Ah, summer is in full effect, which mostly means staying in to avoid the heat and maybe even finding romance in a nice comfy visual novel. To help you out, we’ve created a list that expands all the visual novel releases we could track down this summer to help you hit your summer reading goals. Be sure to let us know what you’re looking forward to in the comments below.
Nukitashi (PC | June 22, 2023)
Imagine an island made for people who want to take a trip to pound town. Ruled by pervert law, Seiran Island is just like that, an oasis for the people who want to enjoy one of the big pleasures in life. However, not everyone feels like that and a group of virgin kids just want to get in the way of the fun.
As a dude insecure about his “little guy,” it’ll be up to you to lead a resistance group called “No Love, No Sex.” Along with various beauties who also want to end the situation and maintain their purity, the player will have to make an effort to stop this tyranny once and for all.
Onigokko! Fandisc (PC | June 23, 2023)
Back in 2021, JAST released Onigokko! in the West, and now they’re back for more. The fandisc expands ALcot’s romcom ramp inspired by Momotarou’s tales with epilogues to all heroines and a new route with the protagonist’s little sister.
Onigokko! tells the story of a young boy called Keisuke Urabe, whose family is related to the legendary Phantom Thief Ura. However, as someone posing as him shows up, he and his sister are forced to look into matters and move to Miyajima Academy. There they find some cute girls as opposition to their claim to the hidden special treasures.
With Eyes of Ice (PC | June 23, 2023)
Ebi-hime is quite the accomplished Western visual novel writer, doing various interesting games every year with the help of different illustrator partners. One of her next titles this year is With Eyes of Ice, a kinetic novel that leans towards the otome spectrum.
The game tells the story of Gréta Egillsdóttir, a girl loved by three men. Having left a small farming village to a distant fishing one, her experiences with love seem to not be meant to be. As she’s close to dying in the cold Iceland, she tries to think back on her choices and actions that led her to this precarious situation.
My Little Sister’s Special Place (PC | June 26, 2023)
My Little Sister’s Special Place is the second of three games in Feng’s Seiiki series. While the previous game focused on Youhei’s relationship with his childhood friend Fuyuka, this time we get to enjoy more time with Yukana, his blood-related younger sister who has a crush on him.
Yukana is the kind of girl who can act sweet at times but gets angry at her brother for being dense, wishy-washy, and not giving her a clear-cut answer to her feelings. After the two spend some time together with no one else around, they’ll grow much closer. Considering the previous title, this will likely be a comfy, light-hearted experience.
Charade Maniacs (Switch | June 27, 2023)
Charade Maniacs is an otome game about a high school girl who ends up being kidnapped and taken to a mysterious world called Arcadia. In this place, they have to act in a drama. If they’re successful, they’ll have any wish granted.
With all these strangers around and one of them being a traitor, it’ll be up to our heroine to choose who to trust. As an otome game, you can expect love to bloom between the protagonist and her partner, and with nine options of love interests, there’s bound to be at least one who picks your attention.
Loopers (PC | June 27, 2023)
Written by Ryukishi07, Loopers came to Switch in 2022 and will soon be available on Steam. It was originally planned for an April release, but Visual Arts/Key had a tougher time with making it Steam Deck-compatible than they expected. With that out of the way, though, the new date is June 27.
Loopers is a kinetic novel that tells the story of a high school student called Tyler. Obsessed with a GPS game, he wants to use all his free summer vacation time in “scavenger hunts.” However, as he and his friends get together, he soon notices strange things with the day resetting and playing out the exact same way as the previous one. Learning about a group of people in the same situation as them, they’ll have to look for a way out of this loop.
Amarantus (PC | June 27, 2023)
After 10 long years of development, indie developer ub4q has finished her “disaster relationship visual novel” Amarantus. The game tells the story of a young man called Arik Tereison, who has always heard that a tyrant rules the country and someone should deal with him.
Once he decides to do something about the situation, he joins a party of old and new friends who may become closer to his cause or drift apart depending on your choices. Making decisions will lead to hard circumstances and some unforgettable poor outcomes for the bisexual mess called Arik.
Grisaia: Phantom Trigger 5.5 to 08 (Switch | June 29, 2023)
The final chapters of the Grisaia: Phantom Trigger series will be collected into a single package on Nintendo Switch. With great illustrations by Akio Watanabe and story by Ryuuta Fujisaki, this Grisaia sequel series focuses on a revamped Mihama Academy turned into a specialist training school.
The new package includes volumes 5.5, 6, 7, and 8, which is the finale of the war between CIRS and SORD’s combined forces and the religious organization The Fatal Answer. As the games are all-ages from the start, there’s little reason to get the PC versions instead of this package if you’d like to play it comfortably on handheld mode.
Love Shore (Xbox, PC | June 30, 2023)
Perfect Garbage’s cyberpunk story will be available soon on Steam. The game allows players to choose between protagonists Sam and Farah, who are both cyborgs created by a now-defunct company. As non-aging individuals born out of human experimentation, they struggle to forge meaningful connections in the neon streets of Love Shore.
It’ll be up to the player to navigate a messy thread of relationships that can lead to romance or even enmity on the other spectrum. Each protagonist has different personalities, and the game has 8 different storylines with 25 possible endings, so it’ll be interesting to see how things will play out according to player choice.
Trouble Comes Twice (PC | July 14, 2023)
Trouble Comes Twice is an upcoming visual novel developed by German studio Foxglove Games. The concept here starts with a silly bet between the twins Hazel and Jace. Both of them are bisexual messes who have never had a serious relationship before, so they decide to bet on who gets a boyfriend or girlfriend first.
This silly excuse to look for love will let them meet four special partners (two boys and two girls) that will hopefully show them a magic time. As the protagonists have different personalities, the routes are also supposed to not just be a body swap for them so we’re looking forward to seeing the potential couples’ dynamics.
Succubus Sessions: Mami Mamiya’s Sweet Slice of Hell (PC | July 21, 2023)
Koichi Hirose is a loser, plain and simple. Everything he does ends up tragically bad. However, one day, as he’s walking through a crowd, he meets a pink-haired succubus called Mami Mamiya, who desires his body. Actually, he has strong powers that make him well suited for the energy-sucking rituals.
Moving into a succubus village, our protagonist may have the time of his life with the girls but these services are lethal for the average person. The choice of taking her hand means he’ll never be able to return to his old life. However, all those good times with our endowed beauty will likely make it worth the effort.
Radiant Tale (PC | July 27, 2023)
A unique circus is in town, but they’re all bad at their jobs? Radiant Tale tells the story of Tifalia, a girl who wanted to leave behind her boring life. Going into the CIRCUS performance, she notices how much of a failure they are and ends up being invited to become a manager despite having no previous experience.
Now it’ll be up to her to contain the chaos of this troupe and make sure they can become a big success. The team includes a dragon who loves tickling people, a water creature who doesn’t like using his magic powers, a cynical clown who can’t get people to laugh, a boring acrobat, and even a drunkard mascot. What we do know is that she has her work cut out for her.
The Shell Part 1: Inferno (PC | July 28, 2023)
Known in Japanese as Kara no Shoujo, The Shell is an HD release of the classic investigation visual novel that had already come out in the west many years ago. Praised as one of the most gripping dark stories of the genre, this absolute classic will now return with Miki Sugina’s beautiful illustrations in their best form and full Japanese voices. The two sequels are also coming later.
The Shell Part 1: Inferno tells the story of a private detective called Reiji Tokisaka. As a series of mysterious murders of young women are taking place in Tokyo, he starts investigating the cases. As he infiltrates Oba Girls’ Academy as a teacher, he soon finds out this case will not be simple.
Tomorrow Will Be Dying (PC | July 31, 2023)
Tomorrow Will Be Dying is a visual novel about a girl called B. She has always been a little weird, but she managed to be popular at school due to her princely charm. Hiding her true self from others, she ended up feeling at ease in an occult club with other weird individuals that just let her enjoy her hobbies like collecting bugs.
As the years passed, only she and N stuck together while the other guys drifted away. Now 19, B studies entomology and has the chance to reconnect with her old friends, meet new people and find herself reigniting traumas of the past. The story promises to be poignant, and its pastel art style looks fresh and comforting.
Norn9: Last Era (Switch | August 24, 2023)
The otome game Norn9 came to Switch earlier this year, and its fandisc, Last Era, will finally have an English release on August 24, 2023. Expanding on the original game, this new story has the chance to fix some plot holes and give players some more time with the boys.
The game includes a summary of the original’s story, some scenes of when each character joined the mysterious Norn ship sent by the organization The World, a new epilogue, and a comical side story about the characters being turned into chibi versions and having to complete missions to return to normal.
Clover Day’s Plus (PC | August)
Based on the latest edition of the 2014-released ALcot visual novel, NekoNyan’s edition of Clover Day’s is close to release, though no release date has been announced yet. Expect cute girls like usual from NekoNyan’s license picks.
Clover Day’s tells the story of a boy raised in an orphanage in English. After moving to Japan with his adoptive father, he made various friends. However, ten years later, as a young man trying to live a fulfilling life, his relationship with the girls may change into something else while he tries to keep true to his bonds and the promise made long ago.
Sharin no Kuni: The Girl Among the Sunflowers (PC | August)
After so many years of waiting, Sharin no Kuni is finally coming west in August… we hope. The classic love story was released in Japan in 2005 and a 2016 Kickstarter localization project met its goal but over the years the game faced turbulent circumstances keeping it from its promised 2017 release.
Sharin no Kuni tells the story of a young man called Kenichi Morita who moves into a country town for his Special Elite final exam. However, what he sees in this place are girls forced to burden debilitating duties like never growing up or never falling in love. He soon learns multiple shocking truths and realizes this dystopian society he lives in isn’t a paradise.
ANONYMOUS;CODE (PS4, Switch, PC | September 8, 2023)
Even people outside the visual novel fandom may recognize the Science Adventure Series due to the stellar hit Steins;Gate. Now the next title in the franchise is coming west this September, thanks to Spike Chunsoft, and it even features an English dub option besides the Japanese voices.
The story follows a young man called Pollon Takaoka, who leads a group of hackers. One day, he meets a mysterious girl called Momo, and his life is forever changed by this encounter as he helps her escape from a group of assailants and learns a technique to save and load states in real life. Conspiracies pile up all around him, and he’ll have to use this power to find the best ending among a myriad of poor outcomes.
Geminism (PC | September 29, 2023?)
Over two decades have passed since Craftwork’s latest visual novel project, the classic Sayonara wo Oshiete, but they’re back for more in 2023. Geminism is their next title, which will be released on PC with erotic content as one of its central points as the developers feel there are stories that can only be told by embracing the format despite how some other creators have been distancing themselves from it over the years.
Geminism tells the story of twin sisters fighting each other for supremacy. The developer has yet to unveil the motivations of this dispute but they also have their own mysterious man at their side. The game will be released in Japan on September 29, 2023, and the company has already revealed it’ll be available in English, though we don’t know yet if this will be a simultaneous worldwide release or not.
even if TEMPEST: Dawning Connections (Switch | Summer 2023)
Developed by Voltage for the Switch, Even if Tempest was a refreshing otome game focused mostly on a plot about going back in time, trying to undo your tragic life and finding even more despair awaits you along the line before any chance of grasping salvation. With small trial sessions in between the story beats, we must go through each love interest route before reaching the true ending.
However, the game left a big hole when it comes to romance, which is the most important element in an otome game. As such, Dawning Connections is a fandisc that promises to extend your time with the boys and hopefully give Anastasia a chance to have some kisses and bonding she was denied in the original game.
Fragile Feelings (PC | Q3 2023)
Fragile Feelings is a yuri kinetic novel by Ebi-hime about a teacher and the school nurse getting intimate with each other. Described as a slow burn romance, the game tells the story of a young woman called Ann Clements. After discovering she’s terminally ill, she was sent to an all-girls’ boarding school in the countryside.
However, she gets to live more than expected and decides to help the school as an assistant teacher. As a new nurse joins the school, the two end up getting closer, opening up to each other. This relationship may be an important step in Ann enjoying her life and expanding her horizons.
WHITE ALBUM: Memories like Falling Snow (PC | Q3 2023)
White Album 2 is widely regarded as one of the best drama visual novels the media has ever produced. That said, the original White Album game is also a classic of the genre, and Shiravune is bringing the HD remake of the 1998 game West this year.
White Album tells the story of a college man whose girlfriend is quickly ascending the ranks of stardom as a musician. However, her career success has also negatively impacted how much time he gets to enjoy her presence. Now players’ choices will define if their love will continue strong amidst this blizzard or if they’ll drift away from each other.
I know that was a lot of releases, and with the state of announcements, there may be even more than this. However, we just wanted to share with just how much this genre is flourishing. So which visual novels here caught your eye?
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