If you’re a bookworm and a gamer at the same time, visual novels on Switch will help you enjoy story-driven adventures. Such type of games helps you decide how your preferred narrative unfolds. Although visual novels can be perfectly enjoyed on a PC or TV, nothing beats the portability of the Nintendo Switch. Since its release, the Switch has been one of the best consoles that you can play regardless of the genre.
For gamers who love story-based and interactive games, visual novels offer a different kind of excitement. Check out the 25 best visual novels on Switch that you shouldn’t miss!
What Are Visual Novels?
Unlike traditional combat-style games, visual novels focus on the plot and the choices that every gamer will make. The genre features memorable characters, interesting concepts, and exciting plots. It also includes animated character designs and stunning graphics and artwork. From being a zombie shooter to a detective to dating your favorite character, visual novels provide you with numerous opportunities to experience different kinds of roles.
Visual novels on Switch don’t have any interactive combat or challenging gameplay. Instead, they’re more focused on immersing you in the story and the reading experience, hence the “novel” component of the game. They’re called visual novels because they also highlight the graphics. During the 1980s, the first published visual novels had pixel art stylees. Today, they already have standard anime-style settings, animations, backgrounds, and characters.
Visual novels offer minimalist gameplay, integrating a heavy use of narration. Texts are combined with graphic components, including unique characters and background images. Additional features include mini-games, short videos, animations, voiceovers, sound effects, and music.
25 Best Visual Novels on Switch
1. Code: Realize – Guardian of Rebirth
This series-based visual novel features charming characters and breathtaking settings. The Guardian of Rebirth explores a re-invented steampunk era in 1800s London bursting with literary and historical characters. This visual novel features Cardia, an amnesiac, poison-skinned woman residing in an abandoned mansion under the commands of her father, who doesn’t allow her to leave.
Eventually, Cardia’s father vanished and her life turned 180 degrees. She meets curious and distinct characters based on literary and historical personalities, including Count Saint-Germain and Victor Frankenstein. Each romantic potential is admirable and well written, featuring unique personalities. The Guardian of Rebirth also includes intertwined plots, making it one of the interesting Visual Novels to try out.
2. Steins;Gate Elite
Genre: Adventure, Sci-Fi
A highly popular visual novel on Switch is Steins;Gate Elite. It is an upgraded version of the first Steins;Gate series. Steins;Gate Elite has more unique innovations and animations, making it similar to anime and Japanese interactive movies.
In the Elite version, a group of college students has found a way to change the past. Gamers will have the option to control the moves and choices made by Okabe, the main character. Okabe significantly alters the plot of the game, who is primarily responsible for the multiple endings of the game. With complete voiceovers and animations, Steins;Gate Elite brings a new experience of visual novels.
3. The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles
A game set in late 19th century London and Japan is The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles. Each title has five murder-mystery chapters filled with turnabouts, twists, laughter, and drama that you’d expect from a labyrinthine heritage of Ace Attorney. Venture as Ryunosuke Naruhodo, the ancestor of the original series’ Phoenix Wright, as he tries to uncover the mysteries of a well-known international criminal conspiracy.
In The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles, players will solve a mysterious and haunting cold case while accomplishing a series of tricks along the way. This visual novel also includes a help feature in case you’ve already reached the dead-end in your investigation. Despite it being your first Ace Attorney session, you can still enjoy amateur investigating adventures with ease.
4. Coffee Talk
Genre: Adventure, Simulation
Coffee Talk is a unique visual novel on Switch for coffee lovers and baristas. The game lets you control the barista and owner of the coffee shop with a similar name. In Coffee Talk, you engage and have meaningful conversations with customers of different whimsical backgrounds, including mermaids, elves, and orcs. With Coffee Talk, immerse yourself in a fantasy world, with stories of alternative Seattle residents, ranging from an alien trying to understand humanity to a romantic story between a succubus and an elf.
This visual novel features soothing coffee shop vibes, excellent visuals, and a selection of lo-fi and jazzy music to set the mood for late-night conversations over warm drinks.
5. Neo Cab
Neo Cab is a visual novel on Switch set in a neon-tinted automated world, with cyberpunk themes and animations. You play as Lina, the last human taxi driver in a completely overpowered world by automation. She finds herself having to work as a cab driver in Los Ojos where she relocated.
Using the Neo Cab app, you can choose your passengers and drive around the city grid. Establish a connection and interact with your passengers as you drive them to their destination. To keep your job as a taxi driver, you should maintain a perfect rating. Aside from that, you must also balance the needs of your passengers as well as your monetary needs.
6. VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action
Genre: Simulation, Adventure
VA-11 HALL-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action has a dystopian vibe that features a bartender named Valhalla in a popular bar called VA-11 HALL-A. Although it is a hole-in-the-wall type of bar in Glitch City, VA-11 HALL-A attracts the most notorious personalities in town. As one of the interesting visual novels on Switch, Cyberpunk Bartender Action highlights the importance of human connections.
In this visual novel, you must keep your customers entertained and get to know their preferred drinks, personalities, and life stories. Your goal is to provide them with drinks that can transform their lives. Throughout the fantasy world of VA-11 HALL-A, experience the iconic electronic music of Michael Kelly while savoring the stunning Japanese visuals inspired by vintage adventure games in the 90s.
7. Arcade Spirits
The vibrant atmosphere and neon lights of the Funplex are a treat to many Switch gamers. From geeky programmers and imaginative cosplayers to competitive top scorers and strategic professional gamers, gamers portray their own characters with distinct personalities. The main character finds a job in Funplex, and the succeeding narratives will depend on the choices that the player will pursue as well as the relationships they establish with other characters.
As a 100% customizable visual novel on Switch, Arcade Spirits offers the option to play as you desire. Everything will depend on your preferences, including eye/hair color, skin complexion, hairstyle, pronoun, and personality. The future of Funplex will also rely on the decisions you’ll make, including the way you facilitate crisis management and the relationships you want to maintain.
8. Doki Doki Literature Club Plus!
Genre: Adventure, RPG, Simulation
As a disclaimer, Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! is one of the comical-themed visual novels on Switch that isn’t suitable for children and for gamers who are easily disturbed. Although it has the first impression of a cute anime dating game, it is the #1 psychological horror experience with a terrifying blend of romance and poetry.
Considered as one of the popular psychological horror games of the decade, the game lets you play as the main character hesitantly joining the Literature Club in the hopes of finding romance. With every choice you pursue and every poem you create, you’ll attract your crush and the horror of school romance starts unfolding. With a full 1080p HD artwork resolution, you can enjoy 100+ unlockable photos, including concept sketches, wallpapers, game art, and others.
9. Dream Daddy
Genre: Simulation, Education, Adventure, Romance
Dream Daddy is a romance-themed visual novel featuring a single dad with a daughter named Amanda relocating to Maple Bay, a sleepy seaside town. Eventually, you’ll find out that Maple Bay also has many single dads with unique life stories. As a single dad, you’ll meet fellow single dads and establish meaningful connections with either the Bad Dad, Goth Dad, or Teacher Dad. Visit coffee shops with your new friends and discuss the challenges of being a single parent and many other activities.
This Visual novel also features dad-themed mini-games and puzzles, dad jokes, multiple endings, a dad character creator, and seven dateable dads to choose from.
10. One Night Stand
Genre: Adventure, Romance
In One Night Stand, you find yourself waking up in the bed of someone you don’t know with zero to little memory of what happened the previous night. While she gets you a cup of coffee, it’ll be up to you to remember how you ended up in the stranger’s bed. You can either immediately leave, or stay and figure out how you can start a connection with the stranger. With 12 unique endings, you can reveal new insights regarding what really happened the night before.
A visual novel on Switch that explores the capabilities of AI-powered therapy is Eliza. The core of the game features the AI program processed by proxy workers reading the given script. Each script is given in real-time through AI. One of the main proxies is Evelyn, the character you’ll play in the game.
After being fed up with her tech career, Evelyn takes the opportunity to operate the app. Although she has her own difficulties in life to deal with, she offers a helping hand to help the residents of Seattle solve their own challenges. With a diverse selection of endings and interesting turnabouts, Eliza is one of the thought-provoking visual novels that make you wonder about the power of innovation as well as the hazards that come with AI-powered therapies.
SeaBed is one of the thought-provoking visual novels on Switch with a compelling narrative that stirs the player’s imagination and serves as a captivating discovery of mental health, grief, and loss that surround each circumstance. It is an acclaimed yuri-themed visual novel full of mystery narrated through different perspectives of three different characters. The three characters in SeaBed include Mizuno Sachiko, a designer haunted by hallucinations of her ex-lover, psychiatrist Narasaki Hibiki; and Sachiko’s ex-lover Takako.
Although all three characters live in separate worlds, they have the same goal – to make sense of their own lives and separate illusion from truth.
13. Spirit Hunter: NG
Spirit Hunter: NG is a remarkable visual novel influenced by the traditions of Japanese horror, featuring a likable and intriguing set of characters and a creepy storyline. It is a chilling sequel to the award-winning Spirit Hunter: Death Mark, bringing horror as dreadful spirits invade local parks and streets. With Spirit Hunter: NG, you will enjoy the stunning artworks by Artist Fumiya Sumio, and frightful soundtracks.
One of the popular visual novels available on Switch with a touch of romance is Clannad. Although it was released in 2004, Clannad became popular among Switch gamers after it was re-published on the platform.
Clannad features the protagonist, Tomoya Okazaki, in the final year of his studies. As you progress in the game, the gamer can pursue different choices as well as nurture lasting relationships with other characters. With multiple endings, Clannad is integrated with a diverse selection of storylines which makes it more exciting to play all over again.
15. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy
Genre: Adventure, Simulation
Ace Attorney is one of the popular visual novels on Switch and is one of the well-adorned by gamers in the series. It is a long-running series that integrates point and click factors with legal drama and logic puzzles. With an exciting series of courtroom-based gameplay, Ace Attorney lets you immerse in the three of the best games in the trilogy.
You will play as Phoenix Wright, the defense lawyer responsible for proving clients’ innocence in court, searching pieces of evidence, and identifying contradictions in the testimonies of witnesses. Each game will provide several cases, combined with admirable characters, quirky humor, and impressive writing that will keep gamers addicted to the game.
16. Vampire: The Masquerade – Shadows of New York
Vampire: The Masquerade – Shadows of New York represents the mature side of visual novel with a side of humor. Gamers will have a quick dive into the cold waters of vampire-infested Big Apple/New York. Although the game doesn’t have multiple endings, Shadows of New York has all the reasons to keep you hooked. It has excellent writing and great artwork; however, players shouldn’t expect much.
17. AI: The Somnium Files
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Developed by the brilliant mind behind Zero Escape, AI: The Somnium Files is one of the wonderful masterpieces of Kotaro Uchikoshi. The game features Kaname Date, an amnesiac detective who investigates several cases of mysterious and grim murders.
This visual novel offers thrilling and immersive experiences, with comprehensive voice dialogs as well as multiple endings and storylines. AI: The Somnium Files features a flow chart that lets players jump back and forth to accomplish the story paths that they haven’t encountered yet. With an upcoming sequel, you should definitely immerse yourself in the game’s mysteries and wonders.
18. World End Syndrome
World End Syndrome has everything you need from a sassier introduction to visual novels on Switch, featuring in-depth personalities despite women in bikinis. The game has multiple endings; however, it provides a rewarding ending if you prefer completing a single ending only. If you love a well-crafted ending with a little more than the standard anime lady cartoons, World End Syndrome is a perfect visual novel with a significantly gripping and substantial storyline.
Florence is a recreation of the hope, sadness, and beauty that influences any human connection in people’s daily lives. Regardless of it with nature, art, or different individuals. It features a wonderful exploration of moments you can relate to in your daily life. Florence also mirrors feelings and thoughts through mini gameplay mechanics, making it one of the most relatable visual novels on Switch.
20. Chicken Police – Paint It RED!
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Chicken Police – Paint It RED! is created by The Wild Gentlemen and is one of the exciting visual novels in the adventure genre. It runs and looks stunning on the Switch platform, with minor interface issues that can be easily ignored. With approximately eight to nine hours in duration, its story is unexpectedly lengthy for its genre. Despite that, the game is never boring and will leave gamers investigating for more.
This visual novel is a dialog-heavy and story-rich game combining the aspects of classic adventure games and visual novels themselves. Chicken Police feature 30+ characters to question, with a few ones having to be intimidated. Players can collect highly confidential pieces of information, evidence, and clues from the shady personalities of Clawville to use against them.
21. Root Film
Root Film is another excellent visual novel while feeling more grown-up and unique compared to Root Letter. It is a thrilling adventure game with the aspects of a visual novel. You play as Rintaro Yagumo and a cast of memorable and distinct characters as they quest into a thrilling mystery. You can become your own investigator as you discover the truth through detective gameplay mechanics. This provides a new component into the visual novel genre.
With Root Film, visit a diverse range of locations across the Shimane prefecture as you try to reveal the truth about the Shimane Mystery Drama Project.
22. Murder by Numbers
Genre: Adventure, Puzzle
Murder by Numbers has managed to integrate entertaining wacky components with a properly selected cast of interesting characters. As well as intriguing factors that keep Picross fans entertained for a good reason.
With Murder by Numbers, players will investigate a variety of murders across drag clubs, award shows, TV studios, and other venues. Players are accompanied by an energetic playlist from popular composer Masakazu Sugimori. This visual novel will provide you with the option to unlock a dark conspiracy by questioning a diverse selection of characters.
Genre: Adventure, Strategy
Gnosia is a sci-fi RPG in which players will participate in discussions with different unique characters. The goal is to identify Gnosia among the crowd. They must use whatever pieces of information they can obtain during discussions to discover who they expect are Gnosia and then vote to put them to deep sleep. With an in-depth story and simple game mechanics, Gnosia is a must-try for murder mystery fans.
24. Across the Groves
Across the Groves offers a magical-realism touch with a time-travel storyline. Each chapter will approximately take an hour to complete. If you want to play Across The Groves again to enjoy its multiple endings, you can easily skip as desired. With excellent writing, Across The Groves is inevitably one of the best visual novels on Switch.
Developed by MoaCube, Cinders offers a closer experience of what it’s like living in a fairytale. It features a strong protagonist and mature themes in one whimsical setting. With unique art styles and diverse personalities, Cinders may initially have a vibe similar to the classic Disney movie, Cinderella.
However, this visual novel features unexpected turns and several twists that will surprise you more than you’d expect. With more than 300 choices to pursue and a variety of decisions affecting the outcome of the story. You have the option of how Cinders’ story will unfold as well as the kind of person she portrays.
Reasons to Play Visual Novels on Switch
Switch gamers who aren’t used to trying out uncommon genres may automatically dismiss visual novels as boring. Although you might be a fan of other genres, here are reasons why visual novels are worth trying out!
Although some visual novels on Switch have one end, a few have multiple endings. While you may think you’ve already accomplished the game, you’ll eventually find out there are more gameplays to discover. Depending on the type of gamer you are, extended playthroughs should interest you.
Unlike traditional Switch games, multiple endings can sound mundane. However, visual novels have more exciting reruns. Unlocking all possible endings can make you feel more accomplished. Multiple endings can immerse you in the story. Allowing you to experience different angles of the story, get to know other characters, and try other settings.
Versatility of Characters
Visual novels provide you with more opportunities and extended gameplay to get to know different characters. The more you invest in a character, the more you will get to know their quirky side, preferences, and personalities. As you progress in the gameplay, your relationship with that character also changes. Some characters you’ll like while some you despise, making visual novels more exciting and diverse.
Stunning Graphics and Artwork
Given they have minimal animations, visual novels inevitably have stunning artwork and graphics. Although the characters have different positions once in a while, their specific motions aren’t as diverse compared to typical games. That said, the style and artwork are both a huge emphasis on every visual novel game. Some games feature pixelated, retro-themed artwork while others have anime-inspired visuals. Regardless, you’ll have a gorgeous character and backdrop to look forward to as you progress.
Visual novels on Switch are the epitome of one of the particular niches in anime-themed Japanese gaming on the platform. Since they are a hybrid between novel and gaming, visual novels offer a distinct charm. It’s one of the phenomenal genres that are produced strong narratives for many years in the world of gaming.
Although visual novels aren’t entirely adored by the West, numerous ones already captivate the global audience. What started as a Japanese trend has influenced the international community, especially an anime-inspired game that does all the wonders. The only way to determine if you’ll be hooked on visual novels is to try one for yourself. Hence, start your venture by choosing one of the best visual novels on Switch we’ve listed in this guide.