The best visual novels
Another fantastic narrative export from Japan, think of visual novels as a comic book, audiobook, and interactive game rolled into one.
Best Visual Novels Feast on These Modern Versions of Choose Your Own Adventure
A narrator, much like a helper in a video game, guides you through the story to explain things to you outside of the plot and characters. Some can be amusing like Deadpool’s hilarious fourth-wall breaks. Others simply pop in and add a few comments. Visual novels also add voiceovers from principal characters. But, oddly enough, sometimes the narrator or main protagonist doesn’t get a voice.
What makes these narratives so popular? Branching storylines and you can participate, not just influence, the outcome. Just like you can choose Passage A or Passage B in your Super Mario Bros. game, you can have your characters choose an outcome. You also may need to solve puzzles, play music, or answer questions along the way. So visual novels are not quite as intense as video games, but they offer more to the narrative than a book you simply read or listen to. You get to participate in the story, as if you’re a character, without frantically pushing a series of buttons to defeat the next boss. These visual novels do lean heavily on anime and manga-style influences. So if you love Japanese animation, you’ll adore this kind of entertainment.
Does anyone remember those Choose Your Own Adventure novels from the ‘80s and ‘90s? This is the next generation of those secret path novels that kids loved. Even better, you can play these on your phone or tablet.