Otome Dating Sims (Girl pursues Boy)
RE: Alistair++ (Sakevisual) – A full FREE game available at Sakevisual’s website. I’ll be doing a belated review of it later this week, because it is pretty much the standard that I judge dating simulations by. And it’s free. Why are you not downloading it now?
Always Remember Me (Winter Wolves and Otome Games) – Easily Winter Wolves’ best game, Always Remember Me is a stat-based otome and life simulation game that, like other Winter Wolves games, has an excellent mechanics system and beautiful execution. It’s available on their website for $19.99
Dating Sims (Boy pursues Girl)
Katawa Shoujo (Four Leaf Studios) – A free, high-quality episodic game with beautiful art, a creative story, and very appealing characters. It is, however, wordy as fuck and the interaction between player and game is minimal. Still, it is a very strong story and is worth checking out. Available for free here.
The Flower Shop (Winter Wolves) – I think this is the game that people associate with Winter Wolves more than any other. It sets the WW standard for excellent mechanics and professional game production. Available here for $15.
Jisei and Kansei (Sakevisual) – Easily my favorite series, period, and you can expect a full review as soon as I get my hands on Kansei. In both games, you take control of a mysterious, nameless protagonist to solve murder mysteries with his ability to see a victim’s last moments. Available here for $15 each.
9 Persons, 9 Hours, 9 Doors (Chunsoft, published by Aksys games) for the Nintendo DS – If you own a DS and will only ever play one visual novel, let me tell you – PLAY THIS ONE. There is so much to love. My full review is here. Available for $29.99 on Amazon.
The Ace Attorney series (Capcom) for the Nintendo DS – Pretty much the ur-example of English language VN releases and probably the most icon non-dating-sim VN available on the English market. Available for about the same price as most DS games, ie, about $20-$50 depending on where you buy it.