Whenever I come across someone who doesn’t know of visual novels, I always want to recommend some, but struggle to think of some on the spot. So here is a list I can link to later!
This is NOT a comprehensive list, and instead I’d like to point you here for a more in depth list of games!
These are mainly romantic/otome style games, because those are what I tend to play. I’ve also left off Japanese titles, and the bigger ones that everyone is talking about- because people tend to already know of those.
Mine, which I’ll just list here and then move on
- As We Know It (May 2019) (post-apocalyptic/drama/romance)
- Pinewood Island (Steam | Itchio) (murder mystery/horror/romance)
These games are free (not freemium, but actually FREE) – some of these are short jam games, but again…. free
- Whale’s Waldo – (romance sea creatures and travel the world)
- XOXO Droplets – college romance with a bunch of jerks – a comedy (there is a deluxe version for cost, but the core game is free)
- Cinderella Phenomenon – Super popular and cute with lots of fairy tale inspirations. Fantasy/Romance
- Seduce Me – old but good, has full English VA, incubus invade your house (I don’t fully remember why…) but it’s all in good fun
- Pairs – Sci-fi romance with aliens and cute art
- Tailor Tales – Not out yet, but I believe the full game will be free. There is a playable demo. Dress up game with romance!
- The Lady’s choice – If you like that Jane Austen style you’ll like this!
- Nachtigal – Vampires!
- RE: Alistair++ – Cute game about gamers and romance!
- a(t)rium – I haven’t played this one yet but It’s on my to-do list! Flower shop and secrets, what’s not to love. (DEMO)
- The Bare Escape – cute comedy with shirtless dudes!
Now for the paid games, I tried to link to ichio when available since it’s more dev friendly- BUT most of these are also available on Steam.
- Demonheart – I love this one, but it’s very dark and has some rape-y content so be warned.
- Cinders – Another old classic, a new take on the cinderella tale with pretty art and effects!
- Hustle Cat – Cat cafe romance with magic?? What’s not to love! Also features a protag you can make m/f/n
- Along the Edge – Pretty art and mature story, Witchy elements and lots of endings.
- Mizari Loves Company – Not out yet, but I really enjoyed the demo and am excited to see it some out!
- Vicboys – It’s got a cute steampunk aesthetic, and lots of cute guys, only demo is out right now
- Lake Of Voices – Something terrifying lurks in the water! I haven’t fully played it yet, but it’s great so far. (*** actually a free game!)
- SoulSet– Haven’t played but heard really good things, more of a mystery than horror
- Dead Wishes – Haven’t played yet, but am planning to!
Slice of Life
- Backstage Pass – Stat raising, make up artist to the starts, cute and worth checking out
- Let’s not stay friends – looks really cute, but I haven’t played it yet
- Saucy Suitors – Haven’t played, and only a demo is available but I’ve heard good things