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 but there is a lot of gay mixed in as well. 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 (Steam | Itchio) Post-apocalyptic/drama/romance
- Pinewood Island (Steam | Itchio) Murder mystery/horror/romance
- In Blood (Steam | Itchio) Gothic romance/lovecraftian horror
UPDATE! I’m updating the list! I’ve checked into some broken links of games that don’t exist anymore, and am adding new ones. I’ve also marked DEMO and JAM games as such since a lot of people commented on them. I’m also adding new ones and updating my comments on ones I’ve played! This will continue to be updated. (11/6/2020)
Update 2! Just a few more little updates. I’ve played some games and added one! (9/30/2021)
Note: If I have not personally played these games I am recommending them because people close to me have, and loved them. Or I personally know the dev and know they make quality A+ work!
These games are free (not freemium, but actually FREE) – some of these are short jam games, but again…. free! (Some of these are also pay-what-you-want so if you have extra cash to throw their way go for it- if you don’t, leave a nice comment + review!)
- Night of the Lesbian Vampires – [JAM] SpooktoberVN jam game I wrote/lead – Lesbian Vampires on Halloween, what isn’t to love? Won 3rd place! Yuri (GxG)
- Whale’s Waldo – [JAM] 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)
- Lake Of Voices – Something terrifying lurks in the water! Lots of fun!
- 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. Cheesy fun.
- Pairs – Sci-fi romance with aliens and cute art!
- The Lady’s choice – If you like that Jane Austen style you’ll like this!
- Nachtigal – Vampires! 2 romance options
- RE: Alistair++ – Cute game about gamers and romance!
- The Bare Escape – [JAM] cute comedy jam game with shirtless dudes!
- Ebon Light – Dark Fantasy with lots of romance options, very long for a free game! I liked the gloomy art
- Yearning: A Gay Story – (Otherwise known as YAGS) Realistic slice-of-life mlm game, bittersweet
- That Which Binds Us – On my to-play list, but is highly recommended!
- Our life: Beginnings and Always – Really cute game and you get a lot of content for free. Cove is very popular for a reason and it’s worth checking out! They have for-pay add ons as well.
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.
- Demonheart Hunters – A RPG sequel to the otome, so I put it on the list. More dark romance!!
- Jester/King – A really twisty fark fantasy, I adored it!
- 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 – [DEMO] Still not out yet, but I really enjoyed the demo and am excited to see it some out!
- Vicboys – [DEMO] It’s got a cute steampunk aesthetic, and lots of cute guys, only demo is out right now
- Changeling – Faerie styled fantasy, great art and I really enjoyed it!
- When The Night Comes – Fun fantasy game with vampires! Choose your pronouns and lots of romance options
- A Cottage Story – [DEMO] The aesthetic alone is enough to draw me in. Not sure if full game will be free or not but the art is amazing and demo is cute!
- Ocean Pearls – [DEMO] Underwater fantasy, sign me up! The demo is also super cute!
- Maid Marion – [DEMO] love the artwork, a cute take on the robin hood story!
- Royal Alchemist – choose your protag, 3 romance options
- Love Spell – cute game, nice humor!
- SoulSet– Haven’t played but heard really good things, more of a mystery than horror
- Dead Wishes – I have now played it and I loved it!! Horror/romance/happy ends or death!
- Let’s Meat Adam – Escape room horror with some romance/sex thrown in for good measure! Great fun! mlm/bara
- Let’s Meat Adam 2 – A sequel!!!! More to love.
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 – [DEMO] It’s cute and has an interesting premise.
- Arcade Spirits – Should possibly label this as sci-fi? Pretty well known cute fun game! Give it a chance if you haven’t already!
- Unmoor – Historical-ish life at sea, with pirates and captains, cute art but I wanna romance the villain….
- These night’s in Cairo – Egypt, archeologists, and lots of drama!