visual novels

Dating Sims

The Story Behind the All-Woman Team Who Invented the Otome Genre

Nearly 25 years ago, Ruby Party released the first romance-focused game targeted towards women.
Anne Lee
Doki Doki Literature Club

'Doki Doki Literature Club' Fits in a Tradition of Subversive Visual Novels

How 'Doki Doki Literature Club' fits into—and complicates—the visual novel genre.
Amr Al-Aaser
free play

A Horror Game That Rejects The Usual Zombie Tropes

'These Four Walls Called Reality' is a rare game set in an apocalypse that rejects the idea that the social world was hunky-dory before.
Cameron Kunzelman
Francy Droo games

This Low-Fi Homage to Nancy Drew Captures Why We Love Detective Stories

The Francy Droo series shows what good puzzle design and mastery of the visual novel medium can accomplish.
Cameron Kunzelman
Dream Daddy

In a Shitty World, 'Dream Daddy' Works Because It's Genuinely Wholesome

Earnest games are IN.
Kate Gray

Learn to Love Otome Games Through These Essential Titles

There’s a lot more to the “loved-up” side to visual novels than dating sims starring anime boys.
Jennifer Allen
free play

Laugh Your Ass Off In This Ghost Chicken Detective Game

'Chook and Sosig' is the Sam and Max' style game you didn't even know you wanted.
Cameron Kunzelman
free play

Return to the Early Days of the Internet 'Digital: A Love Story'

Can love bloom on a BBS?
Janine Hawkins

‘Ghost in the Shell’ Meets ‘Cheers’ in New Cyberpunk Bartending Game

VA-11 HALL-A offers a vision of the future, or at least the future’s barflies.
Zack Kotzer

A Beginner’s Guide to Visual Novels

Get stuck into one of these gems, and who knows where it might lead? (Hopefully not into the arms of a psychopathic teddy bear, but no promises.)
Hannah Dwan
VICE vs Video games

‘Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney’ Was the Game That Combated My Colorado Loneliness

How the first game in Capcom's lawyer-based series came to the aid of an isolated high-schooler.
Jonathan Peltz

Are Visual Novels Just Porny, Boring Video Games?

Visual novels are like choose-your-own-adventure books that you play on your computer, if choose-your-own adventures ended not in the Gypsy woman’s curse coming true, but in graphic, porny sex scenes. They can be gay themed or set in a lusty fantasy...
Luke Winkie