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The Fuwanovel List of Cool EVNs


Zakamutt
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Back in the day, we had a list of English-language-first visual novels. Unfortunately its OP, nohman, has left us. Fortunately, a lot of good EVNs have been released since then! As Fuwanovel's resident Japanese-knowing, JVN-enjoying EVN reader, I figure I'm in a unique position to moderate this thread.

The previous list focused on "notable" EVNs, but to be honest, these days there are arguably so many notable EVNs that the list would get unwieldy. Besides, the reason to read anything is if it's good — or at least interesting — right? I want to see what you like.

Anyone can contribute with suggestions. If you think it's good or interesting, tell me why, link the game, and I'll add it to the list. To get us started, I'll seed the list with some of my own favorites . Don't be discouraged if what you like is nothing like what I do, though — that's a sign that we need your help!

The Fuwanovel List of Cool EVNs

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Actual Sunlight by Will o'Neill

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Notable tags: Depression, Utsuge, Suicide

Zakamutt: This is a dark VN, and it came to me at a dark time in my life. It's one of the most uncompromising depictions of depression I have seen, and the writing is as funny as it is cutting. Not for everyone, but for me: one of my two 10/10 VNs.

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io

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An Octave Higher by Kidalang

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Notable tags: Fantasy, Magic/ESP Combat, Fictional World

Zakamutt: This is an honest-to-god fantasy VN made by the Indonesian studio Kidalang. It reminds me a lot of Terry Pratchett: you have a big medieval-ish city, magic and technology combined, and some interesting social commentary. The creators' Indonesian roots show through here, as Indonesia lived through an attempted communist coup, then an anti-communist purge, in 1965 — the story centers around people of different classes dealing with the rise of industry and capitalism, with such fun things as magic used in factory production, and even factory-provided mana potions... This is not an uncritical communist paean by any means — read it and you'll see.

Where to get: Steam

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Blankspace by NoBreadStudio

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Notable tags: Escape Game, Mystery, Romance

Zakamutt: Where 999 flavors its mystery with science-fiction technobabble, Blankspace flavors it with messy human drama. You wake up tied to a pipe, and the only one that can help you is Beryl, a teal-haired beauty who was trapped along with you. As you unravel the mystery to escape, you can also pick how you interact with her, perhaps even fall in love — there's a text-only (no CGs) sex scene patch, and I highly advise you get it, as it's written more like erotica than a normal VN h-scene. Quite interesting. The character writing is some of the best I've seen in a VN, with interactions being both natural and entertaining, but also moving the plot forward. The point-and-click elements aren't bad either, and serve the plot as much as less interactive segments.

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io

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Cinders by MoaCube

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Notable tags: Lots of Choices, Proactive Protagonist, Fairy Tale

Templarseeker: It is a reimagining of Cinderella with unique art style.

Bonus: Fuwanovel review.

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io

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Corpse Factory by RIVER CROW STUDIO

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Notable tags: Thriller, Horror, Modern Day Tokyo

Templarseeker: By the title alone you might think its a rip off of Corpse Party, nevertheless give the VN/Game a try and you'll witness a interesting, gloomy, dark, and semi realistic depiction of modern society. A psychological horror VN at its very core.

In addition this VN/Game has decent English voice acting in it on some of the important dialogues!

Where to get: Steam, GOG

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Digital: A Love Story by Christine Love

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Notable tags: Operating System Simulation, Interactive Adventure Game

Zalor: "It's not what you say, it's how you say it that matters", is the first thing that comes to mind with this VN. The story itself is quite simple, but the presentation is so excellent that it makes up for where the story might slack. Especially as somebody who is quite fascinated with old computers, I loved how the whole story is told through BBS messages. BBS standing for Bulletin Board System, and was essentially the internet before the internet. Its presentation mimics said environment very convincingly as well.

Where to get: Creator's Website (FREE!)

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Digital Seclusion by Zalor

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Notable tags: Otaku Protagonist

Zakamutt: Digital Seclusion is a story of a person who might be a bit like you — though I hope none of you are as extreme. He's a shut-in collector of old Japanese visual novels, which he posts about on his blog. It's also an (opinionated) history of the medium, introducing many old, and for some, nostalgic, visual novels. One day, a girl that looks just like a heroine from one of his games steps out of the screen. But is she real, and if so, should he trust her — or is she nothing but bad news?

Digital Seclusion was written by one of our forum members, Zalor, and we also have a Fuwanovel review of this VN if you're interested.

Where to get: Itch.io (FREE!)

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Doki Doki Literature Club! by Dan Salvato

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Notable tags: Poetry, Student Club

Alpacaman: I know this one is kind of controversial in the community. It's still one of the titles that introduced many people in the west to visual novels. Yes, it's gimmicky, but what it sets out to do it does very well and doesn't overstay its welcome. Many people in the community saw the game as an attack on VNs as a whole, but I think it's more about player agency and the relationship between games and the ones playing them.

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io (FREE!)

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Heart of the Woods by Studio Élan

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Notable tags: Fictional Modern Day European Town, Girl x Girl Romance Only, Contemporary Fantasy

Silvz: Heart of the Woods is amazing! I loved the characters, the art style and the story in general. Iirc there was a voice patch released after I read it, so it may be even better now. It's also good to have some LGBTQIA+ representation in the list!
(Also recommended by: Templarseeker, Plk_Lesiak)

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io

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Juniper's Knot by Dischan

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Notable tags: Multiple Protagonists

Zalor: A short, well written story that nearly a decade later still leaves quite a good impression. Focused on the interactions between a lost boy and a demon confined within a magic circle, it has some folklore-ish vibes to it. However, the bouncing between the two perspectives of the boy and the demon girl adds a modern flair to a story that otherwise does feel like it could be within a Grimm Fairy Tales book. This is all not to mention the beautiful art. For more info here's a review.
Where to get: Steam, Dischan (FREE!)

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Katawa Shoujo by Four Leaf Studios

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Notable tags: Nakige, Romance, Disabled Heroine

Zakamutt: Back in the day, there'd be no point in putting this on the list. Literally everyone knew about it, and it was many people's first VN. Today, I think this story is worth recommending anew. The central conceit is the protagonist, Hisao, transferring to an academy for the disabled after suffering a heart attack. But the depth in this VN lies in not the disabled girls he meets there, but in what lies beneath. Pretty much every character has hidden depths to them, and the story arc usually ends up much like a Key tearjerker (without the supernatural hijinx). It's not just nostalgia, mom, I swear. Katawa Shoujo is genuinely a good VN.

Where to get: OG, Moddable Fan HD rerelease with accessibility options (both FREE!)

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Lessons in Love by Selebus

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Notable tags: Dating Simulation, Student-Teacher Romance, Lots of Choices

Alpacaman: A work in progress that at this point is even longer than Umineko and according to its creator is the longest VN in existence, period (each update is about 30-60k words long and there's been about 50). Which shouldn't keep you from reading it. At least to me this one is more about vibes than plot and works very well despite its length.

Where to get: Subscribestar, Itch.io (FREE but one of those things where the patreon is further ahead)

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Lynne by ebi-hime

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Notable tags: Modern Day British Isles, Utsuge, Psychological Horror

Zakamutt: Ebi-hime is a well-regarded VN writer among those in the know, and for a reason: she consistently delivers well-written interesting stories. Lynne is one of her free offerings, and takes place in a lower-class British milieu, with all the stress and envy that often implies. Both the soundtrack and graphics match the griminess of the setting, with ebi-hime opting to work with the electronic music producer sleepy agents for the sound. Lynn, the protagonist, is haunted by nightmares as the national exams she simply cannot afford to fuck up approach. Almost everything around her seems practically designed to stress her out more. In school there is a girl that she feels has everything that she does not, Lynne. Will Lynn pass her exams, or will she break from the stress she is under? And what will happen to Lynne? Find out in this VN.

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io (both FREE!)

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Meeting in the Flesh by inkEthic

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Notable tags: Monster Hero, Body Horror

Alpacaman: An inversion of Saya no Uta's themes, showing you can find beauty anywhere.

Where to get: Itch.io (FREE!)

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Pale Cachexia by Argent Games

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Notable tags: Dark Fantasy, (Gothic) Horror, Illness

Zakamutt: Our protagonist, Esther, is afflicted with the Pale, a disease that causes its victims to waste away at terrifying speed if they do not take medicine every day. Even with the medicine, sufferers are often doomed to a life of slow degeneration and disability, with everything from their mood to too much exercise affecting the condition. Esther has made a desperate bid for a cure, the last step of a journey in search of a cure the cottage of a dead scholar of the Pale in the forest — and the young girl who lives there. They build up a fragile relationship as Esther researches his notes, trying to find something — anything — to help her condition. But those same notes might hold horrors she never knew...

I liked this one so much it made me write like a pretentious twat on vndb. So I'm just going to reproduce that here. I'm not sorry.

A languid walk, rarely a run, into the terror and beauty of the darkness. The will to be independent yet the need to depend. The intense portrayal of guilt and avoidance in this is sublime — or maybe just too deeply #relatable for me to give it, with its beautiful immersive atmosphere and, for once, solid writing anything else but an "excellent" rating.

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io

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Sensei Overnight by Pers0nas

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Notable tags: All-girls School, Teacher Protagonist, Memory Alteration

Danmaku: it is a "psychological horror mystery grooming dating sim" obviously inspired by Lessons in Love but focuses more on its underlying mysteries and how all of its characters relate to it and without as much of the grind and wiki-searching. Like its contemporary, it has a strong visual flair and strong comedic and story/character writing with a heavy focus on psychoanalysing its characters. It has rather low sexual content, when it does have h-scenes, it will be rather weird and/or focuses on realism. It really creates its own highly unique identity later on, the earlier parts can be a slow burn. Very importantly, the choices you make will matter.

Where to get: Itch.io (FREE... but you can subscribe on patreon/subscribestar for early access updates)

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SHINRAI - Broken Beyond Despair by Gosatsu Visual Novels

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Notable tags: Detective Work, Murder Mystery, Interactive Adventure Game

Danmaku: a murder mystery visual novel with refreshing story pacing due to its straightforward honkaku structure. The character writing is amazing and the tricks used in the murder(s) are unique enough to give it its own identity.

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io

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 Solstice by MoaCube

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Notable tags: Multiple Protagonists, Mystery, Lots of Choices

Templarseeker: Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi thriller of a VN

Where to get: Steam, GOG

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Soundless by milk+ visual

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Notable tags: Bullying, Denpa, Cult, Mystery

Zakamutt: Mercy sees things. It’s too bad that what she sees are warped distortions, filthy beetles, tentacles, horrifying flesh-beasts and all that, but at least it isn’t permanently on so she’s not quite Fuminori yet. Too bad it’s getting worse, though.

Mercy lives in a small, secluded village; the village is strongly religious, ruled by the local church, and all the kids around see her as a convenient punching bag. But hey, it’s probably her fault anyway, she was cursed by sinning at the tender age of ten. She was seeing nice things before that.

Mercy is the protagonist of Soundless, a game taking inspiration from the classic in the "denpa" subgenre of visual novels, which tends to concern itself with madness, unreliable narrators, and horror.

Every person I've gotten to play Soundless has liked it, without exception. Any denpa fan that hasn't tried it is making a mistake. And I played it back when the well-received rerelease with an extra chapter wasn't even out yet. If you try nothing else, try this one: it's free!

Where to get: Itch.io (FREE!)

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Sweetest Monster by ebi-hime

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Notable tags: Relationship Problems, Modern Day British Isles, Dark Fantasy

Silvz: a very short VN with great art and a plot twist that rivals the best mystery novels out there, at least in my humble opinion :3

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io

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The Dandelion Girl by /jp/ project / Outis Media

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Notable tags: Literary Adaptation, Time Travel, Romance

Zalor: Another entry in that short and sweet department. Although often overshadowed by it's more successful sibling (the other 4chan visual novel, Katawa Shoujo), I think its charm shines through. And that's really the appeal I find with this VN. It's nothing amazing, but has a soulful charm to it.

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io (FREE! — this is a remake by one of the original's creators. Links to the OG are dead.)

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The Language Of Love by ebi-hime

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Notable tags: Heroine with Children, Adult Heroine, Only a Single Heroine

adamstan: I think The Language of Love by ebi-hime should be added to the list. Short, but very heartwarming and wholesome love story - I loved it. It's also one of the few EVNs that manage to pull off the japanese setting without being all cringey ;)

Bonus: Fuwanovel Review

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io, Denpa, MangaGamer

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The Sekimeiya: Spun Glass by Trinitite Team

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Notable tags: Confinement, Mystery, Hard Science Fiction

Danmaku: a highly elaborate ontological mystery visual novel. The music can be jarring and ear-grating at times and the characters can be pretty bland. One thing I can highly compliment this visual novel is the underlying mystery itself. It is highly engaging and may seem perplexing and complicated but the puzzle pieces connect together pretty nicely. You will answer about 50 questions at the end to solve it, you will be ranked with other players to see how you did. The individual mysteries are segmented enough that if you didn't get some of it you still will be able to solve the rest.

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io

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VA11 Hall-A by Sukeban Games

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Notable tags: Bartender Protagonist, Cyberpunk, Dialogue Based

Alpacaman: It's cyberpunk bartender action, what more could you possibly want? It nails the aesthetic with great visuals and BGM, has great characters, some actual depth to its themes without ever getting anywhere close to being pretentious. Also it has some of the best comedy in any VN I've read so far.

Where to get: Steam, Itch.io

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YOU LEFT ME by Angela He

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Notable tags: Interactive Adventure Game, Surreal, Depression

Kawasumi: just because of how absolutely stunning visually it is.
Zakamutt: I would definitely recommend trying other Angela He VNs like Missed Messages out as well. She has a pretty unique style.

Where to get: Itch.io (FREE!)

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I have a couple of suggestions, today I'll only add (my reasons why to the two I think any definitive list of this kind would be incomplete without because it's almost midnight where I live. Probably going to elaborate on the rest sometime later.

1) Doki Doki Literature Club: I know this one is kind of controversial in the community. It's still one of the titles that introduced many people in the west to visual novels. Yes, it's gimmicky, but what it sets out to do it does very well and doesn't overstay its welcome. Many people in the community saw the game as an attack on VNs as a whole, but I think it's more about player agency and the relationship between games and the ones playing them.

2) VA11 Hall-A: It's cyberpunk bartender action, what more could you possibly want? It nails the aesthetic with great visuals and BGM, has great characters, some actual depth to its themes without ever getting anywhere close to being pretentious. Also it has some of the best comedy in any VN I've read so far.

Other:

3)Any Love Conquers All VN out of Analogue: A Hate Story, Hate Plus and Ladykiller in the Bind. The first is the most influential one, the second one the even better sequel, and the third one is really innovative for a porn game when it comes to mechanics.

4) Meeting in the Flesh: An inversion of Saya no Uta's themes, showing you can find beauty anywhere.

5) Lessons in Love: A work in progress that at this point is even longer than Umineko and according to its creator is the longest VN in existence, period (each update is about 30-60k words long and there's been about 50). Which shouldn't keep you from reading it. At least to me this one is more about vibes than plot and works very well despite its length.

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32 minutes ago, alpacaman said:

I have a couple of suggestions, today I'll only add (my reasons why to the two I think any definitive list of this kind would be incomplete without because it's almost midnight where I live. Probably going to elaborate on the rest sometime later.

<snip recs>

I'm not really looking for a definitive list, but a list of your personal recommendations. Obviously I know about DDLC, I just didn't personally think it was an interesting recommendation. If you disagree, though, sure I'll add it.

I've added all but ddlc/lqa games to the list, since I'd rather confirm you personally want them on first (as I wrote in the post, I don't really care about notability as such).

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At least in my opinion DDLC has enough qualities that set it apart from other titles, even stuff in a similar vein like Totono. I wouldn't say it's anywhere close to a 10/10, but I'd argue it holds an important spot in EVN history and has enough going for it to make the cut. Then again that's just my personal opinion. You're the one curating the list and I can't imagine the end product would turn out well if you included anything anyone mentioned in this thread. Personally, I find it kind of hard to grasp what you are going for. Or rather I kind of get it, but I think something like a testimonial format where the personal angle is obvious from the get-go would work better than a list with somewhat dubious criteria for what gets included.

 

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32 minutes ago, alpacaman said:

At least in my opinion DDLC has enough qualities that set it apart from other titles, even stuff in a similar vein like Totono. I wouldn't say it's anywhere close to a 10/10, but I'd argue it holds an important spot in EVN history and has enough going for it to make the cut. Then again that's just my personal opinion. You're the one curating the list and I can't imagine the end product would turn out well if you included anything anyone mentioned in this thread. Personally, I find it kind of hard to grasp what you are going for. Or rather I kind of get it, but I think something like a testimonial format where the personal angle is obvious from the get-go would work better than a list with somewhat dubious criteria for what gets included.

I think that's just how I write, to be honest (also, are my first three paragraphs really that unclear?). You can see how I added your suggestions as an indication of my intent here. I'll probably add a marker for my suggestions being mine in a bit.

edit: Basically, I want to avoid people suggesting things based on how famous they are or how much other people have noticed them. There are really obvious VNs I could have added if we were doing this based on popularity or some vague idea of significance for the medium, but those are not my personal favorites.

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Glad you revived this sort of thing. Anything to connect the gap between the EVN and JVN crowd I think is a good thing. I don't have too much to add, but here are some I quite like that I haven't seen mentioned here yet:

Juniper's Knot: A short, well written story that nearly a decade later still leaves quite a good impression. Focused on the interactions between a lost boy and a demon confined within a magic circle, it has some folklore-ish vibes to it. However, the bouncing between the two perspectives of the boy and the demon girl adds a modern flare to a story that otherwise does feel like it could be within a Grimm Fairy Tales book. This is all not to mention the beautiful art. For more info here's a review.

Digital: A Love Story : "It's not what you say, it's how you say it that matters", is the first thing that comes to mind with this VN. The story itself is quite simple, but the presentation is so excellent that it makes up for where the story might slack. Especially as somebody who is quite fascinated with old computers, I loved how the whole story is told through BBS messages. BBS standing for Bulletin Board System, and was essentially the internet before the internet. Its presentation mimics said environment very convincingly as well.

The Dandelion Girl: Another entry in that short and sweet department. Although often overshadowed by it's more successful sibling (the other 4chan visual novel, Katawa Shoujo), I think its charm shines through. And that's really the appeal I find with this VN. It's nothing amazing, but has a soulful charm to it. 

I guess I'm just preserving the classics with this post, but I'm sure if @Plk_Lesiak sees this, he will have some more up to date VNs to mention. 

Btw, glad to see that mine got a mentioned. Even if it's just to be polite. 

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28 minutes ago, Zalor said:

Glad you revived this sort of thing. Anything to connect the gap between the EVN and JVN crowd I think is a good thing. I don't have too much to add, but here are some I quite like that I haven't seen mentioned here yet:

<snip reccs>

Btw, glad to see that mine got a mentioned. Even if it's just to be polite. 

Hey, I helped edit that thing after you posted the original for a reason! :P

I notice that the only version of The Dandelion Girl that looks to be available these days is a remake, which was apparently rewritten a bit (by one of the original creators). I've linked to that one since the OG is no longer available at any link on vndb, but it's possible it's not the one you read (it's not actually the one I read back in the day). Also get rekt @HatchWashere I guess you're technically in now 😆

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Sensei Overnight it is a "psychological horror mystery grooming dating sim" obviously inspired by Lessons in Love but focuses more on its underlying mysteries and how all of its characters relate to it and without as much of the grind and wiki-searching. Like its contemporary, it has a strong visual flair and strong comedic and story/character writing with a heavy focus on psychoanalysing its characters. It has rather low sexual content, when it does have h-scenes, it will be rather weird and/or focuses on realism. It really creates its own highly unique identity later on, the earlier parts can be a slow burn. Very importantly, the choices you make will matter.

 

The Sekimeiya: Spun Glass is a highly elaborate ontological mystery visual novel. The music can be jarring and ear-grating at times and the characters can be pretty bland. One thing I can highly compliment this visual novel is the underlying mystery itself. It is highly engaging and may seem perplexing and complicated but the puzzle pieces connect together pretty nicely. You will answer about 50 questions at the end to solve it, you will be ranked with other players to see how you did. The individual mysteries are segmented enough that if you didn't get some of it you still will be able to solve the rest.

 

SHINRAI - Broken Beyond Despair is a murder mystery visual novel with refreshing story pacing due to its straightforward honkaku structure. The character writing is amazing and the tricks used in the murder(s) are unique enough to give it its own identity.

Edited by Danmaku
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11 hours ago, Danmaku said:

<snip reccs>

Added. I knew about sekimeiya, but not the other two. I personally don't know if I'll ever read these patreon-driven epics since I like a finished story (and I know that if I binge something to the current end I'm often not coming back to it — I left homestuck at like page 3000ish then never returned). But not everyone has my personal hangups w

5 hours ago, Kawasumi said:

YOU LEFT ME. just because of how absolutely stunning visually it is

I do like Angela He, but I think the short length of her games really works against them sometimes (though as a single creator with that level of polish, it's hard to blame her). You Left Me is definitely very stunning, though apart from the length I feel like the metaphor given at the mental clinic might be in need of a bit more counternarrative. I still have a partly-finished run of Grey Plague up since a... while ago. Maybe I'll get to it in time. Anyway, added.

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2 hours ago, Zakamutt said:

I personally don't know if I'll ever read these patreon-driven epics since I like a finished story (and I know that if I binge something to the current end I'm often not coming back to it — I left homestuck at like page 3000ish then never returned). But not everyone has my personal hangups w

I totally get it. Lessons in Love at least has a really regular release schedule with one or two updates each month. It does probably work better though if you've started reading it when there wasn't nearly as much content. Then it feels more like an ongoing tv series where each episode has its own A and B plot while the overarching story moves forward really slowly until it culminates in the series finale. The next one introduces new threads and characters and so on. Once you've caught up you only need two spend one or two evenings each month to keep up to date.

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8 hours ago, adamstan said:

I think The Language of Love by ebi-hime should be added to the list. Short, but very heartwarming and wholesome love story - I loved it. It's also one of the few EVNs that manage to pull off the japanese setting without being all cringey ;)

Added. We actually have a fuwa team review of this, so I stuck a link to it in there as well.

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Corpse Factory

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By the title alone you might think its a rip off of Corpse Party, nevertheless give the VN/Game a try and you'll witness a interesting, gloomy, dark, and semi realistic depiction of modern society. A psychological horror VN at its very core.

In addition this VN/Game has decent English voice acting in it on some of the important dialogues!

 

Cinders

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It is a reimagining of Cinderella with unique art style.

 

Solstice

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Post-Apocalyptic Sci-Fi thriller of an VN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Templarseeker
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2 hours ago, Templarseeker said:

<snip suggestions>

Added. I have to say, Cinders and moacube in general tout something as a feature that I mostly consider a detriment: lots of choices. It makes walkthroughs hard to follow, tends to make content shallow, and often makes walkthroughs necessary which takes me out of the story (unless there is a transparent flowchart system or the like, which I do enjoy). This is or at least was an EVN trend for things that didn't go full kinetic instead, though I think that it's maybe lessened a bit these days.

In contrast Corpse Factory actually has the "few choices" tag on vndb, so good on them for that. I've actually heard good stuff about Corpse Factory from several sources, so it's on my radar.

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On 11/23/2022 at 10:24 AM, Zakamutt said:

Added. I have to say, Cinders and moacube in general tout something as a feature that I mostly consider a detriment: lots of choices. It makes walkthroughs hard to follow, tends to make content shallow, and often makes walkthroughs necessary which takes me out of the story (unless there is a transparent flowchart system or the like, which I do enjoy). This is or at least was an EVN trend for things that didn't go full kinetic instead, though I think that it's maybe lessened a bit these days.

In contrast Corpse Factory actually has the "few choices" tag on vndb, so good on them for that. I've actually heard good stuff about Corpse Factory from several sources, so it's on my radar.

 

Of all of the three titles that I've suggested, I suppose Corpse Factory is the most pretty interesting of the bunch, there are still a couple of other EVNs to mention like the the yuri VNs Heart of the Woods and Highway Blossoms The first Sunrider VN is a decent VN SRPG hybrid, very affordable since its Free on both GOG and Steam.  Shining Song Starnova is a interesting title too!

 

Also is it alright to include Long Live the Queen in the list or not since VNDB does not classify it as a VN and more of a management game rather?

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Frankly, there should be a whole list of ebi-hime VNs with links so everyone gets to read them. They are simply perfect.

Besides the two already mentioned, I'd suggest adding Sweetest Monster, a very short VN with great art and a plot twist that rivals the best mystery novels out there, at least in my humble opinion :3

https://vndb.org/v20501

https://store.steampowered.com/app/585890/Sweetest_Monster/?curator_clanid=33024327

22 hours ago, Templarseeker said:

 

Of all of the three titles that I've suggested, I suppose Corpse Factory is the most pretty interesting of the bunch, there are still a couple of other EVNs to mention like the the yuri VNs Heart of the Woods and Highway Blossoms The first Sunrider VN is a decent VN SRPG hybrid, very affordable since its Free on both GOG and Steam.  Shining Song Starnova is a interesting title too!

 

Also is it alright to include Long Live the Queen in the list or not since VNDB does not classify it as a VN and more of a management game rather?

Heart of the Woods is amazing! I loved the characters, the art style and the story in general. Iirc there was a voice patch released after I read it, so it may be even better now. It's also good to have some LGBTQIA+ representation in the list!

Edited by Silvz
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Heart of the Woods and Highway Blossoms definitely deserve to be on the list. I would also lobby heavily for Sable's Grimoire (for doing a really interesting spin on magic academy & demi-human tropes) and possibly Love Ribbon (for doing a lesbian incest story that makes sense).

I'll probably make a less half-assed post soon, maybe shill some more ebi-hime stuff. I'm kind of dead though, so we'll see how and when exactly. 😛

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Apologies for the minorly late reply, my studies (and my sloth) kept me busy (and not so busy).

First of all, you do have to tell me why to get something on the list: I want something I can link to and quote. If you just mention something in passing saying it's worth a mention, that's fair but not enough to get on the big bad list at the top. @Templarseeker

Also, I wish Shining Song Starnova and its abominable faux-bad-translation writing style didn't exist. This doesn't mean I won't add it with a reason as to why you like it given, I just personally absolutely hate it unless they did a 180 from the style of the demo, which I don't think they did.

Second, regarding LLTQ I don't think I want most things not on vndb on the list, especially those that are more of a emergent gameplay style. This is, of course, my personal opinion, but what the heck, I did make the thread. That said, I'd consider To The Moon and the like.

Third, while I'm not going to be overly strict I will probably deprioritize repeat authors somewhat (especially if suggested by the same person). Ebi-hime is good, but we can't have her taking up half the list. Even though I am somewhat tempted. Maybe five or so representative ones. Ahem.

Anyway, Sweetest Monster and Heart of the Woods have enough text to put them on the list I guess. I actually started reading HotW a little while ago and it's not too bad, though I was expecting even higher production values I think. There were some weird bugs in the version I got from itch.io where an option did the opposite of what it said it did, the beginning text overflowing the textbox due to being too big, etc. The voices are kind of interesting because they chose really low voices for like every character. It was a bit weird at first, to be honest. I haven't quite felt like reading it again for a bit, but maybe I will soon again. @Silvz

Since you're gearing up for a more poggers post, I'll wait for it before adding your suggestions @Plk_Lesiak.

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On 11/25/2022 at 1:03 AM, Silvz said:

Frankly, there should be a whole list of ebi-hime VNs with links so everyone gets to read them. They are simply perfect.

Besides the two already mentioned, I'd suggest adding Sweetest Monster, a very short VN with great art and a plot twist that rivals the best mystery novels out there, at least in my humble opinion :3

https://vndb.org/v20501

https://store.steampowered.com/app/585890/Sweetest_Monster/?curator_clanid=33024327

I have to add a strong recommendation to follow this with its sequel, Sweetest Monster Refrain.

Sadly Steam have refused to allow it on Steam, but it's available on itch.io.

https://vndb.org/v36965

https://ebihime.itch.io/sweetest-monster-refrain

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Alright, then it is time for me to also talk about some cool EVNs worth adding to the list. I think I'll do 4.

Bernd und das Rätsel von Unteralterbach (BerndSoft)

18275.jpg

- Yes, let's start with this banger. When playing Bernd, you will quickly realize that this game is not normal and also contains subject material which you wouldn't show your closest friends, but I can't get around saying that this is one of the most unique EVNs that the VN scene has to offer. Bernd und das Rätsel von Unteralterbach is a game which heavily pulls its humor from German 2000s image board culture, perfectly adapts the cryptic slang they used and also makes a lot of socio-political commentary about netizen life as well. It is highly satirical content that is completely self-aware of the player and makes you either choose a loli route with no punches pulled or one where you have sex with literal hags. Mix this with a lot of references about prominent and infamous figures in Popculture and you got a game so disturbing and alluring that you can't put it aside, even if you don't understand all the references that it makes. The production quality is quite insane, there are gameplay elements like playable cross-examination Ace Attorney parody and other stuff in there. You do need to be careful though, nothing for the faint of heart. You've been warned.

Unteralterbach can be played both in German and English, but you will lose a lot of humour when playing it in English. The unique slang called "Krautdeutsch/Zangendeutsch" only works in German.

https://vndb.org/v13871
https://berndsoft.itch.io/bernd-and-the-mystery-of-unteralterbach-re-mixed

Synergia (RadiArts)

Title.png

- Synergia came to my attention when one of our staff members Mahougao reviewed the demo for VN.Info. It's a cyberpunk yuri title with a distinct red and black aesthetic that really pulls your attention. Read the review of our staff member here (use google translate): https://visual-novel.info/demo-donnerstag-synergia-ein-cyberpunk-yuri-vn/

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1047010/Synergia
https://vndb.org/v21681

Lucy got Problems (Nupu Neko Dev)

117275.jpg

Lucy got Problems is a beautiful yuri title about a clumsy succubus who is sent into a forest and immediately forgets what her purpose was. Hilarity ensues quickly. It contains around 3-4 hours of content, has some minigame elements and a ton of funky humour.  I actually translated this game to German.

https://vndb.org/v23208
https://store.steampowered.com/app/879510/Lucy_Got_Problems/

ss_876e14303a611e28df5aaf1653df393e3c50f63e.1920x1080.jpg?t=1661482713

Chasing Tails ~A Promise in the Snow~ (Nupu Neko Dev)

Chasing Tails is another Yuri title. This time it is about a girl who moves away from her former town into a one filled with snow. Unfortunately there are ghosts inside the house, so her calm days are quickly over. And then there are also some mischievous foxes around...
I also translated this game to German.

https://store.steampowered.com/app/1555110/Chasing_Tails_A_Promise_in_the_Snow/
https://vndb.org/v30553

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On 12/2/2022 at 2:35 PM, Xolf said:

I have to add a strong recommendation to follow this with its sequel, Sweetest Monster Refrain.

Sadly Steam have refused to allow it on Steam, but it's available on itch.io.

https://vndb.org/v36965

https://ebihime.itch.io/sweetest-monster-refrain

and it's just released O: I'm definitely buying it

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I haven't read many EVNs, but of the ones I have read there are two that I can confidently say I have primarily positive feelings towards (well, three actually, but Juniper's Knot is already on the list so I'm not counting that one).

Cooking Companions is one of those horror VNs that has a bright and happy exterior.  In general I find that style interesting but usually poorly executed; for this one though, I feel the execution is solid.  The story feels pretty nonsensical early on, but by the end it perfectly walks the line of explaining enough for the story to make sense without explaining so much that it loses all sense of mystery.

https://vndb.org/v28079

And of course my favorite EVN is Sucker for Love: First Date.  In this novel Eldritch horrors are anime girls, you can date them and help them end reality.  Despite it's dumb premise, this novel is both humorous and genuinely scary; it transitions between comedy and horror seamlessly and it absolutely nails both genres.

https://vndb.org/v30662

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