Quick Hits: On Plotless(?) Visual Novels

If you hang out in some of the online visual novel communities, for example reddit or vndb, you’ll hear people sometimes describe visual novels as “plotless.” Usually, this is taken in a negative context and applied to visual novels that focus on characters and relationships as opposed to action, combat, competition, or mystery. This is … Continue reading Quick Hits: On Plotless(?) Visual Novels

Quick Hits: Rhythm Doctor—One Button Fun

While the spectacular failure of Balan Wonderworld might have made “one button game” a taboo phrase in the eyes of many gamers, the idea isn’t inherently bad. Going for simplicity in the controls theoretically gives a game the opportunity to take a freewheeling approach to everything else. And since most games don't go this route, … Continue reading Quick Hits: Rhythm Doctor—One Button Fun

Review: Aquadine – At the Water’s Edge

Since we recently talked about original English language visual novels (OELVNs), I thought it might be nice to take a deeper dive into Aquadine, an OELVN from developer SoftColors that I recently read. I mentioned I'm interested in OELVNs with a non-Japanese identity, and Aquadine impressed me not only with its stories and characters, but … Continue reading Review: Aquadine – At the Water’s Edge

OELVNs and Japan

Visual novels are usually associated with Japan. While early western adventure games like Mystery House share quite a bit of their DNA with visual novels, the conventions we associate with visual novels today were cultivated in Japanese adventure games, while western adventure games largely explored other modes of presentation (you can read a fascinating deep … Continue reading OELVNs and Japan