In the first installment of the Tokimeki Memorial series, the player takes the role of a male student at the Kirameki High School in modern-day Japan, whose goal is to win the heart of one of his female school mates.
Tokimeki Memorial is a dating simulation game. There is a schedule in the game, which includes school-related and free-time activities. The player characters has various statistics that can be raised by performing certain activities (such as studying to increase intelligence, etc.). The gameplay is dedicated almost entirely to planning schedules, getting the maximum out of the date with the chosen girl. A date is not necessarily automatic success - neglecting a girl for a long time will lead to gossip and eventually may destroy the relationship. There is also a "rival" in the game, a male student who might succeed with one of the girls if the player is not careful enough.