Glossary - Visual Novel

A visual novel is an interactive game style that originated from Japan. It includes a story in the style of narration. It also provides interactivity supported by spite-based visuals, usually using anime-style art. In Japan, the differentiation is frequently made between visual novels and adventure games. They usually comprise narration and include very few interactive components. Adventure games, on the other hand, usually include problem-solving. Outside Japan, people do not pay a big attention to this differentiation. In total, 70% of all games produced in Japan were visual novels and adventure games in 2006. In other countries, both of these genres are referred to as visual novels.

The gameplay of a Visual Novel

Visual novels usually differ from other game genres by their minimal gameplay. Usually, most player interaction is restricted by clicking to maintain the graphics, text, and sound. The player should make narrative decisions at the same time. Another key feature of visual novels is its powerful emphasis on writing. This is because the narration is conveyed through texts. This feature makes it similar to reading a book. Most visual novels have numerous storylines. They also have more than one ending. The structure usually comprises multiple-choice decision options. Here, the player should select a direction where the game will direct. 


Although a visual novel uses narration, its style is not exactly the same as a print novel. Generally, the narrator becomes the first person rather than the third. He or she talks about events from only one point of view. At some key moments, special event computer graphics are shown. These are more comprehensive pictures provided, particularly for that scene. Once unlocked, players usually may view them any time they want. It creates an incentive to replay the game by making various decisions. This is because it is impossible to see all the special events in one play.