Steam is a video game digital distribution service by Valve which was launched as a standalone software client in 2003. Since then, it has expanded to include games from third-party publishers. Players can find many games on Steam vary in categories from action, strategy, RPG, to specific genre such as visual novels. So for visual novels lover, here are the top 7 visual novels on Steam you must find.
7. The Fruit of Grisaia
The Fruit of Grisaia or Grisaia No Kajitsu is a Japanese adult visual novel, and also the first in a series of visual novels by Front Wing. This game was released in 2011 for PC, and later ported to PlayStation Portable and PlayStation Vita. Two sequels of this game were also produced for PC entitled The Labyrinth of Grisaia (2012) and The Eden of Grisaia (2013).
The story revolves around Yuji Kazami who transfers to Mihama Academy, a school with only five female students and prison-like features. Each of the students in the school has their own circumstances for being there, but Yuji is not required to do anything about their situation as he asked for a normal student life. Because of his decisions, eventually he will choose to become involved of his own accord.
6. Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is a visual novel adventure game developed and published by Spike as the first game in the Danganronpa series. The game was originally released in Japan for the PlayStation Portable in November 2010 and was later ported to Android and iOS in 2012. A sequel, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair was released in 2012 and a compilation of both games was released for PlayStation Vita in 2013.
Danganronpa takes place at an elite high school named Hope’s Peak Academy which accepts talented “Ultimate” students of the highest caliber in various fields each year. Makoto Naegi, a fairly optimistic but otherwise average student is chosen to enroll into the academy as the “Ultimate Lucky Student”. However, when he arrives at the academy he lose consciousness and end up in a kill-to-live situation with the other students.
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.
4. Zero Escape: The Nonary Games
Zero Escape: The Nonary Games is a bundled version released in 2017 containing the first two games: Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors and Virtue’s Last Reward. The two games are developed by Spike Chunsoft and published by Aksys Games. Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors was released in 2009 for DS while Virtue’s Last Reward was released in 2012 for 3DS and PlayStation Vita.
Each game in the series follows a group of nine individuals who are kidnapped and held captive by a person who goes by the name “Zero”, and are forced to play a game of life and death in order to escape. The gameplay is divided into two types: Novel sections, where the game stories are presented, and Escape sections where player solves puzzles in escape-the-room scenarios.
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. Little Busters!
Little Busters! is another Japanese visual novel developed by Key. The game was released initially in 2007 for PC and is rated for all ages. Little Busters! is Key’s sixth game, along with Kanon, Air, and Clannad. Little Busters! is classified as a romance visual novel, with the gameplay spent on reading the story’s narrative and dialogues. The text in-game is accompanied by character sprites, representing who we are talking to.
The story follows the life of Riki Naoe, a high school student who has been a member of a group of friends named the Little Busters since childhood. Riki brings multiple girls at his school into the Little Busters to have enough people to play a baseball game. The gameplay follows a branching plot line which offers pre-determined scenarios with courses of interaction, and focuses on the appeal of the six female main characters.
1. The House in Fata Morgana
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.
Thanks to Steam, now we can easily find any kind of games in specific genre, even the less mainstream genre such as visual novel. Even though its lover may not as much as RPG or other genre, visual novel games has a lot to offer. And speaking about a favorite, I will go with Zero Escape: The Nonary Games, because even though it looks brutal sometimes, the live-or-die theme is always thrilling.
So which titles are your favorite visual novels on Steam from the list? Can you find other visual novels on Steam? Please share your thoughts in the comment below.