This blog post was going to be about visual novels and similar games. But I can’t get my head around the information, these games a very similar and have their own differences which make them so hard to explain.
So, visual novels are these games that came from Japan and mostly stay in japan (However you can get fan translations of games and some do get released outside Japan and then there’s the few made outside of Japan. You can actually buy a few games on steam). They are interactive stories that are told with pictures and blocks of text. Most of them use branching paths. But then you have games like dating sims, Bishoujo Games and Eroge.
These games all follow the same style. They normally use a resolution of 800×600. The top larger part of the window are for images while there’s a horizontally oriented rectangular box below for text. Characters are drawing in the anime/manga style. The stories are often told from first person. Popular games will often get turned into animes, mangas and more.
A dating sim is short for dating simulation, typically you play as a male that is surrounded by female characters (you are in a harem), you pick one of the female characters and try and woe her over time. There are also dating sims where you play as a female surrounded by males.
Bishoujo Games are similar to dating sims, Bishoujo means pretty girl. In these games you are surrounded by pretty anime girls. I have no idea how this differs from dating sims, in fact I’d say Bishoujo games are like a sub group of dating sims. Because then you have Otome game (Otome meaning Maiden) which are aimed at females and is known as a revered harem, where the main character is female surrounded by males.
Eroge, which is an abbreviation of “erotic game” (So never say eroge game, because then you are just saying erotic game game). These are also known as Hentai (pervert) games. Which are like the adult version of dating sims, once again I’d say these eroge are sub groups of dating sims.
For a long time I use to think visual novels = dating sims, but that’s not really the case.
There are games such as 999, Virtue’s Last Reward and phoenix wright which are all visual novels but not dating sims. These games are more action and puzzle and lack any love interests.
And then there’s something called “Raising sim” the goal is to improve another character via training and educating. Kinda like pet games. They are also known as “Life simulation game”. In some raising sims you need to train a girl into an idol or turn a girl into a queen… wot?
So that’s everything I seem to know about visual novels.
In my mind I think visual novels are like the “Family”, dating sims, raising sims, ect are like the Genus while Bishoujo, otome and eroge are like the Species of dating sims.
Still, this game genre can be a bit confusing.