist from another genre. And while Crush Crush added idle mechanics into the mix with the usual sim gameplay, Helltaker does something similar with dating sims and puzzles.
Oh, and did we mention it’s all taking place in hell?
Yep, if you ever thought you had a partner that was straight from hell, Helltaker shows you what that would actually look like.
The only problem is that the game is relatively short. But it’s also free, with an additional bonus DLC. There’s tons of replayability, though, so get ready for some smart-dressed demons that will knock you off your feet!
In the process of finding a demon girlfriend, you’ll also have to solve a bunch of increasingly difficult puzzles. If you don’t, the demons will kill you instead of becoming enamored by your charming presence. Yes, the game is utterly silly; but then again, that’s the point of most dating simulators.
As we’ve mentioned before, most dating simulators sprinkle a dash of real-life romance on a hefty serving of utter ridiculousness mixed in with some kinky hidden desires.
This is pretty much the perfect recipe for an entertaining dating sim, and it’s what you get with I Love You, Colonel Sanders (yep, there’s no way we’re typing out the entire bonkers title again).
And if you’re wondering whether this is THE Colonel Sanders of spicy KFC fame, yes, it’s him, in all his bearded glory. If you were ever wondering what the experience of dating the emperor of fried chicken would be like, well, here’s the game no one asked for apart from you.
As you can probably tell from the screenshots, the entire game is one big joke, but it comes with some brilliant artwork and a fantastic narrative that will have you laughing your butt off until the end. It’s a worthwhile pick for fans of games like Summertime Saga.
Oh, you thought that dating the fried chicken king would be the weirdest thing you would do by the end of our list? If that’s the case, you were sorely mistaken.
Our next pick is another well-drawn, funny, and weird dating simulator, with a decent narrative and plenty of characters to romance as you play.
There’s just one simple twist: it’s cats. Yep, you’re dating cats, like the crazy cat lover that you probably are if you’re playing this in the first place.
This mix between a visual novel and a brooding British comedy is, ultimately, a classic love story; just one between humans and animals. It’s as silly as it is quirky, and you won’t be able to finish it without laughing out loud a bunch of times.
This is one of the strangest and funniest story-rich games on Steam, and it’s absolutely worth your time if you’re a fan of games like Summertime Saga.
Okay, so our next pick is a mobile dating game. While it still retains some visual novel DNA that most dating sims like Summertime Saga share, it’s actually more of a card-based RPG. In our opinion, this brings some much-needed interactivity to the sometimes overly passive dating sim genre.
That being said, let’s get into the specifics. This entertaining dating sim begins with a mysterious voice that asks your character to save them.
And before you know it, you find yourself in a peculiar situation. You’re a foreign exchange student at a school for demons!
And to make matters worse, you’re human. The enmity between your two kinds is legendary. Nevertheless, the point of your visit is to broker a deeper level of peace and understanding between the two races, so you need to be on your best behavior.
The card game mechanics elevate something that would otherwise be a fairly standard dating sim. Upon completing various events successfully, you get cards that let you access different storylines and outfits for the game’s characters.
Funnily enough, our next entry into our list of games like Summertime Saga also has – all pun intended – a few cards up its sleeve.
However, this time around, we’re talking about a different sort of card. In the world of The Arcana, some of the more generic dating sim elements mix with the sorcery of mystical tarot cards.
In the game, you can experience two dozen ‘books’ leading you through Arcana’s narrative. Naturally, all of these contain a variety of characters you can romance. However, it’s important to note that, unlike most other dating sims, The Arcana’s romance system isn’t overbearing or a burden on the rest of the story or the mechanics.
For instance, the game has an RPG-esque morality mode that’s pretty rudimentary but still interesting for a dating game. It also leads you to different endings depending on your narrative choices throughout the game.
Plus, the base game is free on mobile devices. You only pay for additional cards, side stories, and other extra content, which is definitely neat considering the title’s decent production values.
Before you start thinking that the developers of the more famous adventure horror games have started dabbling in dating sims, don’t worry. This isn’t that Amnesia series.
However, it turns out that you can’t really have a copyright claim to a name that’s also a well-documented medical condition – hence the similarly named Amnesia: Memories.
Unlike many of the other titles we’ve reviewed here, Amnesia is significantly less interactive. In a lot of ways, it’s more of a visual novel than a game. Its narrative unfolds throughout a series of chapters that you can’t really deviate from in any significant way.
As you may have assumed, the final goal of your character’s journey is to regain her memories through a series of – gasp – romantic interactions! Each gentleman you befriend, and romance will help you regain a new portion of your memories.
This is one of the most intriguing interactive story games on the Switch, and fans of games like Summertime Saga will love it.
Akash: Path Of The Five
Our next pick is another gorgeous visual novel with a generic fantasy name: Akash: Path Of The Five.
This time around, our main character is Aurora, the first female elemental (the game’s quasi-human, magical race) to be born in your village in over two centuries.
Naturally, you can see how the premise leads to an interesting, romance-ridden coming-of-age story. Fans of games like Summertime Saga will love this title.
Also, if you’re bored with visual novels that only provide visual delights; you’ll find that Akash is a refreshing change with its fully-voiced narrative and a fine variety of voice actors and audio effects.
If you’re looking for a quick-and-easy dating sim that focuses more on the artistic implications of romance and less on lewd descriptions of sexual acts, LoveChoice is definitely a great option.
The only downside is that it’s extremely short. Even if you do your best to play it as slowly as possible and let the story sink in, it’ll still take you no more than two hours to complete the whole thing. However, the game also comes at an extremely low price, which means you certainly get your money’s worth.
But let’s move on to the game itself. As its title clearly says, LoveChoice is intensely focused on exploring the choices we make over the course of our romantic relationships.
Each cutely written and drawn scene has at least one choice that matters, and the short 2-hour runtime of the game is somewhat extended by its replayability. Plus, we found that it manages to distill the essence of any dating sim and elaborate on it quite well – which is the ability to choose different outcomes.
It’s a small vignette of a game, but still great at what it does. If you’re looking for more games like Summertime Saga, this is a great pick.