Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa

Kotodama: The 7 Mysteries of Fujisawa

Uncover the mysteries of Fujisawa Academy by using your special powers to reveal their secrets in this first development project from PQube. The game is a lot of fun and offers a nice mixture of visual novel, match-3 mini-games and even a sprinkling of ecchi content. The story is gripping from the get go and to uncover all of the secrets you are going to have to pay attention and make the right choices or else you might find yourself back at square one. Although it can become a little repetitive and it is a little too easy to miss some vital story branches, the game is a lot of fun and well worth the effort.

Gameplay: The story is interesting and your choices have a big impact on how things play out.

Graphics: Great character designs and some nice Cgs.

Sound: Full Japanese voice acting for all the characters

Unhack

Unhack

Team up with your AI partner, Weedy, and take on the 5K Worm that is rampaging across cyberspace. Unhack is a short, but the unique blend of visual novel and puzzle game that features an interesting story and great voice acting. Although it only features ten levels that can be completed in an hour if you are good, it is definitely fun while it lasts and worth trying out if you can find it for cheap.

Gameplay: Short, but sweet.

Graphics: Not the best, but serviceable enough.

Sound: The soundtrack is good and so is the voice acting

Heart of the Woods

Heart of the Woods

An engaging storyline that reads like a modern day fairytale, beautiful artwork by Rosuuri, and a stellar soundtrack makes Heart of the Woods a must-have visual novel. As long as you are not scared away by yuri content, this visual novel has plenty to offer with great characters, sweet romances and a plot that isn’t afraid to take a few dark twists. Overall, this is one of the best western visual novels on the market and one that will be hard to beat by the competition.

Gameplay: Very few choices, but the gripping story makes up for this.

Graphics: Stellar artwork by the very talented Rosuuri.

Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is great

STEINS;GATE ELITE Now Available For Steam, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch in North America And Europe

STEINS;GATE ELITE Now Available For Steam, Playstation 4, and Nintendo Switch in North America And Europe

It’s hard to believe that it has already been ten years since the original release of STEINS;GATE. This visual novel quickly became a cult classic after its release and its storyline, about the consequences of messing around with time travel, was certainly very memorable. The popularity of the game also resulted in a manga adaptation, as well as an anime adaptation by White Fox. It is this anime adaptation that is of particular interest as it has been used as the basis for a brand new release, titled STEINS;GATE ELITE

9-nine-:Episode 1

9-nine-:Episode 1

A serial killer with super powers are on the loose and it is up to two teens to try and track down who it is before the body count escalates. 9-nine-:Episode 1 is a good start for the series, but despite having two endings, it is a fairly linear experience. The story is good, though, and we cannot fault the gorgeous art style and awesome soundtrack. The story is also relatively self contained, but intriguing enough that we can’t wait to see what happens in subsequent episodes.

Gameplay: Fairly linear, but the story is decent enough to keep you hooked.

Graphics: The character designs are beautiful and the game also features some nice backgrounds.

Sound: The soundtrack is great and all of the characters are fully voiced in Japanese

WAGAMAMA HIGH SPEC

WAGAMAMA HIGH SPEC

Join Narumi Kouki, a hardworking manga author who is still a student as he tries to juggle work and studies. To complicate matters for Kouki, he is pressured into joining the student council where he finds himself with more responsibilities as well as the only guy among a group of beautiful girls. Wagamama High Spec is a typical slice of life visual novel with a school setting, but the charming characters, humor and different routes make it stand it from the competition. There’s nothing really new here for people who are tired of the setting or tropes, but the writing is good and the visuals very polished.

Gameplay: Not a lot of choices, but they do lead to four very different story paths.

Graphics: Beautiful illustrations, tons of CGs and some nice backgrounds.

Sound: Full Japanese voice acting along with plenty of great tunes

Bullet Soul Infinite Burst

Bullet Soul Infinite Burst

Bullet Soul: Infinite Burst is an upgrade of the original game that adds a couple of new features to an already enjoyable title. The Combination Burst mode really does open up a whole new style of play and even the existing modes have been re-balanced and improved with new enemy patterns. While it is not going to change the minds of those who are not fans of the genre, Infinite Burst is surprisingly newcomer friendly and offers an enjoyable experience with plenty of game modes.

Gameplay: No new levels compared to the original Bullet Soul, but the new modes are definitely worthwhile.

Graphics: Showing its age, but still looks decent enough for the genre.

Sound: The soundtrack is great, but the sound effects are a little feeble

Tokyo Dark

Tokyo Dark

Explore the sinister side of Toyko in this compelling point & click adventure / visual novel hybrid. When detective Ayami Itō is confronted by a seemingly supernatural opponent she must put her job and her sanity on the line to figure out what is going. Tokyo Dark features an engrossing storyline and a unique system where every choice and action has an influence on your sanity, professionalism, investigation and investigation. You also have the option to be as professional or reckless as you would like to be, which can alter the story and lead to more than ten different endings. While the game has some minor flaws, these do not detract from the overall experience and Tokyo Dark definitely lives up to expectations.

Gameplay: The storyline is compelling and the game has buckets of replay value.

Graphics: Interesting characters and locations.

Sound: Full voice acting would have been great, but the music and sound effects are great

West-First Japanese Visual Novel Launching Soon Courtesy Of MangaGamer And Circus

West-First Japanese Visual Novel Launching Soon Courtesy Of MangaGamer And Circus

Thanks to the efforts of companies like MangaGamer, there has never been a better time to be a fan of visual novels. MangaGamer, the world’s first legal download site for English translated visual novels, have been tireless in their efforts to bring these titles to the Western Market. This has resulted in numerous Japanese titles getting translated and exposed to a larger audience and more Japanese developers realizing the potential of selling their products to English audiences. One such developer is Circus, a long time partner of MangaGamer, and creators of the Da Capo and Dal Segno series. However, Circus and MangaGamer are now taking things one step further by partnering for the launch of Space Live. What makes this such a noteworthy event is the fact that Space Live will be a Japanese visual novel that is developed primarily for the Western Market

Princess Maker 3: Fairy Tales Come True

Princess Maker 3: Fairy Tales Come True

The third installment in the popular Princess Maker series is finally available, but unfortunately not in refined form like its predecessors. The game is a lot more streamlined, but with sixty different endings, it still has more than enough content to keep players busy for ages. It is a pity that the game has had such a rocky launch and issues with the translation along with other technical problems continue to plague it, but underneath it all there is still a very addictive game waiting to be played.

Gameplay: Schedule your daughter’s activities and raise her to become a princes.

Graphics: This game dates back to the nineties, so don’t expect too much, but the pixel art animations are really nice.

Sound: The music is decent enough, but can become repetitive, although the voice acting is still good