Real-Life Dating Sim Becomes Number One Game on Steam

The game uses professional actresses instead of computer-generated graphics

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6:46 PM HKT, Thu November 2, 2023 1 mins read

A new dating sim called ‘Love is All Around’ has unexpectedly risen to the top of Steam’s bestseller list in China, beating out popular free games like Player Unknown Battlegrounds, CS:GO, and Apex Legends.

Released on October 17th, the game uses footage of actual human actresses, instead of computer-generated graphics. It received a flood of positive reviews to hit a 92.5% positive rating — and had 65,000 people playing at once within its first 24 hours on Steam.

For around $6 USD, players experience an immersive first-person story where they play as Gu Yi, a ‘loser’ character who suddenly finds himself surrounded by six beautiful women all vying for his affection.

Nothing new there, but what separates the game from other similar titles is the level of polish and realism that comes from professional, live-action actresses.

With over 100 story branches and 12 endings, the simple game offers a choose-your-own adventure style experience which is drawing comparisons to romance TV dramas.

The surprise hit comes from developer Jedi Games, which was previously best known for producing strategy games. Facing struggles in recent years, the studio took a gamble by pivoting to a new genre of interactive fiction — and their bet seems to have paid off.

“Step 1: Be a loner. Step 2: Play this game. Step 3: Leave a good review,” writes one reviewer.

“I cannot talk to women in real life,” writes another.

The game walks the line somewhere between a normal dating sim, and the experience of watching a romance drama on TV. And given the low production cost of the choose-your-own-adventure format, some experts are predicting a burst of popularity within the genre.

Critics are acknowledging flaws like one-dimensional characters and plot holes, and some are questioning the psychological impact of dating sims which simulate interactions with real people. However, there hasn’t been any backlash from the scientific community, which is what occurred as dating sims aimed at young women began to rise in popularity.

Cover image via ‘Love is All Around’ Trailer

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