PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness

PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness

PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness is based on the popular anime series of the same name, but this engrossing visual novel isn’t afraid to carve out its own path. It features a very memorable setting, interesting characters and plenty of content to explore. The story is a little darker than most visual novels on Steam, which is a good thing and familiarity with the anime series isn’t required to enjoy this title. Any fans of the genre looking for something that will keep them busy for a while should definitely add PSYCHO-PASS to their collection.

Gameplay: Features an engrossing storyline, two protagonists, a branching storyline and plenty of different endings.

Graphics: Great character designs and backgrounds, but not much in the way of animations.

Sound: Full voice acting for all the characters and some nice background music too

NEKO-NIN exHeart

NEKO-NIN exHeart

Join Haruki, the protagonist of NEKO-NIN exHeart, as he suddenly finds himself with two catgirls on his doorstep claiming that he is their new master. Haruki is understandably dubious about the whole situation and not entirely keen to accept responsibility for the two ninjas, but eventually warm up to their cuteness. This visual novel is a lighthearted affair with beautiful artwork, but the story isn’t’ exactly memorable and it is all over without much really happening along the way. Fans of cat girls will definitely enjoy it, but everyone else should probably try the free demo first.

Gameplay: Only two choices in the entire game and not much in the way of character development, but still enjoyable.

Graphics: The artwork is beautiful and the moving cat ears are as adorable as advertised.

Sound: Nice Japanese voice acting for all the girls, but the music isn’t exactly memorable

Sakura Space

Sakura Space

The Sakura series heads into space for a yuri adventure with this release by Winged Cloud. Players get to experience what happens when Captain Shika and her crew of mercenaries stumbles across the bounty of a lifetime. Although it might look like you have choices in the game, it plays out more like a kinetic novel, but offers some entertainment nonetheless. We would recommend sticking to the uncensored version though, as it offers a bit more content.

Gameplay: There are some interesting story elements, but the focus is mostly on the ecchi escapades of the girls.

Graphics: The artwork by Inma is gorgeous as always, but the cast is small and the locations limited.

Sound: No voice acting and decent, but unremarkable music

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

Senran Kagura: Estival Versus

Senran Kagura Estival Versus offers an impressive amount of fanservice mixed up with some solid hack and slash combat. The game does have its fair share of questionable elements, but it certainly doesn’t skimp on content. There is a meaty story mode to complete, along with plenty of side missions, while the money you earn can be spent on clothing and accessories for the girls. Like most hack and slash games it can get a little repetitive, but despite the large cast none of the girls feel alike in personality or fighting style. If you are a fan of the series or enjoy fighting games, this comes highly recommended, as long as you realize you are going to get bombarded by fanservice around every turn.

Gameplay: Features plenty of content and a learning curve that eases you into the various combos and attacks you can pull off.

Graphics: Looks great on PC and the detail as well as animations are impressive.

Sound: Full Japanese voice acting for all the girls and a funky soundtrack that complements the action nicely

Sakura Shrine Girls

Sakura Shrine Girls

In Sakura Shrine Girls you step into the shoes of Toru, a young priest-in-training, who gets more than he bargained for when following in the footsteps of his grandfather. Toru has always been a skeptic, but when he encounters two guardian sprits at the shrines he is supposed to maintain his whole world is turned upside down. Sakura Shrine Girls features decent art, but the story is fairly predictable and the characters not that memorable. It is still an entertaining read and you can pick which one the girls Toru ends up with, but don’t expect to be blown away by anything.

Gameplay: Not bad, but unfortunately quite predictable.

Graphics: The artwork is lovely, but sprites and CGs are limited to only two characters.

Sounds: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is quite good

Gal*Gun: Double Peace

Gal*Gun: Double Peace

Shooting girls with a pheromone gun in order to provide them with euphoria is every bit as strange in the game as it sounds on paper, but somehow it works. Gal*Gun: Double Peace certainly doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it knows its audience very well, so you can expect plenty of squealing girls and fan service. However, if you look past the ecchi exterior, you’ll also find a very entertaining game with plenty of replay value. It is obviously not a title that is going to appeal to the easily offended, but if you are a fan of anime or manga and can appreciate some slightly lewd humor you’ll have fun with this game.

Gameplay: On-rail shooters are still a rarity on PC and this one is a lot of fun.

Graphics: Colorful and detailed, but also not without flaws.

Sound: Nice soundtrack and good voice acting

Sakura Agent

Sakura Agent

Akira took the job working for a mysterious agency because it gave him the opportunity for free trips around the world and meeting women. However, despite his high success rate, he is on the verge of getting kicked out due to his antics. He has the opportunity to prove himself though when an influx of other-dimensional beings start making a nuisance of themselves. Sakura Agent is a typical Winged Cloud visual novel with plenty of scantily clad women, comical situations and a paper thin plot. If you are a fan of the genre and the developer you’ll enjoy the game, but everyone else will probably find it a little lacking.

Gameplay: Humorous characters and situations, but the story isn’t exactly engaging.

Graphics: Beautiful character designs, but far too few backgrounds.

Sound: The music is unremarkable while the sound effects and voice acting are non existent

Princess Maker Refine

Princess Maker Refine

Princess Maker Refine is not as complex or feature packed as its sequel, but this also makes it a little easier to get into for newcomers. In addition, the game is priced at half the cost of Princess Maker 2, which makes it a more lucrative impulse buy for players who are curious about the genre. Guiding your adopted daughter on a path to one of many endings is surprisingly addictive and while the game can become a little repetitive, it offers plenty of replay value. There are still some rough edges that will need to be smoothed out with future updates, but overall the game has lost none of its charm.

Gameplay: It looks a little complicated initially, but is easy to get into.

Graphics: Sadly no animations, but the overall visuals still look nice.

Sound: Features some nice tunes and full Japanese voice overs

Cat Girl Alliance

Cat Girl Alliance

If you like your visual novels with plenty of sex scenes and very little plot, then I guess Cat Girl Alliance will be appealing. The limited amount of characters, futanari elements and lack of anything interesting happening beyond the sex scenes will however limit the audience of this game. While not the worst visual novel that I have played it is nothing special either.

Gameplay: Non-existent and with a bare bones storyline as well.

Graphics: Quite dated and the art style is a bit hit-and-miss.

Sound: A few nice tunes, but overall unremarkable

Stargazers from Lupiesoft Out Now

Stargazers from Lupiesoft Out Now

Visual novel fans who have been eagerly awaiting the latest release from Lupiesoft, The Stargazers, will be happy to hear that it is out now on Steam, MangaGamer and itch.io. The game, which is inspired by pulp sci-fi, follows the adventures of three pilots who are part of the Allied Defense Force Signals. These girls are tasked with venturing deep into uncharted space and then explore the hell out of it