August is a slow month, so I decided to break the monotony and try out a few Visual Novel Dating Sims created by other people. I played four that are at least interesting enough to check out.
Story by Superawesomemans
Graphics by Sylakone2
Download and Online play link
This is the newest and the best of the four that I played. It involves meeting and getting to know your college biology lab partner Celina. It is also the hardest of the four as you have to balance charming Celina with getting a good grade on you Biology report. (no, you do not need to know anything about Biology to play)
The first time I played I got an F, and she hated me after that, but eventually I got to know her VERY well.
Hints: Besides choices at the bottom, there are also choices embedded in the pictures, especially in obvious make out scenarios, you will not get far without them. If you completely give up there is a walkthrough available.
Sam Spillane, PI
Story and Graphics by Fleet
This is a game you can download and play on your PC. Not sure if there are other versions available.
Fleet was one of my volunteer closed beta testers for Something’s In The Air and he is pretty good at what he does. He has a few games out, but I picked this one to play mostly because I like the idea of a period visual novel in black and white.
Hints: The story is pretty linear, and there is a mystery to solve, the game is won if you can solve it, but since you are allowed to save the game at any point, you can “cheat” and save the game before you have to accuse somebody.
Virtual Date Girls: Lucy
Story and Graphics by Chaotic
Online play link
This is a browser based game which uses embedded links in the pictures to make choices. Like Inspiring Celina above it is built with Tlaero’s Adventure Creator, which explains why the two games have a similar look.
I decided to play this one because 1.) it is short, and 2.) the adventure is told from the girl’s perspective for a change. There are three different sexy endings.
Hints: Seemingly meaningless actions can end up being of consequence later in the story. If you need a walkthrough, you can find one here.
Secrets of Heaven
Story and Graphics by Leonizer, Agrippa, and Graen
Online play link
Lesson of Passion games tend to be the most erotic of these visual novel games. Even their plots seem inspired by adult fiction and porn films. This one is nice and short (only 4 endings). It also seems to be heavily inspired by Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, which is a bit of a change. I like the change of pace from their usual fare. I haven’t found a walkthrough yet though, but it is not that difficult.
All four of these games are comparatively short compared to my two visual “Novels”. Also they are for the most part set in different times and/or take original perspectives. The story telling is very different in each. Inspiring Celina is very detailed, you really get to know her. Secrets of Heaven on the other hand finds some rather flimsy excuses for nudity and sex.
Part of what is driving me to check out other works is to inspire my next work. I want to do an all Rachel Spahr game next. Like Lucy above, I want to tell a story from Rachel’s perspective. I have already established that Rachel has a vivid imagination, which I can use to tell the story in different fantasy settings. I also want to think smaller, doing a series of visual “short stories”, like the above four, as chapters in a bigger story.
Still got a ways to go before I even start that project, but in the mean time I might try a few others out for inspiration.