Credit: Joe Hindy / Android Authority
Visual novel is an interesting genre in the game. It’s actually a game, but visual novels don’t play like normal games. The game mechanics are simplified down to the essentials and the gameplay narrative comes first throughout the game. Some of them have mechanics, but they exist almost solely to move 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’s a Japanese invention, so most of Android visual novels are Japanese. Still, you have excellent choices. Here are the best visual novels for Android. We would also like to give honorable mention to Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf Complete it would totally make this list if its last update wasn’t three years ago. Most Android Dating Sims also have some very strong visual novel elements if you prefer to go that route.
Price: $ 19.99 each
Capcom has four Ace Attorney ports on Android and they’re all pretty good. Ace Attorney is a mysterious drama series about Phoenix Wright, a lawyer who solves cases. There are also hidden objects and point and click adventure elements. Basically, you start a case, collect the evidence, question people, and crush your opponents in court. The pace is pretty good and there are mechanics in play to make sure you don’t forget anything. Each game costs quite a bit at $ 19.99 each, but you get the full game with no additional in-app purchases or ads. We have Capcom’s developer page linked to the button so you can browse all four games.
Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Anniversary Edition
Price: $ 15.99
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 children in Hope’s Peak. To leave, they have to murder one of their classmates and get away with it. The story takes you through the story 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: $ 2.99
Florence is a delightful visual novel about Florence. Florence feels stuck in her routine when she meets a Krish. You play through the game as you experience the relationship blossom and mature. The game has some light puzzles and point-and-click mechanics, but it’s otherwise very easy to play. It had a bit of help in its early days since it came from the lead designer of Monument Valley (another great game for a roster like this). This one costs $ 2.99 with no in-app purchases or ads.
Price: $ 4.99
Gray is a puzzle game with more than enough innovative visual elements. You play as Gris, a girl lost in her own world. You help her navigate this world, get in touch with her emotions, and navigate reality. The game has no death or danger, so you can play at your own pace. There are light puzzle mechanics to engage the player as they drift through the game. The art style is good and there is a surprisingly small amount of text as the story is mostly told through visuals. It costs $ 4.99 with no in-app purchases or ads.
If my heart had wings
Price: Free to play
If My Heart Had Wings is a relatively standard visual novel experience. The game also has a lot of cool features including full offline support, plenty of stories to play, and more. There is also a commenting feature which allows you to leave comments on scenes for others to read later. The game is very similar to the PC version. You can play the first half for free, and you pay the rest later. There is also a central arc with branching side stories about each character.
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Life is Strange (two games)
Price: Free to play
Life is Strange is a visual novel style game from Square Enix. You play as Max Caulfield, a high school student able to travel back in time in short bursts. Players make decisions, think about them better, and go back to redo specific parts of the game. You use this ability to discover various things in the game. There is also a prequel to the game, Life is Strange: Before the Storm. Both games are free to download and play for a bit, then you have to pay for the rest of the chapters in the game. These were a bit better on game consoles, but they translated well on mobile.
Mysterious forum and 7 rumors
Price: Free / $ 2.99
Mysterious Forum and 7 Rumors is another pretty typical visual novel. This one is quite short at around two hours and it’s a horror experience. Players make decisions to influence certain parts of the game and there are several different endings to be achieved. Everything takes place on a forum organized by local high school students. There are stories posted about it that are coming true and not in a good way. It’s a short title, but it’s also cheap at $ 2.99. This one is a great little time killer and the story is cheesy, but fun.
OPUS (three games)
Price: Free to play
OPUS is a small series of exploration games. Players explore space as they navigate the game’s main narrative plot. The second title returns the player to a dystopian Earth to help a witch find her way. The two games are not related by theme, so you can play them in any order and each story is completely unique. OPUS: The Day We Found Earth is the first title in the series followed by OPUS: Rocket of Whispers. There’s also a third game, the very short (and completely free) Rocket of Whispers: Prologue which chronicles the events before Game Two. These are very strong demos in the visual novel space and perfectly add elements of open world, sandbox, exploration, and adventure.
Price: $ 4.99
Oxenfree is a horror thriller with elements of adventure, puzzle and exploration. It begins when a group of high school kids unintentionally opens a ghost rift and chaos ensues. It takes a lot of inspiration from the teenage horror movies of the 1980s. The writing is, frankly, exceptional and the game elements match the theme of the game very well. It is technically a port of the PC game and both versions get high marks from the players. This one hasn’t seen an update in a while, so be sure to test it within the refund deadline to make sure you don’t waste your money.
Price: Free / up to $ 2.99
Underworld Office is another kind of visual novel. It follows the story of Eugene, who ends up in the underworld while working in an office. The game features 40 animations, 150 illustrations and seven different routes through the game depending on the choices you make. It should take you several playthroughs to find and experience it all. 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.
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