Games that simulates love and relationships are always a popular genre here in Japan. Searching the term ‘love simulation’ on Japanese app review portal Appget gives no less than 17 results.
One of the newest ones is ‘Henshin-Kudasai’, which can roughly be translated as ‘Please text me back’. The app is a casual game that simulates romantic texting in a familiar chat application user interace. Henshin-Kudasai was released just two weeks ago, but already it has nabbed more than 500,000 downloads.
The app’s interface is as simple, resembling a regular mobile chat app. After installing, you can input your sex and your name, and then characters of the opposite sex will start texting you. There are 26 characters in total, including both men and women. Each of these characters has a distinct personality, such as a 34-year-old Kabuki actor, a 37-year-old chef, or a 26-year-old struggling pop idol.
The goal of the game is to win as much love as possible by choosing responses that your the counterpart might like. This includes the timing of your responses, so if you want to play hard to get, you might let some time pass before responding to someone’s text. By accurately anticipating what a character prefers, the heart mark within the chat interface turns pink, showing how much the other person likes you.
The company behind this popular love simulation game is a Japanese internet company called Basic. In the past, they have has released apps such as Light the match, and Eto Eto Wars which uses characters from the Chinese zodiac.