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#1
Nov 9, 9:22 PM
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Lately I've been feeling kind of bored and wanting to try something new other than watch anime and read manga. Should I try playing visual novels? The only visual novel I've ever played is Doki Doku Literature Club and it was fun but the creepiness gave me a bad impression of visual novels up until now. Making me not feel like playing them.

Should I try playing visual novels? If so, could you please recommend me good ones that are free to play or are available on Steam?
 
#2
Nov 9, 9:38 PM

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Yes
If you like mystery/crime stuff I definitely recommend the Ace Attorney series
https://store.steampowered.com/app/787480/Phoenix_Wright_Ace_Attorney_Trilogy__123/

I would get this Steam edition myself but I already have the 3DS version lol
 
#3
Nov 9, 11:44 PM

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Visual Novels may be kinda hard to get into at first specially cuz they are very different from both anime and games.
For Steam ones I would recommend:
Narcissu - For a more classical approach (Romance - Tragic) Cuz most VNs are Romance

That's why Doki Doki starts as a romance cuz its a parody and makes fun of the tropes used in VNs.

Also You can never go wrong with the Classics.
Danganronpa
STEINS;GATE

For a less Read-Heavy experience you can check out Blazblue (The story mode It's a VN) and Its Spin off XBlaze


 
#4
Nov 10, 2:14 AM
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Lollipop Life

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I'm a huge fan of them and have played nearly a hundred titles, but not gonna lie they're far less accessible than anime or games. Many of them tend to have similar issues like padding or repetition. There's also the problem of excessive erotic scenes, though that's actually a plus point for me lmao.

I find that the mystery/detective genre is the best starting point for newcomers to the medium since these games are so easy to get into. You definitely want to check out the Ace Attorney and Danganronpa games, so I agree with the posters above. The recently released AI: Somnium Files is also a good choice since the 3D visuals and extensive features give it the semblance of a regular video game. Finally, there's Root Double, which is one of my most favorite visual novels to date.

I'll be honest, though, I wouldn't recommend any of the free visual novels on Steam. Stuff like Narcissu or the KFC visual novel might intrigue you at first, but after reading a dozen or so visual novels, you will start to realize they fall far behind in terms of quality.
 
#5
Nov 10, 4:50 AM

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If you don’t mind slow paced monsters that involve lots of reading, then you should theoretically enjoy them.

If you like Psychological thrillers, then I’d probs rec G-Senjou No Maou.

If slice of life’s your thing, then I’d have to rec Rewrite. (Although keep in mind that it does start becoming serious around 20 hours in, so basically the start of the heroine routes)

If you like survival/killing games with unique and interesting ideas and colorful characters, then the Danganronpa series is perfect. This applies to the zero escape series as well, but it takes a different route in contrast to Danganronpa.
 
#6
Nov 10, 6:18 AM

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Literally one of the best Japanese mediums ever. But the romance is usually forced and don't even get me started on the lenght.
 
#7
Nov 10, 7:00 AM

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I always wanted to give them a try but that moment just never seems to arrive...


“The most shameless thing in the world is political power that can be inherited regardless of ability or talent!”
 
#8
Nov 10, 7:18 AM

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I played Higurashi, Doki Doki and Ace Attorney. Danganronpa has been on my radar for a while now, Umineko as well. Yeah, I think they are good and worth playing. I can't think of any free ones that are good from the top of my head.
 
#9
Nov 10, 7:35 AM

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Nick-Knight said:
Literally one of the best Japanese mediums ever. But the romance is usually forced and don't even get me started on the lenght.


Yeah that huge time investment a really important factor to consider before reading a visual novel(there are some short ones but they aren't exactly great). The best visual novels are not free, but Katawa Shoujo and Juniper's Knot are alright just to get familiarized with the medium(for free novels).
 
Nov 10, 12:12 PM

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Besides Danganronpa there's another VN I really like. It's called House in Fata Morgana.
 
Nov 10, 12:36 PM

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Read Katawa Shoujo. It's free and amazing.
"When you meet your God, tell him to leave me alone."
 
Nov 10, 1:19 PM

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Didn't even know what Visual Novels were until I started voice acting (since the majority of online videogame work is for Visual Novels). Frankly I'm really not a fan generally, but you do every once in a while get a great game like Steins;Gate that tells a genuinely fantastic story (although if those Visual Novels are great enough to become anime might as well just watch the anime unless they really screw up the adaptation). For what it's worth though I have found moderate enjoyment in a few of the ones I voiced in (XOXO Droplets was probably the best of them since it mixed in other genres and also focused on comedy more than usual). I also played Doki Doki Literature Club which was interesting. But generally Visual Novels are lame except for the rare one or two a year that cleverly mix in another genre or focus entirely on telling a good original story.
 
Nov 10, 1:32 PM

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TrueRandomGamer said:
Read Katawa Shoujo. It's free and amazing.


Preach! Katawa Shoujo was engaging. I think I liked all the arcs except Shizune. What was your favorite arc?

TrueRandomGamer said:
Lily. THE best girl. Used to be Emi for awhile, actually. Until I replayed all the routes a bunch and really had time to reflect on what I valued the most.


Emi's was my favorite. Rin's was my most interesting. Hanako's was probably most emotional. Those three I have a hard time choosing which one I liked the most. Lily's was nice but I didn't like them as much as the previous three sadly. Shizune's arc didn't really work for me either.


Mod Edit: Merged duplicated posts; please use the edit button.
Modified by fancyjasper, Nov 11, 2:09 AM

 
Nov 10, 2:01 PM

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HungryForQuality said:
TrueRandomGamer said:
Read Katawa Shoujo. It's free and amazing.


Preach! Katawa Shoujo was engaging. I think I liked all the arcs except Shizune. What was your favorite arc?


Lily. THE best girl. Used to be Emi for awhile, actually. Until I replayed all the routes a bunch and really had time to reflect on what I valued the most.
"When you meet your God, tell him to leave me alone."
 
Nov 10, 3:32 PM

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Clannad and the Grisaia series are worth doing. I am on Grisaia no Meikyuu right now. I am also doing Clannad, the Ichinose Kotomi route.
 
Nov 11, 1:57 AM
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Thank you everyone. Appreciated your recommendations. I will try them.
 
Nov 12, 1:04 PM

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You have to remember that visual novels as a whole are more like novels than games, you spend most of your time reading. If you are okay with that, then visual novels can be a very rewarding experience, I prefer them even to anime nowadays. I recommend starting with Grisaia, Little Busters! or G-senjou no Maou as those were my first ones to introduce me to the medium. After reading those you will probably be hooked.
 
Nov 16, 1:34 AM

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I REALLY want to get into the visual novel genre too but it's a little daunting. I've played hybrid VNs like Neptunia and I LOVE danganronpa, but I haven't played a "pure" vn like FS/N yet.

Muv-Luv looks pretty cool too

 
Nov 16, 4:55 AM

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Visual novels are the best! You should play Summer Pockets when English version comes out sometime in the future. It was best visual novel games I ever played and I even bought switch version for it so I can play it on the go. (I know mobile version exists, but it's not really the same, with only 50 save slots)

Second best for me was Sakura no Uta but I'm not sure if they'll ever translate that. I can't wait till sequel Sakura no Toki to come out, hopefully sometime next year.
 
Nov 16, 8:06 AM

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NekoPara, NekoPara ftw
If My Heart Had Wings is also very nice.
 
Nov 16, 8:24 AM
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Yeah, definitely, Steins;Gate, Clannad, Air and Kanon are all very good, if you want something different, then Corpse Party: Sweet Sachiko's Hysteric Birthday Bash is a rather interesting horror/comedy blend. Under One Wing is a rather fun romance visual novel, the Steam Edition is all ages, but can get the restoration version (which has all the content in the original game) through Denpasoft.
Modified by Fleeting_Dream, Nov 16, 8:28 AM
This is your story now.
This might be the last chance,
for all is fleeting;
'tis naught but a dream.
An unending one.
 
Nov 16, 8:38 AM

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I like visual novels a lot, although if you're only looking for free ones, you probably won't find the best.

Paid suggestions that I liked: Higurashi (These are quite cheap, like less than £5 per chapter and they're 10-20hours each), Umineko, Worldend Syndrome, Fault: Milestone One, Narcissu (All of them), Planetarian, Wish: Tale of the sixteenth night of the lunar month (Another cheap one, costs like £5.50 on Steam), Memory's Dogma.

Doki Doki Literature Club is the only decent free one that I can think of unfortunately, I tend to avoid free ones although I will watch this thread for suggestions if anyone has any.
 
Nov 16, 9:27 AM

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Here you go in 2 categories:

Accessible
  • Ace Attorney franchise
  • Corpse Party franchise
  • Anything by Spike Chunsoft


Ambitious
  • Ryukishi07's Works
  • Fate stuff
  • House of Fata Morgana
  • Key stuff (probably)


@Timeless- That's what I get for speculating blindly...
Modified by Orhunaa, Nov 16, 3:10 PM
 
Nov 16, 11:32 AM

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Orhunaa said:



Ambitious

  • Key stuff (probably)


Not sure about that, Rewrite is probably the only work that could be categorised in that list(especially if they are compared to 07th expansion works or Fata morgana).
 
Nov 16, 7:52 PM
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I'll add Utawarerunomono if you want a visual novel with some gameplay mechanic to it. A few of em NISA released on ps4, though that's definatly not the norm for vns.

There's always 07's when they cry(Umineko,higurashi,Ciconia ) for the murder mystery shenanigans, called sound novel rather than visual as they generally are focused on atmosphere rather than art.
 
Nov 16, 8:02 PM

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I still don't really get why Danganronpa and Phoenix Wright are considered VNs tbh, they're more just text heavy adventure games.

Anyway, yeah read 07th Expansion novels and Grisaia.
 
Nov 16, 10:43 PM

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I will be honest with you. Muv Luv Alternative and Song of Saya both have etched themselves into my very being.

After reading them you will not be the same.

Something something hyperbole

@16-Bit-MegaDrive Digital a love story was made in Renpy so I think that counts. Really good freeware.




πŸ…—πŸ…πŸ…‘πŸ…“πŸ…”πŸ…‘ πŸ…“πŸ…πŸ…“πŸ…“πŸ…¨
 
Nov 17, 3:45 AM
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People here already suggested 07th expansion VNs a few times and while they're good and definitely worth a try after you read a few of them, their 50 hrs.+ length (save for Higanbana) is not really appropriate for newbie. Something like The House in Fata Morgana or Shikoku no Sharnoth probably works better to hook you in the medium
 
Nov 17, 7:16 AM

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Read Grisaia no Kajitsu, Subarashiki Hibi, Root Double, the SonoHana series, does Kimi ga Shine count as a visual novel?

Yes they're very good, I think they have a far higher storytelling potential than anime.
 
Nov 17, 7:59 AM

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Not as good as animoe, but it has some of the coolest stuff I've ever come across

For a starter, try Key works
 
Nov 27, 1:14 AM

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It depends? Some are i suppose, now the Eroges. Those are what you wanna play in terms of VNs lol
 
Nov 27, 1:59 AM

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Does anyone here has an easy to use or read site that list eroge and visual novel? I'm not gonna claim that I'll be playing them left and right but I'd check it out :p
 
Nov 27, 2:08 AM
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hazecloud said:
Does anyone here has an easy to use or read site that list eroge and visual novel? I'm not gonna claim that I'll be playing them left and right but I'd check it out :p

VNDB has always been the best place for that. Here's a list of all the visual novels in terms of score.

You can also check out my list on my profile. Totally not advertising btw.
 
Nov 27, 2:17 AM

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@hazecloud I don't know about listing ones you've done, vndb might have a function like that. As for listing all VNs, vndb is exactly that. I'd also look at Fuwanovel because they have quite a few good ones listed and some reviews without the overload that you get looking at hundreds of entries.

As for recs for people checking out VNs, naturally Katawa Shoujo is a good starting place. There are a few other Ren'Py gems out there free to play as well but I never looked too hard at Ren'Py stuff. Commercial releases, I'd recommend Rewrite and Muv-Luv. Grisaia is also great imo. Muv-Luv Alternative is a masterpiece but not for everyone.
 
Nov 27, 3:25 AM

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@Skittles Alright looks like I'm redirected to that site again haha. Looks like it's the real deal after all. Hmm I may need a headset to play, I mean read.

@ItsaNico Alright, Katawa Shoujo this would do too. I try to find stuff that I'm interested but at the same time not giving me too much spoiler. Thanks guys.
 
Nov 27, 8:19 AM

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I haven't played that many, but I prefer them over regular novels because I'm a sucker for pretty art and some form of interaction. They're nice if I want to just relax.
 
Nov 30, 12:15 AM

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I like most of the ones I've read. It's been a few years since I've played one but I've been wanting to check out House in Fata Morgana. As for VNs on Steam, I'd rec Danganronpa and The Fruit of Grisaia.
 
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