What is a visual novel?

A visual novel is a type of computer game that typically features text-based gameplay and static graphics. The player reads text that appears on the screen, making choices that affect the outcome of the game. Visual novels often feature branching storylines, with different endings that can be unlocked depending on the player's choices.

Visual novels are typically story-driven, with complex narratives that can take dozens of hours to complete. They often feature lush, detailed artwork and a wide range of characters. While many visual novels are aimed at a adult audience, there are also a number of titles that are suitable for younger players.

The history of the visual novel

The visual novel genre was first developed in Japan in the early 1980s. The first ever visual novel, 'The Portopia Serial Murder Case', was released in 1983.

Another early visual novel was Snatcher, was developed by Hideo Kojima and released for the PC-8801 and MSX2 in 1988. The game featured hand-drawn artwork and cinematic cutscenes, and told the story of a cyberpunk detective hunting down a serial killer. While Snatcher was not a commercial success, it is credited with paving the way for the development of future visual novels.

The next major breakthrough for the visual novel genre came in 1992 with the release of Doki Doki Literature Club, a free game for the PC-9801. Unlike earlier visual novels, which were typically aimed at a young audience, Doki Doki Literature Club was targeted at adults, featuring explicit language and adult content. The game was a critical and commercial success, and is credited with helping to establish the visual novel genre as a serious medium for adult storytelling.

In the 1990s, the visual novel genre exploded in popularity in Japan. The popularity of visual novels soon spread to the rest of the world, with English-language versions of popular visual novels like 'Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney' and 'Steins;Gate' becoming available.

In recent years, the visual novel genre has continued to grow in popularity, with new and innovative titles being released on a regular basis.

The visual novel is a relatively new form of interactive storytelling, dating back only to the early 1990s. Unlike traditional computer games, which rely on action and reflexes, visual novels are more akin to reading a book or watching a movie. They typically feature static backgrounds and character sprites that move around the screen, with players making choices at specific points in the story that determine the course of the narrative.

In the years since, the visual novel genre has continued to grow in popularity, with a number of high-profile titles such as Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward and Steins;Gate receiving critical acclaim. In recent years, the genre has also begun to spread to other platforms, with popular visual novel titles such as Danganronpa and Phoenix Wright being released for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.

So what is it that makes visual novels so popular? In a word, it's the story. While traditional computer games are typically focused on action and adventure, visual novels place a greater emphasis on character development and storytelling. This makes them a perfect medium for telling complex, multi-layered narratives, and allows players to get emotionally involved in the story in a way that traditional games simply cannot match.

This is not to say that visual novels are without their flaws. Many early titles were plagued by poor writing and shoddy production values, and some modern visual novels can still be a little too text-heavy for some players' tastes. However, with the genre continuing to grow in popularity, it's safe to say that visual novels are here to stay. So if you're looking for a new and exciting way to experience a story, then be sure to check out a visual novel. You won't be disappointed.

Origins of the visual novel

In the early 1980s, Japanese computer scientists were working on a project to develop the first graphic adventure game. This game would allow players to navigate through a virtual world, making choices that would affect the outcome of the game. The project was dubbed the 'visual novel'.

The first visual novel, 'The Portopia Serial Murder Case', was released in 1983. The game was a hit, and spawned a number of sequels.

Where to buy visual novels?

Visual novels can be found on a variety of platforms, including Steam, the App Store, and Google Play. Some visual novels can even be found for free online.

Steam is a popular platform for buying and playing visual novels. Steam offers a wide variety of visual novels, including both English and Japanese visual novels. Some popular visual novels available on Steam include Doki Doki Literature Club, Neko Para, and Mystic Messenger.

The App Store is another popular platform for buying and playing visual novels. The App Store offers a wide variety of visual novels in a variety of languages. Some popular visual novels available on the App Store include Code: Realize ~Guardian of Rebirth~, Everlasting Summer, and Sunrider Liberation Day.

Google Play is the third most popular platform for buying and playing visual novels. Google Play offers a wide variety of visual novels in a variety of languages. Some popular visual novels available on Google Play include 7’scarlet, Root Letter, and To the Moon.


Best visual novels

Visual novels are a unique and interesting type of video game. They often feature anime-style graphics, and usually tell a story through text and pictures rather than gameplay and action. This makes them perfect for players who want to enjoy a good story, without having to worry about complex controls or difficult maneuvers.

There are many great visual novels out there, but we’ve compiled a list of our five favorites to help you get started.


(5) Steins;Gate

This visual novel is set in the future, and follows a young man named Okabe as he tries to save the world from a powerful organization known as SERN. The story is full of twists and turns, and will keep you guessing until the very end.



(4) Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney

This courtroom drama is a classic, and has been around since the early 2000s. It follows the story of Phoenix Wright, a young defense attorney, as he tries to solve complex cases and save his clients from wrongful imprisonment. The games are known for their light-hearted humor and fast-paced action.

Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney


(3) Life is Strange

This game is set in the small town of Arcadia Bay, and follows the story of Max Caulfield, a high school student who discovers that she has the power to rewind time. The game is full of drama, mystery, and suspense, and will keep you hooked until the very end.

Life is Strange


(2) Clannad

This visual novel is one of the most popular and highly-rated games of all time, and it’s easy to see why. It tells the heart-warming story of a young man named Tomoya, and his relationships with the people of his hometown. The game is full of emotion, and will leave you feeling satisfied and happy when you finish it.


(1) Danganronpa

This visual novel is a bit darker than some of the others on our list, but it’s still well worth playing. It tells the story of a group of high school students who are forced to participate in a deadly game, and features some truly twisted plot twists.




( O -|- I )

© 2002-2023 - VISUALNOVEL.COM - Online since 07-06-2002 - LOGOS