When we were kids, we remember loving these adventure books that allowed us to choose the path of the story in the books. We don’t know what the official name was for these books, but we remember calling them ‘Choose Your Own Path’ books. These books take you through an adventure story. At critical moments of the story, it gives you choices which asks you the question of, ‘What will you do?’ Your choices combined determine how the story ends.

The Shall we date? story app series are very similar to those ‘Choose Your Own Path’ books that we loved as kids. The story in these story apps aren’t the adventure stories that those ‘Choose Your Own Path’ books were, though. Rather, as the name of the series suggests, the story in the story apps of the Shall we date? series are in the romance genre. The main focus of the story in these story apps is romance and they ask for responses: ‘What will you say/How are you going to respond to his words?’ as opposed to ‘What will you do?’ Your choices don’t affect the story plot. It affects your relationship to the character you interact with.

When you begin playing one of the Shall we date? story apps, you assume the female lead character in the story. You are asked to choose one of the male characters in the story as your love interest. This character is the first character you encounter and he becomes the person in charge of looking after you. Throughout the story, you are asked to select from a set of responses which combined determine the level of relationship you’ll have with your love interest at the end of the story.

As these story apps are games, they have typical features of game apps—those that entice you to keep playing the game and maybe even spend some real money on the game.

These story apps have energy limits per day—a maximum of five per day and replenishing every four hours (that’s six energies if you time it very well). If you run out, you have to wait or purchase them with real money. You could also get energy items through daily logins, surprise gifts that are given once every week through the in-game mailbox or through chance slots/lottery.

There are Event Stories and Spin-off Stories available for you to read beside the main one in the game. These are short stories that follow the end of the main story, short adventures, special holiday stories or a-moment-in-time type stories featuring the characters in the game. Some are free to read. Others are available only through purchase.

In addition to the energy limits and event and spin-off stories that can keep you reading and playing the story apps, we find that the love rivals in each of the character games can also have that effect as well. There is often one other guy in a story game who is friendly or paying attention to you besides your love interest. It’s the second male lead syndrome. You feel bad for the second male lead and wish he could be the male lead character. This then can have you move onto the character game for this love rival as soon as you finish your current one. It’s quite cool actually: unlike when you’re watching a drama and just accepting the second male lead will only ever be the second male lead in the story, you can make it reality with this game. Simply select the love rival as your love interest in the next game and there you go—he’s the male lead in the story! We sure did choose our next character game based on a love rival in a previous game on many occasions!

These story apps can easily be played individually, but there is a social feature where you can add friends in this game and friends can help you out with mini game checkpoints within the story. These mini game checkpoints are chance games and must be cleared to continue on with the story. Without the help of friends, you have to either clear these checkpoints on your own with using your energy or purchase items that can help clear them much faster and easier. Friends is an option to clear these checkpoints for free and can be faster, but not vital.

These story apps definitely are games that have the goal of keeping you playing and have you spend some money on the game. Saying that though, there are also a number of features that help you continue playing for free and by yourself: daily login bonuses, random gifts that’s given once every week, a training game which allows you to earn kobans (in-game currency) and chance slot games which can be played with the in-game currency, kobans.

We’ll be giving our thoughts on the Shall we date? story apps we download in separate blogs. Please visit the Games section on our blog.

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