Saturday, June 13, 2015

Circus Ranks - Top 5 Anticipated Visual Novels of 2015

This past year, I've become a lot more involved in the visual novel scene than I have been previously, probably due to that whole thing where I'm trying to write visual novels. This has also involved me looking around for new visual novels to play, which of course leads to finding things like announcements and Kickstarters and all sorts of goodies. And this leads to me being excited for projects, only to sigh when I remember that they aren't quite out yet.

For the first in another little series, here are my top five anticipated visual novels of 2015. Do keep in mind that none of these are out yet; I will link to demos and/or websites where applicable.

5. Ladykiller in a Bind by Christine Love

The title on the image up there is in fact the game's full title, but its developer, Christine Love, tends to refer to it by the shortened moniker of "Ladykiller in a Bind" and I think I'm going to do so as well for the sake of my fingers. From the developer of such well-known titles as "Digital: A Love Story" and "Analogue: A Hate Story" comes this, described as "an erotic visual novel about social manipulation and girls tying up other girls." I think the title, combined with that descriptor, tells what it's about well enough. It seems like it will be a lot different from Love's previous titles, although this game will apparently include computer interaction as well. It also seems very different from visual novels in general, something it does share with its sister games, and stands out as something to look forward to.

Ladykiller in a Bind is currently projected for release in 2015. For more information, see the developer's website.

Edit: Projected release date has been pushed back to 2016.

4. Myth by Circletempo

Myth is a doujin game about a boy who lives in a world without shadows, and how his life changes when he meets a mysterious girl who does have a shadow. It was picked up by Mangagamer and successfully Greenlit on Steam, but I can't seem to find much more information about it (other than the developer's website itself, which is in Japanese). It doesn't have a release date and Mangagamer's website doesn't list it as having any translation progress. Still...I've heard good things, and I like the trailer, and I feel like the game is going to present a good mystery about things not being what they seem. And maybe some tragedy as well.

Myth currently does not have a projected release date. For more information, see the Steam Greenlight page.

3. Cursed Sight by invertmouse

Being rather strapped for cash most of the time, I was first attracted to Cursed Sight by the low entry cost. The lowest pledge was only $3 and it came with a digital copy of the game. You can't do much better than that. But I also liked the premise a lot, and when I played the demo, I was very impressed with what I saw. It tells the touching and sad story of Miyon, a girl born with a powerful ability that makes her both a great asset to her king and a danger to the people around her. The game starts when a boy named Gai is sold into a temple by his parents and tasked with looking after Miyon. I expect that the full game will impress just like the demo did.

Cursed Sight is currently projected for release in late 2015. For more information, see the developer's website.

Edit: This game has been released! See my review of it here.

2. Starlight Vega by razzartvisual

A Kickstarter that started out small and blew up thanks to some good marketing and also to getting picked up by publisher Sekai Project. It follows Aria, who moves into her grandfather's old house and somehow manages to end up getting a demon named Lyria attached to her via a magical stone. Her best friend, Melody, tries to help her undo the spell, and in the process all three uncover unexpected feelings for the others. I'll admit that I like GxG games, and this one is of course going to be full of it. But I also enjoyed the demo quite a lot and I think the premise lends itself to all sorts of fun shenanigans.

Starlight Vega is currently projected for release in late 2015. For more information, see the developer's website.

Edited: Projected release date pushed back to 2016.

1. Clannad by Key Visual Arts

All right, get ready to smack me upside the head...I have never read Clannad. I've heard plenty about it, can identify certain characters and story aspects, but just never got around to trying it out myself. It certainly looks very nice, and I've enjoyed the other Key works I've read. Unfortunately, I was a little late in noticing the Kickstarter for the English version and thus didn't get to be a backer. However, I have been consistently impressed with what I've seen from both Key and Sekai Project, and that combined with this game's overwhelmingly positive reputation are enough to have me plenty excited for release day.

Clannad is currently projected for English release in the fourth quarter of 2015. For more information, see Sekai Project's Kickstarter campaign.

Edit: This game has been released!

The opinions expressed in this article are my own. I was not compensated in any way for this article.

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