Have you ever read a visual novel game?

I love reading. I always have, I remember when I was a child that I would spend my weekend reading. And when we made our weekly visit to my grandparents I tried to miss as little of my reading time as I could. I read in the car out there, and even walked to their front door with my nose in a book.

IMG_2105.JPGThe DS with its dual screens, sometimes holding the device sideways, lends itself perfectly for a combination of reading and gaming. And there are some visual novels out there, but not many. At least, not in the West. I wonder why that is, why are the Japanese much more interested in Nintendo’s story-games. For instance, they have the Harvest December series from Circle, a 13-part novel that is released for a low price in the eShop. And Arc System Works’ mystery called “Girl of the Old School Building ( I bet the translation is a bit literal…).

But we have had a few gems here too. One of the first I played was Hotel Dusk: room 215. A mystery novel starring detective Kyle Hyde, made by Cing. They even managed a very good sequel in The Last Window, before they sadly went bankrupt. The games were presented like a drawn storybook, much like the video clip for the a-ha hit single “Take on me” ( I guess that betrays my age!). Looked beautiful, a very engaging story and difficult puzzles.

IMG_2106.JPGSince then we’ve had more examples of good story driven games. Most familiar are the Phoenix Wright games. And you could even say that the Professor Layton games aren’t only offering great gameplay because of their puzzles. I for one have been known to skip a puzzle or two because I wanted to find out what would happen next.

Upon researching this topic I came across the DS game 9 hours, 9 persons, 9 doors and its successor Virtue’s Last Reward on the 3DS. Haven’t played these yet, so I wonder if the story will appeal to me? Because aside from the story having to be entertaining and the puzzles having to be challenging enough, it depends on the type of story too, of course. Just like I wouldn’t consider reading any kind of story either, right?


    1. Yes, the DS is great for that. I hadn’t thought about it, but a friend reminded me that the iPad really was very well suited too and had some god titles!

  1. I played 999 and it’s super good. The puzzles are fun; they are challenging while at the same time not being frustrating. The real hook to the whole thing though are definitely the characters, they’ll rock your socks off. I find myself liking characters that initially I thought I would hate. Definitely a good game and relatively cheap too
    I also find it funny when people criticize PW for being too text heavy. What were you expecting? haha,

    1. Yeah, that would be a given, it being txt heavy right? I’ve heard more people being very positive about 999, and I’ve seen its releatively cheap in stores now. I think I have a good present for my Christmas list, this one is one I’m going to give a try!

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