An interactive fiction game, featuring mostly static graphics, most often using anime-style art or occasionally live-action stills (and sometimes video footage). As the name might suggest, they resemble mixed-media novels.
I just recently got into Visual Novels after watching a few shows and reading that they were VN adaptations. I've only played a few so far, but they have been great experiences!
The first VN I played was a game called Go! Go! Nippon! ~My First Trip To Japan~.
I got it in a Humble Bundle, kind of as an after thought, but I believe that it is available for like $10 on Steam. I finally sat down and played it and was surprised by how fun it was to actually slouch in your chair, read text on a screen, look at pretty pictures and occasionally make a choice.
The story was a lot of fun as well. You play as an american guy who is taking his first trip to Japan and will be staying at the house of two japanese guys he met over the internet. Low and behold, the two guys turn out to be two Beautiful girls! Over the course of the game you get to visit various tourist attractions throughout Tokyo and I feel like I learned a lot about Japanese history and culture through the game. Whether or not what I learned in the game is valid in any way, I have no idea. I'd like to think it's all correct information, though. I won't ruin the story for you, but there are two possible routes for you to take as you play the game and I enjoyed both of them, as both girls are quite different and you get to see different places.
The art was good and the interface was easy to use which was nice.
Overall I like this game and give it an 8/10
The second VN that I played was a game called Homeward. It was free and a lot of fun.
The story was surprisingly well written for each of the possible story lines. The premise of the game is that you are a japanese guy who has spent his entire life moving from city to city all over the world every few years, due to his father's job as a diplomat. You finally move back to your hometown because your divorced mother has become gravely ill and you have to take care of your younger sister Sora. The first day back you run into your childhood friend Nonami and during your first day of school you meet Haruka, who is Nonami's best friend. It's a great story about dealing with loneliness and the fear of forming relationships you know will inevitably end because of your past.
The art was fine, nothing spectacular, but for a free game it fit well.
I was surprised to find out that each of the endings ended up being NSFW, which doesn't bother me, but that's what I get for not reading the description when I downloaded it. There is a version, I believe that takes out any nudity, but it also removes two of the possible routes that you can take with the story.
Overall I thought it was a great game and definitely worth checking out. I mean it's free right! It gets an 8/10
The third and most recent VN that I have completed was a game called Katawa Shoujo.
This is, by leaps and bounds, the best VN I've played yet and its up there in the list of my all-time favorite games.
When I first heard the premise of this story, it kind of made me cringe a little. You have a heart condition that makes you attend a school that caters the the handicapped and disabled. All 5 of the girls that you can pursue have some sort of handicap or disability. Oh and it's made by the 4Chan community? No way that this game won't offend people. WRONG! Every second of the game I played was nothing but beautiful. They handled everything with tact and and made the story into something truly spectacular. Saying anything else would probably lead to spoilers, so I'll stop here and say, "Go play it!!". Oh, and did I mention that it is free as well!?
This game contains NSFW content as well but you do have the option of turning it off in the menu. I'm unsure as to what that does to the game play as i played it with the Adult stuff on.
The art was fantastically done and another really clean and easy to use interface. The music was also really good.
Overall I thought it was an outstanding game and totally worth your time. I give it a 10/10.
I would love to hear if you guys have played an Visual Novels that you would recommend! And if you want download links to the above mentioned games let me know and I will find them for you!