This is a game where instead of dating human boys, you date pigeons.It starts off with a whole lot of silliness, poking at visual novel conventions, but there are hints of something more sinister under the surface.The origins of the genre date back at least to series aimed at male players, which also came out in 1994.These simulation elements lead to the term “dating sim game” (romance simulation game).
Even so, it's still worth playing for its gorgeous art, witty English localization, and quirky cast of characters.You certainly don't have to be a young lady to enjoy what otome games have to offer!However, since the genre originated as romance games for women and took many stylistic queues from manga, the protagonists are women, and the romance options are nearly always men.(There are some instances of otome games with female romance options, such as the Japan-only Gekka Ryouran Romance, or The single unifying aspect of all otome games is romance.
Whether you're racing to stop a coup d'etat in a steampunk version of England or uncovering the mysteries of a bizarre world populated by talking pigeons, all otome games revolve around the protagonist eventually falling in love.
Otome games tend to be criticized for having bland protagonists who don't take a active role in their narratives, despite being the central player character.