Highway Blossoms

Highway Blossoms

Join Amber as she goes from driving slowly towards a music festival while coming to terms with the death of her grandfather, to joining up with a ditzy treasure hunter named Marina. Highway Blossoms is a great yuri kinetic novel with a refreshing setting, awesome characters and a very compelling story. It’s a little on the short side, but should definitely not be missed by fans of the genre.

Gameplay: No choices to make, but the story is superb.

Graphics: Plenty of backgrounds and great character designs.

Sound: Excellent voice acting and a pretty great soundtrack too

Sekai Project & Le:Code Bringing WABISABI To Steam

Sekai Project & Le:Code Bringing WABISABI To Steam

Sekai Project and Le:CODE recently announced that development is underway for a brand new visual novel titled WABISABI. It will be the first PC title for Le:CODE, who previously released their first title, Maid to Partita on Google Play as well as the Apple App store. WABISABI won’t just be their first PC release, but also their first title to be released in the West

Always The Same Blue Sky…

Always The Same Blue Sky…

Always The Same Blue Sky is a visual novel about a student who transfers to yet another school, in yet another remote location, but this time things are a little different. This is thanks to the presence of Kira, a girl who lives on the island and attends the same school. Life is a little more interesting and mysterious after Kira offers to show the protagonist around the island in this short visual novel. The game has its flaws, but the price tag is low enough to make it a decent impulse buy.

Gameplay: Not a lot of choices and the game is quite short, but the story is interesting.

Graphics: The sprite artwork is good, but the backgrounds are a little uneven in quality.

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

Lucy Got Problems

Lucy Got Problems

Gameplay: It is a visual novel, so gameplay is rather limited, but the story and characters are great.

Graphics: Great character designs and the art is really good.

Sound: The soundtrack is great, but the game lacks voice acting.

The market is flooded by adult visual novels that places style over substance. Lucy Got Problems avoids this trend by delivering a game that not only looks great, but which also has a laugh out loud story that is worth your time. If you can appreciate a story that isn’t afraid to indulge in fanservice and humor, then Lucy Got Problems deserves a spot in your library. It is still a very ecchi title, even in its “censored” format, but if you are a fan of the genre, then you will definitely have a blast

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

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

Omega Pattern

Omega Pattern

Omega Pattern is a visual novel where you follow the story of a young man named Shaiel who is on the run from a ruthless organization called Bioagora. His psychic skills make him an important target for Bioagora, who has a history of turning gifted people into brainwashed agents to do their bidding. The game doesn’t just tell the story of Shaiel in the present, but also features plenty of flashbacks where you actually get to make choices that influences the route you take to the ending. This gives the game some nice replay value and the different routes are actually quite different and not just minor variations. Unfortunately, Omega Pattern is also quite short and since it is only the first part of the full story, it ends in a “To Be Continued,” which might annoy some fans.

Gameplay: The story is genuinely intriguing and the choices you get to make actually impacts the story, which is a nice touch.

Graphics: Nothing really special, but gets the job done.

Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is really solid

NEKOPARA Vol. 3

NEKOPARA Vol. 3

The NEKOPARA series has consistently delivered entertaining kinetic novels with great visuals and audio, so it is no surprise that volume three does the same. This time the story shifts to Maple and Cinnamon, the only catgirls left at La Soleil who have not yet had their chance to shine. While the story spends a lot of time with these two the other catgirls also make regular appearances, so no matter which ones are your favorite, you’ll get to experience more of their cuteness. Like volume one and two, this game is available in censored and uncensored versions, with the former costing less and the latter including explicit h-scenes. Whichever version you choose, you’ll find a story that is packed with adorable catgirls, plenty of humorous situations and some of the best visuals in the genre.

Gameplay: NEKOPARA Vol. 3 is still a kinetic novel with no choices to make, but the story is entertaining all the way through.

Graphics: More stunning artwork by Sayori and more animations courtesy of the E-mote system.

Sound: The soundtrack sounds a little too familiar at times, but still has plenty of great tracks and some stellar Japanese voice acting

A Butterfly in the District of Dreams

A Butterfly in the District of Dreams

A Butterfly In The District of Dreams doesn’t quite live up to its mysterious premise, but as far as visual novels goes it still has a lot to offer. The pace of the story is very slow and relaxing, which is great for players in search of a calming experience. It is refreshing to play a title that doesn’t rely on fan service as a crutch, but due to the slow pace it is also a title that some players will find a little boring. With three main heroines, each with multiple routes and different endings, this visual novel is definitely not lacking in content.

Gameplay: The pace is fairly slow, but the slice of life drama still manages to be captivating once you get hooked.

Graphics: Beautiful character sprites, but the backgrounds are fairly limited.

Sound: Full Japanese voice acting and a great soundtrack

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley is a great update of the free visual novel released by ebi-hime in 2014. In addition to some stunning new artwork and a great soundtrack the story is still as unique as it is captivating. Don’t let the visuals fool you, this novel is not as lighthearted as it first appears and thanks to some great writing the story is a lot more memorable than expected. The game is short enough to complete in a single sitting, but still manages to have a bigger emotional impact than stories that are ten times longer.

Gameplay: Pretty much a kinetic novel with only a single choice, but the story is so good that it is hard to stop playing.

Graphics: The updated artwork looks really nice, but the option to play with the older visuals is a nice touch.

Sound: The hauntingly beautiful soundtrack is definitely a highlight