Visual novel has become another favorite of mine. If before I focus only on RPG, now playing visual novel is a good intermezzo to refresh my mind with something different but on the same level. The development of visual novel has greatly changed the mindset about boring game into an addictive game with unpredictable plot. Therefore, I suggest you these 7 must-play visual novel with shocking plot twist.
1. Clannad (Android, Switch, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4, PC)
Clannad is a Japanese visual novel developed by Key and released in 2004 for PC. While both of Key’s previous creations, Kanon and Air, had been released first as adult games (later been censored for younger market), Clannad was released for a rating for all ages. The game was later ported to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation 4.
The story follows the life of Tomoya Okazaki, an average high school student who meets many people in his last year at school, including five girls, and helps resolves their individual problems. The gameplay follows a branching plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the five female main characters by the player character.
2. Ever 17: The Out of Infinity (Android, iOS, Xbox 360, PC)
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.
3. Higurashi: When They Cry (Android, iOS, DS, Switch, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PC)
Higurashi: When They Cry or Higurashi no Naku Koro Ni for the original title is a murder mystery Japanese doujin soft sound novel series created by 07th Expansion. A sound novel is similar to a visual novel in that the gameplay requires relatively little player interaction as most of the game is composed of text dialogues.
The game takes place during June 1983 in a fictional rural village called Hinamizawa which has a population of approximately 2000. The main character, Keiichi Maebara moves there and befriends with his new classmates. At first, Hinamizawa looks to be a normal and peaceful village but after the Watanagashi Festival, Keiichi learns that he was drawn into some strange events which involve murders.
4. Steins;Gate (Android, iOS, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PC)
Steins,Gate is a visual novel game developed by 5pb. and Nitroplus. Released in 2009, it became the second game in the Science Adventure series (the first was entitled Chaos;Head). This game was actually released for Xbox, but later it was ported to almost all platforms including smartphone. In 2015, PQube released the North America/Europe version for PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita.
The story revolves around the life of a self-proclaimed mad scientist called Rintaro Okabe. He is the founder of Future Gadget Laboratory in Akihabara, where he spends most of his time. What is unique about this game is the use of time travel theme, which we usually found only in movies. This game shows good character development of the protagonists, along with the unexpected plot twists.
5. Muv-Luv (PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC)
Muv-Luv is a Japanese visual novel game developed by age and originally released as an adult game for Windows in 2003. This game consists of two parts, Muv-Luv Extra and Muv-Luv Unlimited. The gameplay in Muv-Luv follows a linear plot line and offers pre-determined scenarios and courses of interaction, focusing on the differing scenarios of the female main characters.
If you are a visual novel lover who is up to dating a cute anime girl, then this game is exactly for you. Not only the characters are interesting, the overall story continues evolving throughout several arcs. Eventually, the story will be concluded in the sequel, Muv-Luv Alternative, which ups the drama even more than it used to be.
6. 999: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors (iOS, DS, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4)
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 DS. Following the good response from 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.
7. The House in Fata Morgana (3DS, iOS, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation 4, PC)
The House in Fata Morgana is a visual novel game developed by Novectacle. The game was originally released in Japan for PC (2012) and iOS (2014). In 2016, MangaGamer released the PC version internationally. The 3DS version was released by FuRyu in 2016, and the PlayStation Vita version was released by Dramatic Create in 2017. In 2019, Limited Run Games released the PlayStation 4 version.
The story is set in a mansion, where the player character wakes up with amnesia. They meet a maid in the mansion, and the two visit the mansion in different time periods: 1603, 1707, 1869, and 1099. They learn about what has happened to its residents in the past while trying to get the player characters to regain their lost memories.
With the existence of all those games above, we can’t underestimate visual novel genre anymore. Those games above are on the same level as other genre, or even more mind bending. I really excited to try The House in Fata Morgana, since the rating is high and I never heard of this game before. And judging by the reception it seems that that game is loved by the visual novel lover out there.
Which one is your favorite visual novel with shocking plot twist? Please leave your comment below.