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Yandere Simulator is an upcoming stealth action video game in development by Californian game developer YandereDev. The game centers upon an obsessively lovesick schoolgirl named Ayano Aishi, nicknamed and known mainly as "Yandere-chan", after the Japanese term "yandere", who has taken it upon herself to eliminate anyone she believes is monopolizing her senpai's attention. Over the course of ten weeks, Ayano will eliminate ten different rivals in order to ensure that her crush will not fall in love with the other girls. A free demo was released on August 31, 2020.
Story and gameplay
Players control Ayano Aishi (nicknamed Yandere-chan), an apathetic Japanese high school girl who has developed a crush on a fellow student Taro Yamada, nicknamed "Senpai". Over the course of ten in-game weeks, ten other students attempt to form a relationship with Senpai, and the player must aim prevent them from doing so.
Due to the main protagonist's yandere nature, this can be accomplished by the player through a diverse array of methods, including matchmaking, befriending, betrayal, gossip, expulsion, frameup, kidnapping, electrocution, crushing, poisoning, drowning, burning, homicide, faked suicide, incited suicide, murder–suicide after torture, and other rival-specific elimination methods, as well as simple elimination methods using various weapons seen throughout the game, such as a kitchen knife, circularsaw, a baseball bat, and katana. Throughout the game, Yandere-chan can receive aid from an information broker calling herself "Info-chan", who provides her with weapons, plans, items, and other favors in exchange for panty shots, information and blackmail material.
Ayano must also avoid being witnessed while performing criminal activities or suffer penalties, such as loss in reputation that makes it harder for other students to trust her, diminishing sanity that discourages Senpai and hinders their ability to carefully carry out any crimes, to an immediate game over by being caught by Senpai for acting suspiciously around him, being caught in the act of a crime by him, or being apprehended by students or a teacher. Murdering students can result in penalties to "School Atmosphere", which alters the NPCs' behavior to become more suspicious and riddled with anxiety, demonstrated by actions such as locking their lockers. During this time, she can join school clubs and attend classes to receive additional abilities such as easy access to weapons, increased abilities to avoid suspicion or easy access to other items.
The developer defines the current state of Yandere Simulator as a "playable debug sandbox build" and says that the final game will contain six modes: Story Mode, the base game; 1980s Mode, a prequel to the base game featuring Ayano's parents; Endless Mode, a never-ending version of the base game; Custom Mode, a customizable version of the base game; Pose Mode, in which players may pose their favorite characters; and Mission Mode, in which Ayano completes missions for Info-chan.
Yandere Simulator is developed by "YandereDev", a 31–32-year-old freelance game developer identified as Alex and based in Temecula, California. In April 2014, YandereDev pitched the idea for Yandere Simulator on 4chan, where it received positive feedback, and decided to start developing it. He says that it is a social stealth game that borrows elements from the Hitman series of video games, but also contains "school simulation" gameplay and other elements that seek to make it quite different. The developer has also cited influence from the Persona series of games, in addition to Hitman.
Development for Yandere Simulator began in 2014, with YandereDev releasing test builds of the game for debugging purposes. He has regularly released updates that add elements to the game, such as the ability to torturing skills, poison, electrocute, and drown rivals, befriend other schoolgirls, small mini games, a town the player can bike around in, and more.
On March 1, 2017, YandereDev announced a partnership with tinyBuild that would help him with polishing, promoting and publishing the game. Through mutual agreement, the partnership was broken up in December that year. An update to the Yandere Simulator game on September 1, 2017 added "LoveSick mode", a more "serious and dark" version of the main narrative. On January 1, 2018, the main characters of Doki Doki Literature Club!, Monika, Yuri, Sayori and Natsuki, were added to the game as character skins, accessible via a poem section of the "Meme Closet".
Yandere Simulator has been criticized for its depiction of juvenile delinquency, graphic nature and sexualization of characters, especially in a high school environment. In 2016, the game was added to a list of banned explicit games by the streaming service Twitch. In a statement made to Kotaku, YandereDev blamed "self-righteous ideologues" for the ban.
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