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10 best visual novel games for Android
The visual novel is an interesting genre in gaming. It is, in fact, a game, but visual novels don’t play like normal games. The gameplay mechanics are simplified down to the bare essentials, and the game’s narrative takes the front seat for the entire game. Some of them do have some mechanics, but they exist almost solely to push the game forward.
It’s a relaxing genre, and it’s great for people who just want to hang out and watch a story unfold. It is a Japanese invention, so most Android visual novels are Japanese. Still, you have some excellent choices. Here are the best visual novels for Android. We’d also like to give an honorable mention to Kirikiroid2 (Google Play), an emulator for visual novels.
The best visual novels for Android
A Tavern for Tea
Price: Free / $1.99
A Tavern for Tea takes place in a tavern. You make them tea while you talk about their lives. The game is quite short, which is good because it’s not expensive to purchase. The story is about two customers in particular, so the story is pointed and short. Does it stack up to the long-running games with dozens of hours? Maybe not, but it’s a great introduction into the genre, and the story is charming.
Price: Up to $22.99
Capcom has a few Ace Attorney ports on Android, and they’re all pretty good. Ace Attorney is a mystery-drama series about Phoenix Wright, a lawyer who solves cases. There are also hidden objects and point-and-click adventure elements as well. Basically, you start a case, collect the evidence, interview people, and smash your opponents in court. The pacing is quite good, and there are in-game mechanics to ensure you don’t forget anything. Each game is rather expensive at $19.99, but you get the original trilogy for $22.99, which is a pretty good discount. We have Capcom’s developer page linked at the button so you can browse for all of the games.
See also: The best mystery games for Android
Ayakashi: Romance Reborn
Price: Free to play
Ayakashi: Romance Reborn is an otome game. For the uninformed, that means it’s a dating game made for women. You have your choice of 15 suitors that you do things with while also experiencing the game’s story. This one isn’t all that unique from others in its category. However, it has excellent voice acting, decent storytelling, You can also get unlockable content for free if you don’t mind a bit of a grind, so it’s a good game if you don’t want to spend a ton of money.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition
Dangaonronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc is one of the best visual novels, and it launched on mobile in 2020. The game follows the story of a group of kids at Hope’s Peak. In order to leave, they must murder one of their classmates and get away with it. The other students investigate the death and try to out you. The story takes you through the tale as people drop dead left and right with all kinds of twists and turns. The game is a bit expensive, but it’s definitely one of the good ones.
Price: Free / $3.49
Hakuoki is another otome game. Like most otome games good enough to make this list, this one presents itself very well. There’s good voice acting, good storytelling, and the animations are quite good. The player is taken to 1800’s Japan where they try and figure out the secrets of the Shinsengumi and the assassins trying to kill them. It’s a decent story. The player has their choice of male companions, each with their own personality. The game lets you play the prologue and part of chapter one as a trial of sorts. You have to pay to play the full game.
Price: Free to play
Ikemen Sengoku is an otome visual novel game that takes place in the good old days. Like most otome games, you get your choice of men to hang out with. Additionally, you get to customize your character so it fits with what you like. There is a story to follow, as is typical of a visual novel game. You play through stories, enjoy yourself, and revisit your stories later on. Be warned, though, that revisiting stories is where the developers ask you to pay. This is a fairly common tactic in the otome visual novel category, and we try not to suggest too many games with that mechanic. However, this one is good enough to suggest even with it.
Mysterious Forum and 7 Rumors
Price: Free / $2.99
Mysterious Forum and 7 Rumors is another fairly typical visual novel. This one is fairly short, at about two hours, and it’s a horror experience. Players make decisions to influence parts of the game, and there are several different endings to achieve. The whole thing takes place on a forum run by some local high school kids. There are some stories posted on there that become reality and not in a good way. It is a short title, but it’s also cheap at $2.99. This one is an excellent little time killer, and the story is cheesy but fun.
Price: Free to play
Mystic Messenger is a visual novel that takes place mostly in a text app format. You chit chat with the other characters, and yes, there is a romantic aspect to it if you’re into that sort of thing. You play through the story as per the norm, and it’s a decent little story. This one is neat because it’s sort of a text-based game, and you don’t see too many of those these days. The in-game currency is fairly easy to save up for free, so you shouldn’t need any in-app purchases to continue through the game.
Paranormasight is a visual novel thriller from Square Enix. The story revolves around a group of people and the legend of the Honjo Seven Mysteries and a Rite of Resurrection. In order to perform the right, someone must kill a bunch of people to fill the Curse Stone. You play through the stories of a group of people, often replaying the stories to prevent a character from dying. It’s one of the best examples of story branching we’ve seen in any genre, which we’re quite happy about. It’s a bit expensive, but you won’t find many like it on Google Play.
Price: Free / Up to $2.99
Underworld Office is a different kind of visual novel. It follows the story of Eugene, who winds up in the underworld working in an office. The game has 40 animations, 150 illustrations, and seven different routes through the game based on the choices you make. It should take you several playthroughs in order to find and experience everything. It’s not a Japanese property, but it has all the hallmarks of a visual novel. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive to buy and play.
The developer, Buff Studios (Google Play), has a few other visual novels that aren’t half bad.
If we missed any great visual novels for Android, tell us about them in the comments. You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists.
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