There’s nothing that keeps you quite hooked, like a good book!
Or in this case, a good novel is enough to push your emotions full throttle!
As mentioned previously, story driven games have always been a mainstay since the text-based games of old. Evolving from the “green text on black background” era of the 80s to 90s, the genre of visual novels were born.
Almost thirty years later, the visual novel genre thrives brighter than it ever has been, especially in the independent scene. With the intent to bring underground titles to the light of consoles, Ratalaika Games showcased a whopping seven titles. All of which will be released within the upcoming months, with one already available by the time you finish reading!
Some are PC classics that are ported to console while others are purely original stories made available for the first time. Nevertheless, the diverse range of titles will guarantee to leave something for someone.
Unless otherwise stated, all games featured here will all be released on the Nintendo Switch, Sony PlayStation 4, Sony Vita, and the Xbox One..
Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet is the first of the seven titles available right now. Originally released by NomnomNami, this is the first time that this game is made available for purchase across multiple platforms. The colorful art and characters all appear aesthetically pleasing, with an in-depth story that’s icing on the cake! PS4/Vita Xbox
Long Live The Queen, developed by Hanako Games, is a visual novel princess building simulator where you take control of Princess Elodie. The goal is to raise her to become the queen of her kingdom, while fending off assailants who would deny her. The game itself was first released in 2012 on PC yet console players can ensure her survival later on in 2020.
Blind Men, developed by Man-Eater Games in 2017, dubs itself as “a parody of spy fiction” according to the original Steam page. It is also a “boys’ love’’ centered game, which is great to see as inclusion is always a personal plus in my eyes. This will be one of the earlier releases from Ratalaika Games as this will be released on consoles in April 2020.
A German language option as well as partial voice acting are also planned for the future, providing more content for console players.
Angels with Scaly Wings is another visual novel that was released in 2017 originally. Developed by Radical Phi, this game looks to be a slice-of-life visual novel complete with dragons and an underlining conspiracy theory. These were my first impressions from the trailer alone, but any game involving a cast filled with dragons is a game of interest in my eyes! Expect a release within 2020.
Speaking of “games that include its main cast as a single species,” Quill Game Studios’ A Summer with the Shiba Inu definitely fits the criteria. A visual novel based on dogs! Of the titles announced thus far, this is one of the newer ones as it had a 2019 release on PC.
The premise revolves around Syd, a Shiba Inu who returns to the island of Shiba Inu after ten years. During her return, she uncovers hidden truths, old allies, and other hidden dangers. Expect a 2020 release for all consoles!
Tales of Aravorn: Seasons Of The Wolf, originally released in 2014 by Winter Wolves, is a hybrid visual novel. It is a fantasy based visual novel with RPG elements including turn based battles, word building, and character development via relationships. It reminds me of Long Live The Queen with the emphasis on stat building having a direct effect on the gameplay. The fantasy setting is always a nice touch.
Finally, there’s Jisei: The First Case, or Jisei for short. Developed by sakevisual, out of the games announced, this one is the oldest; A decade old. As such, several improvements were made for this HD release. These improvements include a widescreen display, updated graphics, and overall quality of life changes.
Just looking at the two screenshots for comparison’s sake, with the HD remaster on the bottom and the original Steam release on the top, you can see the difference.
The first in a trilogy, this murder mystery aims to reach a widespread audience later in 2020. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the other two games in the series, Kansei and Yousei, be given the same treatment later on down the road.
That about wraps up the Visual Novel showcase! Be sure to follow Ratalaika Games on both their official as well as their new Visual Novel account for more information on these releases and many more throughout the year!
To see the trailers and the showcase in its entirety, check out the video below!