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Looking for something clever

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I have read a lot of vn's this past year and I think my favorite types are mystery/detective or otherwise strong storied visual novels with preferably a strong or smart protagonist. The last part is just a bonus and not really important as long as he/she is not a pushover/wimp (which a lot of vn's have :() I am only looking for English translated games so that shortens the list a bit I guess.

Vn's I have read and fall  mostly in that category:

-Grisaia series. I don't think I need to elaborate since about everyone knows them.

-Cartagra. Detective/mystery but pretty dark (did not like the sequels that much)

-Master Magistrate. Just finished it and I really enjoyed the interactive part where you have to put together clues and think for yourself.

-Sharin no kuni. Great protagonist, overall great vn.

-Baldr Sky. Awesome story and likeable characters mostly.

-Nanairo reincarnation. Not a very strong mystery title but mostly lighthearted and very likeable characters.

And probably others I cannot think of right now.

If you have any suggestions please let me know :)


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I guess Umineko would be mandatory in any mystery/detective request.

Ever 17 is also a great mystery VN although some fantastic elements might disappoint 

G Senjou no Maou has a great protagonist and an excellent main route. The other routes are not as good and certainly not mandatory since they abandon the mystery, just play the main route that is the canon true ending


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Read Higurashi first, then Umineko [no naku koro ni]. Hiigurashi starts as a Slice-of-life, but it has a twist!

If you liked Grisaia, you should definetely read KEY games [Clannad, Little Busters!, Kanon, Air, Summer Pockets, Planetarian] as they are the masters of nakige/crying games.

For the mystery part, you could play 999 [and its sequels VLR and ZTD], Infinite Series [Ever17 is the second of it], AI: The Somnium Files [not a VN, but very good mystery hybrid] and if you want mystery with a lot of good humor and plot twists, read Danganronpa [1, 2, spin off, the anime-exclusive story then V3]


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3 hours ago, philipmikh said:

I guess Umineko would be mandatory in any mystery/detective request.

Exactly this. Silvz is probably right that you should read Higurashi first. You can completely understand Umineko without reading Higurashi. But Umineko does build upon certain concepts that got started in Higurashi. They are both really good, though I think Umineko is a bit better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Chaos;Child: The mystery is quite intriguing and exciting, you'll really like this one, the protagonist might come off as a bit of a wimpy at first but he is not, he makes the story work and has his shining moments:https://vndb.org/v14018

G-Senjou no Maou: Awesome game with an awesome mystery, I prefer this one over Chaos;Child, the revelations and twists are better in my opinion, and the MC has a more proactive personality and is cooler:https://vndb.org/v211

Ever17-The Out of Infinity: This one is NOT ABOUT DETECTIVES or characters trying to solve a mystery, it happens something bad to them, and the reasons behind are the big mystery of the game that keeps you in it, but the characters themselves rarely go out of their way trying to figure out why that happened to them, who is behind everything etc, and when something odd happens they shrug it off quite quick, so no one plays the detective role here, play the previous two if you want characters like that, but the mystery is present here and the twist is a huge surprise, so I recommend:https://vndb.org/v17

Edited by Soul Hunter
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  • 3 weeks later...

Sakura no Mori † Dreamers might fit the bill, I read it recently too. It involves the main cast solving separate murder cases by more direct means than conventional mystery narratives, but for the most part working out who did it, why they did it, and how to access them is key to each chapter (it even has a detective agency in-universe). MC isn't disintegrating everyone in his path but doesn't have chronic jobber syndrome either, so he's more or less on par with the rest of the combat orientated heroines as far as power is concerned.


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  • 2 months later...

I don't know if our visual novel Rivelon is "clever" but there's detective investigation and mystery, which you seem to like :)

"Embody the cynical Viscount ln Taliaan in the universe of Rivelon. Go in search of a mystical land or stay down, fall in love or multiply your conquests! All the choices are yours... at least, as long as the Curse leaves you in peace..."


Thank you in advance for your feedback and see you soon!

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