10 visual novels that are better than most books

Visual novels have been around for just under forty years, with many fans crediting The Portopia serial murder case, released in June 1983, to invent the genre as a whole. While some still consider the visual novel genre to be plagued with shoddy harem-style games, they can also offer players a wide range of incredibly engrossing and challenging experiences that can match or even surpass the level of storytelling found in publications. novels.


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One of the biggest draws that makes reading a visual novel distinctly unique, compared to the experience of reading a book, is the inclusion of player choice. Visual novels tend to include multiple primary, secondary, or hidden paths that players must make certain choices in order to discover, adding to their immersion and replayability.

10/10 Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! Feign Romantic Innocence

Doki Doki Literature Club became a huge hit after its release in 2017, with the update More! version released at the end of 2021. DDLC comes off as a light visual novel, masking layers of psychological horror underneath.

The players are invited to join the Literature Club by their childhood friend, Sayori, and are quickly introduced to Yuri, Natsuki, and Monika. Over a span of several days, players attempt to woo the girl of their choice as things slowly take a dark turn for the worse. DDLC only has one true ending, but there are routes players can take, depending on which girl they prefer.

9/10 Steins;Gate propels Rintaro on a quest to save the life of an awesome girl

Time travel is a commonly used theme in storytelling, and some visual novels manage to take this well-known concept and create something truly unforgettable. Steins;Door is one such visual novel, first released in 2009. Rintaro finds a strange girl lying in a pool of blood, before discovering that he has the ability to text back in time.

Together with his friends, Rintaro embarks on a mission to save the life of this awesome girl. Player choice greatly affects the story, with five alternate endings players can unlock in addition to Steins;Dooris the true ending.

8/10 Mix drinks at a cyberpunk-themed bar in VA-11 Hall-A

VA-11 Hall-A: cyberpunk bartender action puts players in the role of Valhalla’s bartender. In a futuristic world where corporations reign supreme and nanomachines have infected the entire human race, players learn all about the dystopia’s weirdest citizens while serving them drinks.

Instead of having a typical branching scenario chosen by the dialog, branches in VA-11 Hall-Ait isthe story are determined by the drinks served by the players. Player reviews describe the overall atmosphere as comfortable, despite the darkness of the world, as players learn how characters manage to live and even thrive despite their circumstances.

7/10 Umineko When They Cry is a complex and hard to beat story of murder mystery

Fans of Complex Murder Mysteries Visual Novel Dubs Umineko when they cry so hard to beat. Umineko focuses on a group of eighteen people stuck on a remote island for two days and the murders that occur within the cast.

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Unlike many other visual novels, Umineko does not contain any direct interactive elements where the player influences the outcome of a story. Instead, the thrill of this title comes from readers drawn into the mystery, trying to figure out who committed the murders, whether human or supernatural, as well as how and why each murder is committed.

6/10 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney is a case-solving classic

Phoenix Wright: Ace Lawyer is the birthplace of a few famous internet memes, but it’s also cited as one of the greatest games ever made. There are four instances in the original Game Boy Advance release, with the updated Nintendo DS version including a fifth try that capitalizes on the system’s touchscreen controls.

ace lawyerThe gameplay of is divided into two main sections – investigations and courtroom trials. Players take on the role of the aptly named Phoenix Wright, a rookie defense attorney tasked with proving his clients innocent.

5/10 Clannad is a tale about the transition to adulthood

The transition from adolescence to adulthood is confusing and painful but sometimes beautiful. Clannad does an outstanding job of capturing this journey through the eyes of Tomoya Okazaki, an average boy in his senior year of high school who encounters a group of girls each suffering from complex physical or mental issues.

These topics can be difficult to discuss, but ClannadThe characterization of is masterful, hailed as realistic. The After Story arc of Clannad receives particularly high praise, known for its heartbreaking and emotionally charged story beats.

4/10 Explore the horrors of real escape rooms in Zero Escape: The Nonary Games

As its name suggests, each game in the zero escape centers on a group of nine people who must play a game of life or death to survive. They will have to solve puzzles and track down their escape without cracking under the pressure of their increasingly short time.

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games is a bundle that combines the first two titles in the series. These two stories and groups of characters seem separate at first glance, but the zero escape the games tie together in a satisfying way for fans who enjoy the connections that carry over between titles.

3/10 Katawa Shoujo treats sensitive disability issues with respect

Katawa Shojo tells the story of a young man living alongside five young women, all with various disabilities. Hisao Nakai is an ordinary boy, who is forced to transfer to a special school due to his heart arrhythmia after suffering a heart attack.

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There he meets Emi, Hanako, Lilly, Rin, and Shizune, none of whom allow her disability to define her as a person. Katawa Shojo contains five routes in total, one for each of the main female characters, as the player can choose who they want to form a deep bond and eventually romance with.

2/10 Find lost memories in the house of Fata Morgana

An amnesiac lost spirit appears inside a mansion seeking to regain its lost memories in the unique haunting Fata Morgana’s house. Inside this mansion, the spirit meets a maid and the two recount the mansion’s past through the time periods as the spirit tries to remember its own past.

It’s hard to dig deeper while avoiding spoilers, but Fata Morgana’s house is an intriguing story about identity, love and betrayal. It’s the plot of understanding how past and present connect as well as discerning the truth that keeps players engaged.

1/10 Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc traps players in a high-stakes game of death

Trigger Happy Havoc is the first of the three main lines Danganronpa games in which players take on the role of Makoto Naegi. After being chosen in the lottery, Makoto is able to attend Hope’s Peak Academy alongside incredibly talented students, each with their own special skill.

Things quickly take a dark turn when the students learn that they have in fact been trapped in a game of death and must either kill each other to escape or come to terms with their new reality. Between crime scene investigations and courtroom trials, players can hang out with characters of their choice, learn more about them, and unlock skills to help them during trials.

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