The first bishōjo games were not too popular, At the beginning of the genre almost all the games were pornographic.A notable landmark was Jast's Tenshitachi no gogo (1985), a precursor to the modern dating simulation.Released in 1994 by Konami who was on the verge of bankruptcy, the platonic dating sim becoming the first major Bishojo game since Koei's release of Night Life. While the title was another eroge title targeted at males for its sexual content, the players began to identify with the protagonist and the idea overcoming "the emotional trials and tribulations of pure love." A late Play Station 2 port removed the sexual content and sold better than the original leading eventually to two anime adaptations. Dōkyūsei, whose gameplay focused on meeting girls and seducing them, established the standard conventions of the dating simulation genre.Tokimeki Memorial, the first dating sim, featured good graphics, full voice acting, and a role-playing game-like gameplay system.
Since the late nineties, there has been a trend towards better storytelling in mainstream bishōjo games.
In 2001 Tokimeki Memorial 3 became the first bishojo game to break this trend.
However, low sales make it likely that other companies will stick with the traditional 2D graphics.
Bishōjo games are similar to Choose Your Own Adventure books in the way of narrative, in which the game tells a story but the player may make choices to change how the story flows. Bishōjo games began to appear in Japan in the beginning days of personal computers.
The first bishōjo game commercialized in Japan appeared in 1982 as Night Life by Koei.