Doushin is the first "zapping" dating-sim game, which means that you play from the point of view of the three Suruga sisters, and can move between them, playing the game through their eyes. This is a new concept for the U.S. gaming market, so it's best that you learn how this "zapping" works and how it affects game play.
One example of zapping affecting the game story takes place on the first day. Ippei-chan, Maki's boyfriend, wants to cut tennis club and go into town instead. If Maki agrees to go with him, then they'll go off and have fun downtown...but Ippei won't be on the right train to save Ryoko, Maki's older sister, from getting groped on a train. Also on the first day, when Miho answers yes to her friend Kei's suggestion that they call over Nashimoto, the boy Miho likes, the other two sisters will also feel this warm emotion, and this will affect their paths -- in the case of Maki, she'll feel love and goodwill for Ippei, important for one of the game endings.
Since the three Suruga sisters have a strange power (curse?) that enables all three of them to feel the emotions or physical sensations that the other two feel -- so if one girl gets turned on, the other two will feel the same emotions, wherever they are. There are a lot of sexual encounters that involve switching over to one girl and making a decision then zapping back the the other two to watch it.
Because this is the most complex game we've ever made -- featuring a huge story with 25 different endings for you to explore -- it can take a while to find your way around, and some confusion is to be expected as you play a given scene several times from the viewpoints of different sisters.
CULTURAL NOTES ON DOUSHIN
If you've played bishoujo games before, you'll know that they're often filled with cultural references from Japan. Depending on your experience with Japan and anime, some of the story elements might be confusing to you -- which is often part of the fun.
We have worked to preserve the unique experience of Japan's bishoujo games with Doushin, and have not altered or removed story elements. We also leave the Japanese "name suffix" in place, which allows you to become familiar with an aspect of the Japanese language as you play the game. Some notes:
SAN Adding "san" to a first or last name makes it formal, a polite way to refer to someone. Miho calls Ippei "Ippei-san" because he's it's polite to use this to someone older than you.
CHAN Usually used for girls who are very cute, and generally younger than the speaker. Maki calls Ippei using this name ending to show how close he is to her, even though it's technically wrong (since he's a guy).
KUN The "kun" ending is used for boys, generally speaking, although there is a big exception in the game, since Chief Natsume calls Ryoko by the name "Suruga-kun" all the time. In business or formal settings, it's okay to use this neutral term for females as well as males.
ONEESAN, ONEECHAN This means "older sister" (although it can also refer to any woman aged approx.18-25 though). Miho uses this name ending for her two sisters.
SIS Maki uses a unique slang word to refer to Ryoko, which is "ONEE" (oh-NAY) in Japanese, without the SAN ending. This is rare and is a term she's come up with herself. We've translated this term unique term as "Sis" in the game, to accurately reflect the difference in words she uses for her sister.
ONIISAN, ONIICHAN This means "older brother," and can refer to a male aged 18-25 or so. To Miho, Ippei is an "oniisan" because he's a friend and protector who's male and older than her.
Why do they go to school on the 6th day? In Japan, companies and schools have often operated half or full days on Saturdays. To see Miho shuffle off to school on Saturday is potentially confusing to some players, but it's just part of being in Japan for Miho.
The goal of any good bishoujo game is to find all the endings and view 100% of the graphics. Most games have 8-10 endings, but this game has a very complex story with 25 different endings to explore -- good endings, bad endings, and everything in between. You can watch your many graphics you've seen in the game museum, which will help you find the graphics you haven't found yet.
The game tracks all images, and to completely finish the game, you need to get all 527 of them -- all H scenes, all backgrounds, all facial pics. It's quite challenging, but a lot of fun too. There are easter eggs in the game, too, such as secret menus that you unlock when you get endings.