Nope, it doesn't need to be a visual novel. it can be any kind of interactive fiction game in any kind of medium. As long as it has text, like reading a novel. A game like Hotel Dusk is a perfect example of what I mean. Conversations, exploring rooms to pick up mysteries, etc. It's considered an Adventure VN. It can be choice based or linear. Just as long as there's text.
Your game, The Test, is an example. It doesn't have to be a VN, it can be parser or a twine game or an adventure game. What's considered Interactive fiction isn't really strict in this jam, just as long as text is involved. So you pick up an object and it tells a story that's an example.