Visual novel

visual novelssound novelAdventurenakigeSound Novelsadventure gameCrying gamedating simulationsgraphicinteractive novel video game
A visual novel is an interactive game genre, which originated in Japan, featuring text-based story with narrative style of literature and interactivity aided by static or sprite-based visuals, most often using anime-style art or occasionally live-action stills (and sometimes video footage).wikipedia
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Symphonic Rain

An example of this approach is Symphonic Rain, where the player is required to play a musical instrument of some sort, and attain a good score in order to advance.
Symphonic Rain is a Japanese musical visual novel developed by Kogado Studio and first released as a limited edition version on March 26, 2004 for Windows as part of a series of "music adventure" games done by its Kuroneko-san Team; the regular edition followed on August 27, 2004.

Interactive fiction

text adventuretext adventure gametext adventures
This style of gameplay is similar to story-driven interactive fiction, or the shorter and less detailed real-life gamebook books.
The term “interactive fiction” is sometimes used also to refer to visual novels, a type of interactive narrative software popular in Japan.

Fate/stay night

Fate/stay night: Unlimited Blade WorksFateFate/stay night Réalta Nua
In Fate/stay night, for example, the way the player character behaved towards non-player characters during the course of the game affects the way they react to the player character in later scenes, such as whether or not they choose to help in life-or-death situations.
Fate/stay night is a Japanese visual novel developed by Type-Moon, which was originally released as an adult game for Windows.

Ren'Py

Fan-created novel games are reasonably popular; there are a number of free game engines and construction kits aimed at making them easy to construct, most notably NScripter, KiriKiri and Ren'Py.
The Ren'Py Visual Novel Engine is a free software engine which facilitates the creation of visual novels, a form of computer-mediated storytelling.

Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet

PlanetarianPlanetarian Drama CD "A Snow Globe
Visual novels with non-branching plots, such as Higurashi When They Cry, Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet, Muv-Luv Alternative, and Digital: A Love Story are rare exceptions within the genre.
Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet (planetarian ~ちいさなほしのゆめ~) is a Japanese post-apocalyptic visual novel developed by Key, a brand of VisualArt's whose previous works include Kanon and Air.

Muv-Luv

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total EclipseSchwarzesmarkenMuv-Luv Alternative
Visual novels with non-branching plots, such as Higurashi When They Cry, Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet, Muv-Luv Alternative, and Digital: A Love Story are rare exceptions within the genre.
Muv-Luv is a Japanese visual novel developed by âge and originally released as an adult game for Windows on February 28, 2003.

Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward

Virtue's Last Reward
An acclaimed example is Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward, where nearly every action and dialogue choice can lead to entirely new branching paths and endings.
The gameplay alternates between two types of sections: Escape sections, where the player completes puzzles in escape-the-room scenarios; and Novel sections, where the player reads the game's narrative through visual novel segments, and makes decisions that influence the story toward one of twenty-four different endings.

Ace Attorney

逆転裁判Gyakuten SaibanPhoenix Wright
Many visual novels often revolve almost entirely around character interactions and dialogue choices, such as Ace Attorney and Tokimeki Memorial, usually featuring complex branching dialogues and often presenting the player's possible responses word-for-word as the player character would say them.
Ace Attorney is a series of visual novel adventure video games developed by Capcom.

Digital: A Love Story

Visual novels with non-branching plots, such as Higurashi When They Cry, Planetarian: The Reverie of a Little Planet, Muv-Luv Alternative, and Digital: A Love Story are rare exceptions within the genre.
Digital: A Love Story is an indie visual novel by video game designer Christine Love, released for free in February 2010.

Nonlinear gameplay

branching plot linenon-linearnonlinear
Non-linear branching storylines are a common trend in visual novels, which frequently use multiple branching storylines to achieve multiple different endings, allowing non-linear freedom of choice along the way.
Branching storylines are a common trend in visual novels, a subgenre of interactive narrative and adventure games.

School Days (visual novel)

School DaysSchool Days'' (visual novel)Kotonoha Katsura
A well-known example is the 2005 title School Days, an animated visual novel that Kotaku describes as going well beyond the usual "black and white choice systems" (referring to video games such as Mass Effect, Fallout 3 and BioShock) where you "pick a side and stick with it" while leaving "the expansive middle area between unexplored."
School Days is a Japanese visual novel developed by 0verflow, released on April 28, 2005, for Windows as an adult game.

428: Shibuya Scramble

428: Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de428: Fūsasareta Shibuya de
Chunsoft sound novels such as Machi (1998) and 428: Shibuya Scramble (2008) develop this concept further, by allowing the player to alternate between the perspectives of several or more different characters, making choices with one character that have consequences for other characters.
428: Shibuya Scramble is a visual novel adventure video game produced by Koichi Nakamura with Jiro Ishii serving as executive producer, developed by Nakamura's company Chunsoft, and initially published by Sega, originally in Japan for the Wii on December 4, 2008.

YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World

YU-NOKono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shōjo YU-NOYu-No: Kono Yo no Hate de Koi wo Utau Shoujo
Other notable examples of non-linear storytelling include ELF's most famous visual novel, YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world (1996), which featured a science fiction plot revolving around time travel and parallel universes.
YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World (この世の果てで恋を唄う少女YU-NO), is a Japanese visual novel / graphic adventure game developed and published by ELF Corporation, originally as an adult game for the PC-98 in 1996.

Dialogue tree

conversation treedialog treedialogue choices
Many visual novels often revolve almost entirely around character interactions and dialogue choices, such as Ace Attorney and Tokimeki Memorial, usually featuring complex branching dialogues and often presenting the player's possible responses word-for-word as the player character would say them.
Certain video game genres, such as visual novels and dating sims, revolve almost entirely around these character interactions and branching dialogues.

Spike Chunsoft

ChunsoftChun SoftGachitora: The Roughneck Teacher in High School
Chunsoft sound novels such as Machi (1998) and 428: Shibuya Scramble (2008) develop this concept further, by allowing the player to alternate between the perspectives of several or more different characters, making choices with one character that have consequences for other characters.
Spike Chunsoft Co., Ltd. is a Japanese video game development and localization company specializing in role-playing video game and visual novels.

Machi (video game)

MachiMachi'' (video game)Machi: Unmei no Kousaten
Chunsoft sound novels such as Machi (1998) and 428: Shibuya Scramble (2008) develop this concept further, by allowing the player to alternate between the perspectives of several or more different characters, making choices with one character that have consequences for other characters.
literally "City" is a visual novel adventure game developed and published by Chunsoft and released in Japan for the Sega Saturn in 1998.

The Portopia Serial Murder Case

Portopia Serial Murder CaseHorii Yūji GekijōPortopia
As early as 1983, Portopia Serial Murder Case featured non-linear elements, which included traveling between different areas in a generally open world, a branching dialogue conversation system where the story develops through entering commands and receiving responses from other characters, and making choices that determine the dialogues and order of events as well as alternate outcomes, though there is only one true culprit while the others are red herrings.
It became an influential title and helped define the visual novel genre.

Policenauts

This was particularly common on the NEC PC-9801 format, which showcased what is considered to be some of the best pixel art in the history of video games, with a popular example being Policenauts in 1994.
Policenauts is a graphic adventure game with a hard science fiction storyline, written and directed by Hideo Kojima, and published by Konami.

ELF Corporation

ELF
Other notable examples of non-linear storytelling include ELF's most famous visual novel, YU-NO: A girl who chants love at the bound of this world (1996), which featured a science fiction plot revolving around time travel and parallel universes.
They are also known for role-playing video games such as the Dragon Knight series and visual novel adventure games such as YU-NO.

Interactive movie

laserdisc video gameinteractive filmInteractive drama
A visual novel is an interactive game genre, which originated in Japan, featuring text-based story with narrative style of literature and interactivity aided by static or sprite-based visuals, most often using anime-style art or occasionally live-action stills (and sometimes video footage).
Later video games used this approach using fully animated computer generated scenes, including various adventure games such as the Sound Novel series by Chunsoft, Shenmue series by Sega, Shadow of Memories by Konami, Time Travelers by Level 5, and Fahrenheit by Quantic Dream.

Key (company)

KeyKey CompanyVisual Arts/Key
However, the vast majority of console ports do not contain adult material, and a number of recent PC games have also been targeted at the all-age market; for example, all of Key's titles come in family-friendly versions, although the content might still not be appropriate for children, and three have never contained adult content at all.
Key is a Japanese visual novel studio which formed on July 21, 1998 as a brand under the publisher Visual Arts and is located in Kita, Osaka.

Little Busters!

Little Busters! EcstasyLittle Busters! RefrainLittle Busters! Converted Edition
For example, Little Busters! was first released as an all-ages visual novel, but a version with erotic scenes titled Little Busters! Ecstasy came out later, and though Clannad is also all-ages, its spinoff Tomoyo After: It's a Wonderful Life is not.
is a Japanese visual novel developed by Key.

Clannad (visual novel)

ClannadClannad After StoryClannad: After Story
For example, Little Busters! was first released as an all-ages visual novel, but a version with erotic scenes titled Little Busters! Ecstasy came out later, and though Clannad is also all-ages, its spinoff Tomoyo After: It's a Wonderful Life is not.
Clannad is a Japanese visual novel developed by Key and released on April 28, 2004 for Windows PCs.

Role-playing video game

role-playingRPGrole-playing game
Such titles revolving around relationship-building, including visual novels as well as dating simulations, such as Tokimeki Memorial, and some role-playing video games, such as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, often give choices that have a different number of associated "mood points" that influence a player character's relationship and future conversations with a non-player character.
One reason given for these differences is that many early Japanese console RPGs can be seen as forms of interactive manga (Japanese comics) or anime wrapped around Western rule systems at the time, in addition to the influence of visual novel adventure games.

Tayutama: Kiss on my Deity

Tayutama
Often, the beginning of the eroge will be dedicated to introducing the characters and developing the protagonist's relationship with them, before the protagonist sexually interacts with other characters, for example, Lump of Sugar games such as Tayutama: Kiss on my Deity, Hello, Good-bye, Gaku Ou: The Royal Seven Stars, Sekai to Sekai no Mannaka de and Everlasting Summer do this.
Tayutama: Kiss on my Deity (タユタマ -Kiss on my Deity-) is a Japanese visual novel developed by Lump of Sugar.