Nicole is an otome-themed visual novel with life simulation elements developed and published by Winter Wolves. It was released in October 2013 for Mac, PC, and Linux. The game features a female protagonist named Nicole, a college freshman attending a university in Florida. Nicole, a pre-law major, feels compelled to investigate some odd circumstances on campus: several female students have disappeared recently only to be found, completely unharmed, a few days later. As a result of her investigation, Nicole soon becomes a target of the kidnapper, who may be one of the four male students that she has become friends with since the beginning of the school year.
Nicole is a fairly standard visual novel with life sim elements. Most of the gameplay involves reading text and making decisions about who Nicole should spend her time with or which activities she should participate in. During the course of the game, Nicole will meet four young men that she can pursue romantically. Each of those characters has a particular personality trait that they admire, and the player must figure out what that trait is and participate in activities that will raise the level of that trait.
The player can also choose to work at part time jobs and buy gifts for Nicole's suitors: those gifts can raise a suitor's affection level for Nicole. Affection levels can also be raised during special events with the characters. When certain conditions are met with one of the characters, a scene will be triggered where he and Nicole will spend time together. If the player is able to respond to questions in a way that the character is happy with, his affection level for Nicole will increase.
The player must also investigate the disappearances on campus. At most times of the day, the player can choose to visit game locations and investigate or ask other students about the disappearances. This is quite simple and only involves several mouse clicks, but at certain intervals, scenes involving the disappearance story will be triggered, with the entire story unfolding by the end of the game, as long as the player has acquired the required number of clues.
Unlike some dating sim protagonists, Nicole has a pretty strong personality. She's a first year student at a university in Florida studying pre-law. She's a hard working student, loves fashion, and has her own blog on a site similar to Tumblr.
Ted is a second year student at Nicole's university, studying criminal justice. He is tsundere, southern, stubborn, and honest to a fault saying exactly what he means with little consideration for the consequences. He works at the convenience store on campus, which is owned by his father.
Jeff is a second year pharmacology major. While he appears to be quite polite and pleasant, Nicole begins to discover that there is another, darker side to him. He is very passionate about pharmacology and works on experiments in his spare time.
Darren is a first year student that Nicole meets in her Anthropology class. A very popular blogger who interacted with Nicole for some time before they became friends in person, Darren is shy and socially awkward.
Kurt is a first year student and the terribly cocky quarterback of the university's football team. He is unsure of his major, but is taking business classes at his father's insistence. After doing poorly on his first exams, Nicole begins to tutor him in economics.