This new dating sim comes free with a purchase of Pino ice cream.

When it comes to characteristics in a significant other, many people have very specific preferences. Some prefer cheerful, outgoing partners, whereas some people are more attracted to quiet, introverted types. An even smaller percentage of people may be attracted to men who have chocolate ice cream for a face (and don’t worry, we aren’t judging.)

Luckily for such people, Japanese sweets brand Morinaga have created a new virtual dating simulator for smartphones, starring an anthropomorphised version of their popular ice cream Pino as the lead love interest.

The game, called Pino Koi (Pino Love), gives players just three days to melt the cold heart of Pino, a man with a Pino for a head. Like most dating sims, players must navigate conversations and choose answers that will win Pino over and take your relationship to somewhere more romantic.

Voicing the character of Pino is Ryohei Kimura, known for his work in Danganrompa and The World Ends with You. Kimura took to Twitter to share the news of his starring role, tweeting “please melt my character ❤︎”.

Anyone wishing to ‘melt’ Pino will need to buy a pack of Pino ice cream and scan the QR code under the lid of the box to start playing. As well as Pino Love, there are other smartphone games featuring Pino ice cream, each being inspired by a popular genre of video game; racing game Pino Racing, rhythm action game Pino Rhythm and fighting game Pino Legend. Much like real video games, the title of the game will be displayed on the front of the box.

▼ Trailer for the Pino games

There are multiple possible endings to the tale, with the person below claiming they’ve played through the game five times and received the ‘best’ ending, which appears to be sharing a tender kiss with Pino.

“My screenshot folder is a hot mess, lol.”

Oddly specific dating simulators are not a new thing in Japan, with pigeon dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend being a viral smash hit when it was released back in 2011. That doesn’t mean Japanese netizens were any less excited about this latest visual novel style game to hit the shelves, and many took to the web to share their excitement.

“This will definitely be fun to play!”
“I was considering buying some Pino at the store today… I wish I’d bought some now!”
“I want to play this so much that I’m going to the store to buy some tomorrow!”
“I thought ‘what on earth is this?’ when I first saw a Pino dating sim, but now that I know Ryohei Kimura is voicing it, I’m kicking myself for not buying it!”
“I’m ashamed at how much I want to play this. Really curious about Ryohei Kimura’s dialogue in the game!”
“I wanna play but I have a feeling Pino will be sold out everywhere.”

This may just be the strangest dating sim we’ve ever seen, and we’ve seen ones with ancient grandmas from space and anthropomorphised sushi.

Source: Pino Game via Hachima Kiko
Images: YouTube@森永乳業公式チャンネル
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