This article is written in partnership with Gamecamp.gg.
If you like the visual novel game subgenre, there are a few prominent titles that always come to mind: the Danganronpa series, Steins;Gate and Steins;Gate 0 (my personal favorites), and the Ace Attorney series. Even Atlus’ beloved Persona series is as much a visual novel as it is an RPG. But what about visual novels from indie developers? Here are the incredibly picked games that may have fallen a bit under the radar.
A few months ago, a friend who isn’t a gamer at all called me out of the blue, his voice dripping with the utmost urgency. I thought there was an emergency, like he needed to be taken to the hospital. But no. Instead, he needed to know if I had heard of hateful boyfriend.
hateful boyfriend is your average dating sim, except it’s not. Instead of hot humans, you’re a human being finding the love of your life among a cast of very haughty birds. Many of these birds will die during the story. hateful boyfriend is a treasure.
Synopsis: “Congratulations! You have been accepted as the only human student at the prestigious St. PigeoNation’s Institute, a school for talented birds! Roam the halls and find love between classes as a sophomore in the biggest pigeon high school in the world. Finding happiness won’t be easy, but it’s not all academic – there’s always time for a little romance in this delightful remake of Hato Moa’s popular visual novel/bird dating sim Hatoful Boyfriend! »
paradise killer is a fascinating mix of RPG, visual novel and mystery genres. And it boasts a flawless chillwave aesthetic and a stunning soundtrack. All of the weird gods you investigate for murder are hilarious and sexy, even if they’re a skeleton. You play as a woman named Lady Love Dies, and the game has insane replayability. Seriously, find me fault here.
Synopsis: “Paradise Island, a world beyond reality. There’s been a murder that only “investigation freak” Lady Love Dies can solve. Gather evidence and interrogate suspects in this open-world adventure. You can accuse anyone, but you will have to prove your case at trial to be convicted. It’s up to you to decide who is guilty.
Doki Doki Literature Club starts out innocently and innocently enough, seemingly ticking the boxes for the classic high school dating sim. But beware: the trailer itself states that the game is not suitable “for children or those who are easily disturbed”. Doki Doki Literature Club is actually a psychological horror game. It’s highly acclaimed and regularly praised for its innovative storytelling, but take those trigger warnings very, very seriously.
Synopsis: “Welcome to the club! Write poems for your crush and experience the terror of school romance in this critically acclaimed psychological horror story.
Right after watching this trailer, the dream dad theme song is going to be stuck in my head for days. I am both amused and upset by this. Either way, we love all things dad here at Mary Sue, so this game will be your ally if you’re another dad fan and want a dad dating sim. Plus, the minigames are cute and fun.
Synopsis: “Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator is a game where you play as a dad and your goal is to meet and seduce other hot dads. Are you ready? Hey ready, I’m a dad.
underworld was one of the quintessential games that got me through 2020 and 2021. The game immediately preceding underworld in the work of developer Supergiant Games is bonfirea party-based RPG and graphic novel in one. If you’re feeling nostalgic for the voice acting, art style and music of underworld … Here is!
Synopsis: “A party-based RPG/visual novel/sports game hybrid in which the player, dubbed the reader for his literacy by the group of scavengers who discover him, is sent into exile in a lawless wasteland called the Downside and must leading his ever-growing group of misfits to places where many similar groups clash in rituals in order to achieve freedom and be absolved of their crimes.
What are some of your favorite visual novel games? Tell us in the comments!
(featured image: Devolver Digital)
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