Visual Novel Book Club // Next: 徒花異譚

There’s a decent amount of escape room and puzzle games out there, I think. The Zero Escape series is a pretty popular VN/puzzle series you may have heard of before Kyokugen Dasshutsu - 9-Jikan 9-Nin 9 no Tobira | vndb

There are a lot of detective type VNs out there as well although they mostly just follow the normal VN format of reading long passages with occasional choices that will change how the story plays out. But the Zero Escape series mentioned above does have puzzles for you to solve in between dialogue etc


While looking at reviews for Dandy Shot (because I had to know what it was about :joy:), I found this list of otome games on Switch (that are in English, but I assume Japanese language option or Japan region version will exist for most/all) from 2020. Some of them also have reviews from the person who put together the list.

I though I should share since the list seemed useful to me.


That sounds very interesting as well! Thanks also for your and @MrGeneric other recommendations - will keep them in mind :blush:


Can definitely recommend Professor Layton, I’ve enjoyed those games a lot. (Although I’ve played none of them in Japanese, only in English.)


Innocent Grey has a lot of good VNs that tend to fall under the detective/mystery genre. Only downside is that majority of them are rated 18+ and are generally considered utsuge (“depressing/melancholy game”) so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Outside of their game Flowers, I think all of their MC’s are mid 20s/30s but there are some characters that appear in the story that are teens.

The 殻ノ少女 series might be of interest if you the stuff mentioned earlier doesn’t bother you.


ATRI -My Dear Moments-

Developer: Frontwing,
VNDB Play Time: 13h
VNDB Link: ATRI -My Dear Moments- | vndb
Character count: 235k
Number of weeks to finish: 10-11 weeks


In the near future, a sudden and unexplained sea rise has left much of human civilization underwater.

Ikaruga Natsuki, a boy who lost his mother and his leg in an accident some years earlier, returns disillusioned from a harsh life in the big city to find his old countryside home half-swallowed by the sea.

Left without a family, all he has to his name is the ship and submarine left to him by his oceanologist grandmother, and her debts.

His only hope to restore the dreams for the future that he has lost is to take up an opportunity presented to him by the suspicious debt collector Catherine. They set sail to search the sunken ruins of his grandmother’s laboratory in order to find a treasure rumor says she left there.

But what they find is not riches or jewels; it is a strange girl lying asleep in a coffin at the bottom of the sea.

Atri is a robot, but her appearance and her wealth of emotions would fool anyone into think she’s a living, breathing human being. In gratitude for being salvaged, she makes a declaration to Natsuki.

“I want to fulfill my master’s final order. Until I do, I’ll be your leg!”

In a little town slowly being enveloped by the ocean, an unforgettable summer is about to begin for this boy and this mysterious robot girl…


Nintendo Switch JP Store

Personal Opinion

I think this one was brought up at some point and when I was looking around for stuff it seemed interesting! It seems to be a really well-received and emotionally impactful story, so should be good motivation to push through when it’s challenging. I messed around with the demo (!!) a bit and it has about a billion settings to customize your experience: you can change UI and game language separately, and have multiple languages displayed simultaneously if that’s your jam, even connect TTS to read unvoiced lines if you want, save favorite voiced lines, the list goes on.

Pros and Cons for the Book Club


  • Available on Steam (with a free demo to check it out!)
  • Texthooking appears to work
  • Voiced aside from MC
  • Log with the ability to replay voices and bookmark lines
  • Multi-language settings
  • Highly-rated


  • On the longer side at 13 hours, though that allows for more complex narrative stuff
  • Uncertain of difficulty; in the bit I played there was bit of weirdness that I think is just getting used to writing style, but it doesn’t seem ridiculously hard. If I had to guess, Atri might have some weird speech being a robot and all? But that’s speculation; jpdb has it at a 4/10 for what it’s worth :man_shrugging:
  • I don’t actually know the story so take this with a grain of salt but it seems like it’s probably sad, if that’s not your thing
  • Not fully voiced
  • It doesn’t seem fan-servicey but it’s a bit on the cutesy side which might not appeal to everyone





Difficulty Poll

How much effort would you need to read this book?

  • No effort at all
  • Minimal effort
  • Moderate effort
  • Significant effort
  • So much effort my head might explode
  • I don’t know

0 voters


@natarin Oooh yeah, Atri was catching my eye too. As long as the robot girl doesn’t speak in all katakana we’re good :stuck_out_tongue:

For what it’s worth, it has the nakige tag, and speaking broadly the term does mean “crying game,” so expect it to try hit those emotional peaks. That said, my impression of the term is there’s usually an effort to not actually end at pure sadness, despite how that might sound. Like, bittersweet at worst, but kind of granting some form of catharsis or meaning at the end after the sadness. I can’t 100% promise that’s correct, but it’s my best guess based on what genre knowledge I have. Sounds like that will be relevant to @MissDagger .


Can confirm she doesn’t :joy: I’ve only seen one scene with her which was like a heroic declarative intro kinda thing so my perception might be skewed, but she used stuff like つつある if that gives you a sense of the vibe


Really hard to guess effort for this one based on screenshots. :joy: Probably the easiest dialogs in the game, amiright? xD

Really appreciate this heads up! If I know about it, I can look up spoilers (spoilers don’t ruin stories for me, but I don’t look them up unnecessarily).


Haha, most of the screenshots online were like that! Others just said いらっしゃいませ and whatnot heh. I can probably grab a few manually from the early game myself, later. Figured more than anything it’d be “look at these pretty pictures” for now :sweat_smile:


Haha feels like, yes :slight_smile: Maybe you’d need to update the template to have sections for “use this to gauge reading difficulty” and “use this to gauge beauty of pictures” :wink:

(Speaking of which, your template still says “How much effort would you need to read this book?” - maybe you’d want to change that as well?)


:angry: I changed a lot of them! But there’s always one more than you find! Thanks, will update


I still have the game installed from when I played it before, so I went ahead and took some screenshots if you want to use them in your post to show off difficulty



While scrolling through it, seemed like most of the sentences were relatively short and the game is like 99% dialogue from what I remember, not much descriptive stuff at all so it should be on the easier side.



At least if those aren’t from all over the game but only from pretty early. :joy:


The game is very wild haha but yes, all the screenshots are within the beginning of the game. I just skipped to a few scenes in the beginning to get some different ones, I’d say they all happen within the first hour of the game (assuming fluent reading speed).


Even from those few screenshots I can tell why you’d compared it to FLCL and Excel Saga. I’ll probably be getting this one no matter if it gets picked or not because it seems crazy in a good way (I guess that is what zany is, isn’t it?). Also the art looks gorgeous/fantastic (not sure all of it can be called gorgeous :joy:).


Done, thank you so much. We’ll figure this out together (other people will figure it out and tell me)!

I think I’m more sold on my own pick after seeing the alligator man and whatnot :grin:


Yes! Someone nominated it. :innocent:


Not sure yet if I’m going to participate here (as my Japanese is… well I’d say below intermediate) but I love the idea!
I’ve played a ton of VNs - in English, not Japanese and really cherish the medium
… also I’m kinda heart broken to find out that Amnesia would be recommended as a first Japanese read - and I even have it on steam! but my version doesn’t have Japanese text, only voice :frowning: very sad :frowning:
Nonetheless thanks to this thread I found some resources and finally understood how to use VNs for Japanese studies which is amazing in itself - thanks guys! :slight_smile:


Well, if you already bought it… :pirate_flag:

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