Coming Out on Top places you in the role of college senior, Mark Matthews.
You just came out of the closet and are ready to make up for lost time.
Dating sims such as Tokimeki Memorial, and some role-playing games with similar relationship based mechanics to the genre such as Persona, often give choices that have a different number of associated "mood points" which influence a player character's relationship and future conversations with a non-player character.
These games often feature a day-night cycle with a time scheduling system that provides context and relevance to character interactions, allowing players to choose when and if to interact with certain characters, which in turn influences their responses during later conversations.
The Star Ocean series of RPGs also feature dating sim elements in a similar manner.The first game that set the standard for the dating sim genre was Dōkyūsei (1992), which relied more on timed events than dialogue choices.However, Tokimeki Memorial (1994) truly popularized dating sims in Japan, in which the player, a high school student, has the ability to date a dozen different girls.Homosexual relationships are also possible, as there are games with no specific gender lines ("all pairings").There are also Girls' Love games, which focus on female/female relationships, and Boys' Love games, which focus on male/male pairings.
Some Japanese dating sims may allow the player to have romantic or sexual relationships with characters in their teens.