Are there any kind of non-anime-esque art-styled choice-orientated visual novels? I mean, I understand the whole genre is kind of associated with anime-like dating sim visual novels but there has to be some that are of decent quality and aren't 'lol anime art style and dating to get bewbs and cats'.

While on the subject, do you like the whole choice-orientated visual novel genre, or is there still that stigma about this genre of games?

5 years ago

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Do you like Visual Novels(or choice-orientated novel games).?

View Results
Yes
No
Otaku/weeb hate comment
Obligatory potato comment

I've only just gotten interested in them so they're all still good to me :)

5 years ago
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People seem to consider the Ace Attorney series visual novels. They're kinda animesque, yeah, but still great.

I do like the choice-oriented genre, however, I haven't read/played many VNs that fall into it.

5 years ago
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Huh, didn't know Ace Attorney was visual novel-ish.

5 years ago
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Well, some people consider them visual novels. I personally see them as Point n' Click adventures, but I could be wrong.

5 years ago
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I would call it a VN even though it has more gameplay than most. Along with 999 and DanganRonpa. However they're anime too so can't really get around that. I loved them though.

5 years ago
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Does Time Hollow count as a Visual Novel as well? I'm not sure whether that one is or not.

5 years ago
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I hadn't heard of that one. Wikipedia says it is but thank you for giving me something to look into :)

5 years ago
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I'd consider them more point and click rather than a Visual Novel hehe.

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5 years ago
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I kind of meant ones that are just novels rather than constant choices. Usually they are the ones with the occasional choice but... Yeah.

Well, hey, thanks. I can't seem to find the visual novel tags anywhere for some reason, unless you're able to search it. Everything is predominantly anime sim dates.

5 years ago
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5 years ago
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I thought there were two different sub-categories but whatever. I honestly try to avoid the sim dates because I've had my fair share of cringe from the flash-versions on obscure websites.

5 years ago
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It does sound like you're looking for a Kinetic Novel, though. Keep up the search. There's bound to be something out there.

5 years ago
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There's Cinders.

5 years ago
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Looks neat. Wishlisted because I'm a cheap sales-hogger.

5 years ago
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I second this. Cinders is pretty good.

5 years ago
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The visual novels on Steam are, for the most part, poor representations of the genre and cater to the lowest common denominator of anime weeaboos and otakus by means of sex appeal, lewd cutscenes, false promises, and collectibles. However, there are some visual novels that are undoubtedly very well-designed. Unfortunately, I have not encountered one at this time.

If you're looking for good visual novels, I recommend looking outside of Steam, or at least checking reviews of the game on other sites which cater to visual novel fans. Alas, the only ones with which I am familiar are either the shit on Steam or otherwise pornographic in nature, so I'll refrain from any specific recommendations.

For the record, however, Sakura Spirit has only one choice in the entire game and it only determines which lewd image you receive (you can unlock both by simply saving before making the decision). The ending is the same. Overall, Sakura Spirit is by far the worst "game" I've ever played in my life. It didn't even deliver on the actual eroge, just lewd tease scenes. Pathetic. I'm just glad a friend wasted his money on it for me, and not my own.

5 years ago
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Only Hentai

5 years ago
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I noticed Cinders was suggested above so I'll add some more.
Leviathan: The Last Day of the Decade : It's nice but haven't played all episodes yet since they weren't released when I last played it.
Sword Daughter : Haven't played this one, but it looks good.

Also, there are a few choose your own adventure titles that you might enjoy since they are not focused on the art/visuals but on the story. The Yawhg, Forest of Doom , all titles by Choice of Games.

Recommended the Steam ones but there are tons more outside Steam. Also, though I do think the animesque art style deters some people, I also think it's not the art itself that deters them most of the time, but more the fact that they have connected that style with certain games with that art style that were just not good, or had no point. In addition, not all of the non linear novels are dating sims, just those are easier to sell, so you'll, obviously, see them on stores more often.

5 years ago
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I just stated it the way I was able to. I've only known the mainstream, face-shoved games. Didn't want to seem offensive or judging as some people might like those sim date games. Personally, I don't mind sim date games but I'm not a fan of them either.

5 years ago
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Oh, I didn't think it was offensive, sorry if my response felt that way. Was just pointing it out since those seem to be the ones that receive the most attention/publicity, so it's understandable that they will often be associated with each other. Also, I doubt you can like everything in that genre as there are lots of crappy ones around. There are a few nice ones with good story, too.

5 years ago
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Alright, not sure if I understand what a visual novel is exactly but I think I've played some games like that which I can recommend.

The first one I played was The 39 Steps, which I actually really liked. It's a visual novel game based on the original 'man-on-the-run' type of book.

There are also two point n clicks that I'd recommend which don't require a whole lot of puzzle solving. They are The Shivah (you get to play a muthafuckin rabbi) and A Golden Wake. They're both by Wadjet Eye Games, so you may already be familiar with the style, but I really enjoyed them and they're not super long either.

5 years ago
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Well, people tend to have their own personal definitions but I'm pretty sure a visual novel is defined as a game that plays as a novel / a book. Take a character model, put a blurry real-life background and slap a dialogue-box on the bottom and you've got your average visual novel aka the mainstream.

5 years ago
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Ok, cool. I'd still recommend the 39 steps, I enjoyed it.

5 years ago
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TellTale game series: The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead Season 2, The Wolf Amon Us, Tales from Borderlands, etc, are super awesome games, one of the best of choice oriented games, it's not a visual novel, but...how you never played them?

For anime visual novels, if you didn't found anything good, you can still give a try to World End Economica, its not a dating sim(Visual Novel not means Dating Sim, if you thought that you are wrong, because I see you refer VN same as Dating Sim), the story is written by Isuna Hasekura who wrote the visual novels of Spice and Wolf, which are really cool(there are 11 books of it, if I'm not wrong), this game has a rich storyline, and it's written like I would say professionally, what you would expect from a good writer, far better than other VN I tried. This game was in previous Humble bundle, so you may get it cheaper on Steam Trades.

Most ppl read VN novel for hentai or Ecchi, like Nekopara or Sakupara Spirit or others, which are fun, but....they bore you fast, and storyline is just some pervert no sense. Or others read Dating Sim, like Always remember Me, etc, which are based on choices, and a little storyline, but don't go fully storyline.

5 years ago*
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I watch playthroughs of Tekktake's game series. Why? I don't have a bountiful pile of cash to spend on all of them and the youtube channels I'm subscribed to play them prior to when I can get it. Convenience, is all.

Visual novels can be dating sims, that's the whole point. There's plenty of visual novels out there that have the optional / main point being to 'get with' a girl or at least 'woo' her. I suppose the missing factor is the sim-part, but you are technically simulating the experience of getting to know someone and, hopefully, going out on a date with them. Other than that, anime visual novels are a 50-50 for me. I'm not fan of anime or anything like that, at all. I'm just iffy-iffy about it.

Oh, I know about the whole hentai/ecchi culture in games. There are websites dedicated to that crap. Personally, I see it as normal porn + anime. Wait, no, that is exactly what it is. I don't have a problem with it but some people get weird with it.

5 years ago
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If you don't have money you may just watch the TellTale games playthroughs on YouTube idk still awesome.

And about World End Economica, anime characters there are just a secondary part, it has no influence on the story, they are there just because it's from Japan and since it's written by Isuna Hasekura her light novels of Spice and Wolf had a manga and anime interpretations, but the books it self have nothing to do with anime, trust me this game's storyline is really good, it could even have a separated book instead of a VN game, that author is a good author.

5 years ago*
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F*ck your wants and needs, play ( or watch) Steins; Gate.

Yes it is anime style but not that dating type shit, it's so god damn good.

I don't know any other visual novels but I wanted to contribute by giving the name of a novel that I love, even though you didn't wanted anime style you might want to trust me on this one.

5 years ago
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I just want to clarify a point - a visual novel's art style doesn't dictate it's genre or plot. There exist visual novels that are mystery,horror,adventure,comedy,etc. where there isn't a single bit of trying to romance other characters. If you have a problem with the somewhat shallow generic visual novel where you try to get x to love you and go out with you,then there already were a few great suggestions above. If you just hate the anime artstyle in particular,then there isn't much you can do - there do exist visual novels which are both not shallow,don't have an anime art style,and have an english version/translation,but they are very few and far inbetween.

5 years ago
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Wasn't trying to imply art style dictates the genre or plot. It's simply that a lot of them ARE anime art style. I mean, Heileen for example is a series that I've played the demos of and it's not terrible. It's also a more realistic-cartoony art style.

It's just hard to dig through the top to get to the bottom of the genre bucket.

5 years ago
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Specific to your requirements,I'd say something like Narcissu (there's a steam version with improved translation iirc,though I'm talking and played the original and the english was decent and understandable,even if a bit different from usual english you find in normal novels). I'm guessing you would say that it is anime-styled,but the game doesn't use sprites at all and has a very limited amount of art (unique backgrounds/cg<~10) which is not of much impact in the game.

Another vn I'd recommend with no sprites(but a significantly bigger amount of art,which is drawn a bit crudely at times but not out-of-place) is True Remembrance.

If I understood correctly(I didn't see your explicit answer anywhere,but I might've missed it) you don't have any phobia of the style itself,just that you've had a bad experience with anything related to it so far. Same about visual novel with choices - perhaps you've associated choices with dating sims,or were just disappointed from a few visual novels that had choices; If that is indeed the case,and you're willing to take some of your time to check out a game that screws up all your requirements(choices nested through the story,you can advance romance,and anime-like drawing that takes a respectable place in being integrated in the vn) but I still recommend for you,check out Swan Song. (This one is 18+ for pretty much everything: blood,violence,swearing,and explicit sexual content from the top of my head - but isn't a nukige or a shallow action vn by any means,I can guarantee that much. Other two vns I mentioned have no 18+ content.).

5 years ago
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Yes, to clarify, I just haven't had a good experience with anime(and VNs) in general. Closest thing I've gone to actually experiencing it rather than being kind of intimidated by something 'new' was a bunch of shitty VNs that I played for a few minutes and then deleted it (demos, I think, though). So, it's not that I hate anime or anything, I just don't prefer it although I'm kind of ignorant on the subject, if I'm to be honest.

I'm kind of picky, aren't I? I don't mean to seem like that. I had the same issue with finding good RPGs and people showered me with suggestions that I didn't know about or think about. Thanks for the help, though!

5 years ago*
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Like all other media entertainment types,there's good ones and bad ones. Being picky only means your standard for what read-worthy is is higher than most. I think that as long as you don't trash talk things your consider below your standard,then it's simply a personal preference. (I don't hate or love dating-sim type vns in particular,and I've seen an absurd amount of them being utterly shallow and filled with cliches; This made me reluctant to try new vns of that genre more than of other genres,but I do acknowledge that there are good ones and am willing to try recommendations if they are from someone I appreciate the opinion of,as well as the fact that some people enjoy reading exactly those cliche-filled plots).

I know what you mean about being showered in suggestions; At the moment I don't see in this thread a gigantic amount of vns(but there were suggestions of some hybrids,like vn+point&click). I'd recommend seeing a short summary of each to see if the plot could interest you and then deciding which you'd like to try. Don't let the fact one was a fail make you assume the next one will also be.

Due to ease of access(Steam,if you choose that version,or the original being available as DRM-Free download and play) and the fact it's split into 2 parts(the first of which is short),I'd recommend you start with Narcissu,follow to True Remembrance,and end with Swan Song(which is much longer,not kinetic,originally in JP language and has an unofficial patch,meaning you'll have to obtain the source game and patch from two different sources and patch it yourself - not an overly complicated,but somewhat a hassle). Where to go from there is up to you :)

If by any chance it happens to be that you like all of my suggestions,feel free to send me a friend request in two weeks/months/however long it will take you and ask for more recommendations. I encourage you to also ask other people you know about "vns similar to x" or "vns with a y-focused plot",so eventually you can figure out intuition about what might be worth trying and what is definitely not just by looking at text samples/screenshots/story synopsis.

You're very welcome. Cheers :)

5 years ago
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Yes, it's not really a Visual Novel, but how about an American Choose Your Own Adventure? The Forest of Doom

Edit: NVM, Lina already suggested this. Uh, how about the Hate series then? They're technically not Anime style - they are Manhwa-style :P

5 years ago*
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I guess I'll 'technically' consider it! ;)

tanks m9(but for real thanks)

5 years ago
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Yeah, those two (Hate Plus and Analogue: A Hate Story are the best VN-style games I've played on Steam. Unfortunately that isn't saying too much, but Steam just isn't really receptive to the really good VNs. You know, because most of the highly rated ones contain sex scenes.

5 years ago
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Sex sells.

5 years ago
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I like Visual Novels but the bulk are dating sims, school sims, kid-raising sims, and hentai. Finding something more to my tastes is astonishingly difficult. Finding something whose options aren't all defy-common-sense level dumb is just as difficult. I would love it if more VNs have your choices actually alter the outcome rather than relying on the last-minute choices you make. Like say you spend the whole game fighting with that one prick but at the last second you suddenly act like you loved him all along. Bull. Crap. If I'm fighting with someone the whole game, my options should be "leave him to burn" or "help him because of common decency, but not the 'tru luv~' crap".

5 years ago
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Play/read these (not VN) books now available for free: http://www.projectaon.org/staff/david/index.php

5 years ago
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Mass Effect is a non-anime novel.

5 years ago
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If you're into choose-your-own-adventure, I want to second the recommendation for Choice of games. I've played quite a lot of them, all quite good, and there's a great variety of styles and themes (adventure, romance, fantasy, sci-fi / zombies, demons, ninjas, robots, dragons...)

They also host games made by other people, some of them quite good. My favorite one is Life of a wizard, it's great for re-playability. Another very good one is Tin Star.

5 years ago
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