Let's Take a Look at the WORST Visual Novels on Steam

Going over the reason why these visual novels are just horrible in design, plot, and gameplay!

Book lovers dream of becoming a part of a story, and with visual novels, they can make that dream into reality. Visual novel games mix both video games and books through text, images, and little gameplay.

Steam provides a large variety of visual novels, from science fiction to a slice of life. The digital storefront also includes anime titles, like CLANNAD, Higurashi When They Cry, and STEINS;GATE. While visual novels share interesting narratives and characters, not all visual novels are that great.

That’s why we are going to look through what kinds of visual novels that are completely unbearable to play!

It Comes Around -- “Boo!” Doesn’t Cut it

Ghosts, monsters, and demons -- horror narratives explore supernatural aspects that can spook anyone. With visual novels, players can experience that terror in an engaging and new way. Developers must project sense fear into the players, but sometimes, the game fails at doing so because of the lack of certain elements. It Comes Around is one of those games.

The story focuses the students and teachers of Sugimori Occult Club, where they performed a ritual to solve the death of a female student. In the process, they become trapped inside the school with no escape.

Not going to lie, the game sounds pretty terrifying, especially when performing a ritual. But its elements, like design and music, do not add to the horrifying atmosphere. Because of its simplicity, the game overlooks the tension and panic from the characters, leaving horror fans disappointed.

Secrets of Me -- Too Much Corn For Anyone to Handle

Romance is a popular genre in visual novels, specifically otome games. Otome is a type of story, where a one female character (aka the player) falls for a few male characters. Usually, Otome games contain unique and rich narratives, but sometimes, those mushy feelings change into overwhelming cringes -- especially when it comes to its clique writing.

For instance, Secrets of Me starts off a protagonist, getting plastic surgery, in order for Yamada Ichiro to fall in love with her. She then meets a detective who teaches her the fundamentals of crime investigation. Using her detective skills, she discovers that Ichiro cons women into marriage. Although she was devastated, she meets four men and stalks them in order for them to break up with their girlfriends.

This game may be different from typical otome games, but the corniness does not change by having lines, like “You were so beautiful, I got quite aroused.” On top of that, the images between the guys and protagonist seems too clique to even feel believable.

PacaPlus -- WTF Pretty Much Says It All

It Comes Around and Secrets of Me might be bad, but other visual novel games take bad to another level. The artwork may look cute, and dialogue might be funny, but the whole concept can be just too abnormal for anyone to take, just like PacaPlus.

The story puts players into the shoes of Kazuma Saeki, a high school student, living his typical life with his girlfriend, Yukari Izumi. After Kazuma and Yukari visit the "Alpaca Kingdom," he wakes up to find an alpaca that acts and talks like Yukari.

The plot alone just makes this game completely odd. If weird stories interest you, this game definitely is for you. I mean, who wouldn't want an alpaca as a girlfriend? Well, not me. PacaPlus just takes weird too far, and into the realm of creepy, disturbing, and downright just wrong.

Overall, visual novels are great! The ones on this list aren't.

Steam contains the worst visual novel games, which hides the depths of the website -- just like, It Comes Around, Secrets of Me, and PacaPlus. These are a big reason why visual novels are not that popular among gamers, because they show the worst of the genre.

All in all, visual novel games can go either way -- bad or good -- and bring out its own potential, depending on who enjoys them. As long as they don't make the same mistakes as those games, any visual novel can be enjoyable to play!


Hello! I love both games and writing, and one day, I hope to write a story that would develop to becoming a video game.

Published Apr. 17th 2017

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