Visual novel games are boring; that is what the action-based game lovers said. But for its own fans, big series like Ace Attorney and Danganronpa series are treasures, although those are too mainstream. For those who can’t stand text-based gameplay, this genre might not suits you, but for you visual novel and mystery genre lovers, here are the 7 antimainstream mystery visual novel games.
1. Hotel Dusk: Room 215 (DS)
Hotel Dusk: Room 215 is a visual novel which is described as point-and-click adventure game. This game was originally announced as Wish Room in 2005, and few years later this game made its public appearance with the name Hotel Dusk: Room 215. The developer, Cing (former) and Nintendo have successfully bring another option for players who loves a detective-style games in NDS.
In this game, we will play as Kyle Hyde, a hard-boiled detective who tries to uncover the mysteries of Hotel Dusk, the place where he should meet with his friend Brian Bradley. He was supposed to meet in room 215, a room which is known to be able to grant wishes. As he proceed further, he realizes that the hotel has many mysteries and connections to his past, making him to look into these further.
2. Last Window: The Secret of Cape West (DS)
Last Window: The Secret of Cape West or also known in Japan as Last Window: Mayonaka no Yakusoku is a mystery adventure game developed by Cing and published by Nintendo that was released in 2010. Created for Nintendo DS, this game acts as the sequel of Hotel Dusk: Room 215. Still starring Kyle Hyde as the main protagonist, the game takes place one year after Hotel Dusk: Room 215 event.
Set in 1980 Los Angeles, the Cape West Apartments specifically, the story deals with a new mystery in a new location. Some of the events are also explaining about Kyle Hyde’s past, answering some unsolved questions. Unfortunately, Last Window: The Secret of Cape West was the last game developed by Cing before the company went bankrupt. Unlike its predecessor, it was never released in North America.
3. 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (DS, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, iOS)
Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors or also known as 999 is the first entry of the Zero Escape trilogy. It is an adventure, visual novel-based game developed by Chunsoft which was released in 2009 for NDS. Following the good response for gamer, this game was ported to iOS in 2013 with the title of: 9 Hours 9 People 9 Doors HD Smart Sound Novel.
The story of this game tells about Junpei, a college student who awakens in a small locked room. The only thing he can remember is that he was incapacitated using a certain sleeping drugs and got abducted by a person wearing gas mask. Later, he realized that he is aboard a ship wearing a strange kind of watch. With the other persons onboard who have the same fate as him, they must play survival games.
4. Virtue’s Last Reward (3DS, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4)
Virtue’s Last Reward is the second installment in the Zero Escape trilogy and a sequel to 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. This game was released for NDS and PlayStation Vita in 2012. The developer, Chunsoft, has successfully deliver a horror and mind-twisting plot with another story of people trapped in a terrifying place where death seems inevitable just like in its prequel, 999.
The story tells about the main character named Sigma who is abducted forcefully with another eight individuals. They find out that they must play a game called Nonary Game, where the participants are put between live-or-die situations. As the story continues, the characters begin to uncover the secrets behind the Nonary Game which will risk their life as well as the true purpose of the game itself.
5. Zero Time Dilemma (3DS, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, PC)
Zero Time Dilemma is the third and final installment of the Zero Escape trilogy, meaning it is the sequel for Virtue’s Last Reward. This game is developed by Spike Chunsoft and published by Aksys Games in North America and Europe. Zero Time Dilemma was released initially in 2016 for 3DS and PlayStation Vita, and then sometime later also released for PC and PlayStation 4.
The story primarily follows three people: a nurse named Diana, a firefighter named Carlos, and a boy with spherical helmet named Q. The three protagonists are abducted by Zero and trapped in a facility along with other six participants and are divided into three teams. The nine people are forced to play in the Decision Game,a death game which involves killing at least 6 of the 9 players.
6. Ever 17: The Out of Infinity (Xbox 360, PC, Android, iOS)
Ever 17: The Out of Infinity is a visual novel game developed by KID. It is the second entry in the Infinity series with Never 7: The End of Infinity as the beginning of the series. The game was originally released in Japan on August 2002 for PlayStation 2 and Dreamcast, then later ported to PC, PlayStation Portable, Android, and iOS.
The game follows Takeshi Kuranari and a boy with amnesia who is referred to as “the Kid” who are trapped inside an underwater theme park together with the group of other people. After a leak has flooded parts of the park, they cannot make contact with people on the surface. Due to high water pressure, the park is estimated to implode after 119 hours.
7. Remember 11: The Age of Infinity (PC, Android, iOS)
Remember 11: The Age of Infinity is another visual novel game developed by KID which was originally released in 2004 for PlayStation 2. Sometime later this game was ported to PC, PlayStation Portable, Android, and iOS. This game is the third entry in the Infinity series, with Never 7: The End of Infinity and Ever 17: The Out of Infinity as the first and second prequels.
The game follows Cocoro Fuyukawa and Satoru Yukidoh who frequently experience a phenomenon that makes their minds switch place with each other, putting them in the other person’s body. Cocoro is stuck in a blizzard in an emergency cabin on a mountain together with three other people, while Satoru is in an institute for the treatment of the ill mentally criminals, having lost his memory.
Mystery genre of a visual novel is pretty interesting in my opinion. It is either you become a law enforcer solving a case, or being a victim of some disasters or a death game which will put our life on the line. Basically I like most of the titles above since they are a nice game other than the mainstream Ace Attorney and Danganronpa series. My favorite goes to 999, since I’m more into puzzle solving game.
Which one is your favorite mystery visual novel game? How good are you in solving the mystery? Please share your thoughts below.