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Free Visual Novels (that're also good)

a collection by Dots Salchow · last updated 2018-09-21 16:09:36

Think of these as free little novellas that you pick up at a stand on the way so you have some reading material during the commute, except instead of books with paper pages, they're videogames.

The subgenres explained:

  • Visual Novel - tells a story and allows you to influence it by making choices or decisions.
  • Kinetic Novel - roughly the same as above, except the only interactive element you get is proverbially flipping the pages. It's more like a digital storybook this way.
  • Sound Novel - these visual novels put more emphasis on sound to build an atmosphere.
  • Nakige - (pronounced "nah-key-gheh") the stories told in these visual novels are written solely to tug at your heartstrings with such force that you'll cry enough tears to fill an entire lake.
  • Dating sim - you're given the goal to woo one of various romantic partners. This one has its own subgenres:
    • Eroge - (pronounced "air-oh-gheh") These dating sims have explicit sexual content and are targeted exclusively to an adult demographic.
    • Bishojo game - In these, all of your romantic partners are female. These are mostly targeted to a male demographic.
    • Otome game - (pronounced "oh-toe-may game") Dating sims or otherwise romantic visual novels targeted to a female demographic. In most of these games, the romantic partners are male.
Visual Novel
Added 2 days ago by Dots Salchow

A quirky kinetic novel about a doctor and his assistant trying to solve a strange case of missing children's bones in a mining town. Think Sherlock Holmes with the added whimsy and macabre of a fairy tale.

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Visual Novel
Added Apr 23, 2018 by Dots Salchow

This cute love story about time, space, and nothingness feels like poetry, and the ability to rewind time adds a bit of meta-ness to it.

Visual Novel
Added Mar 28, 2018 by Dots Salchow

In this otome game that takes place in the Roaring Twenties, you land a spot as a bartender in a speakeasy. Oh, and it turns out you're actually a magician, and you have to choose one of three experienced magic users to tutor you before your exam, which you have to pass if you don't want to have both your magic and your memory wiped. No biggie!

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Visual Novel
Added Dec 17, 2017 by Dots Salchow

This one turns the tables on the whole "virtual pet monster" craze. Now, you're the pet monster being taken care of.

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Visual Novel
Added Dec 17, 2017 by Dots Salchow

This deceptive bishojo game wears a cutesy mask that conceals dark secrets. Once that mask is off, the game goes from being sickly-sweet romance to full-blown psychological horror.

WARNING: This game contains a buttload of themes in the third act that may trigger people of a more sensitive disposition. Telling you exactly what they are will somewhat spoil the experience. However, if you'd rather want to be safe than sorry, click here for a full list of the triggers.

Visual Novel
Added Dec 03, 2016 by Dots Salchow

You're a young female highschool student who inherits her late grandfather's toy company, only to discover that his mansion is the safe haven of a group of incubi who fled the underworld. It's very much an otome dating sim, so you get exactly what you expect... and perhaps a little more if you're willing to break a few conventions. Additionally, the voice-acting is pretty decent in this one.

There's a collection of bonus episodes that you can also play for free here.

There's also a commercially-sold sequel, which you can purchase here.

Visual Novel
Added Dec 02, 2016 by Dots Salchow

The only kinetic novel I've come across so far that's based on a true story. It's absolutely inspiring and definitely worth a try.

Visual Novel
Added Dec 01, 2016 by Dots Salchow

A quirky and delightful buddy cop story. It's hard to not be endeared by a noir-style detective who revels in her clich├ęs, especially when paired with such an adorable by-the-book cop.

A sequel was in the works but is unfortunately cancelled. You can play a presentable but unfinished version of that here.

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Visual Novel
Added Dec 01, 2016 by Dots Salchow

Takes place during a zombie apocalypse and focuses on the human element by letting you experience the two characters' interactions through the eyes of one of them.