Chicken Police - Paint it RED! (Switch eShop)

An extremely impressive first game from The Wild Gentlemen, Chicken Police - Paint it RED! is one of the best visual novel/adventure games we've played in a long, long time and one hell of an absorbing tale. It looks and runs great on the Switch, with only a couple of really minuscule interface issues which are easily ignored. At roughly eight or nine hours, the story is surprisingly lengthy for its genre, but we were never bored and wanted to investigate every little thing just to wring out more precious droplets of banter and fascination. Chicken Police is a polished, captivating experience and we're very excited for whatever's coming next from this team.

Murder By Numbers (Switch eShop)

Murder By Numbers successfully manages to combine an entertainingly wacky series of whodunnit mysteries starring a properly entertaining cast of characters with some excellent puzzling that'll keep Picross fans happy for a good long while. There's an engaging, funny narrative at the centre of proceedings, and you'll find yourself rooting for Honor and SCOUT as they make friends and alienate people on their way to solving murders and finding out the truth behind SCOUT's mysterious past. This one's an easy recommendation and a genuinely delightful surprise.

Gnosia (Switch eShop)

Between the surprisingly deep plot for such a simple game, the clever narrative explanation of the mechanics, and enough chaos going on in the discussions to keep you guessing, we had a lot of fun with this one. Gnosia's simple game mechanics and deceptively deep story make it a must-have for visual novel and murder mystery fans; it's just a shame that the music is so poor. Even so, if you give it a chance it's highly likely that you'll fall in love with each member of its diverse cast – just in time for them to kill you.

Florence (Switch eShop)

Florence is an evocation of the beauty, sadness and hope that comes from any human connection we make in our lives, whether with art, nature or another person. It's a succinct and incredibly successful exploration of moments you'll recognise from your own life, and the way it mirrors thoughts and feelings through small gameplay mechanics makes it one of the most affecting experiences we've enjoyed on Switch, or any other platform.

Doki Doki Literature Club Plus! (Switch)

Don't discount Doki Doki Literature Club because it's cute, because it's pink, or because it's an anime dating game — this is one of the most unnerving, effective horror games on the Nintendo Switch. The extra content adds nicely to the creeping anxiety and the heartbreaking story, but the Switch version does end up feeling slightly inferior to the PC version, despite fantastic effort on the port. You won't lose anything by playing this version, though — if it's the one you want, go for it!

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Love Esquire (Switch eShop)

Love Esquire is a straightforward and fun visual novel/dating sim with simple but effective design and gameplay, surprisingly strong production values, and a fantastic voice cast. This isn't a game trying to push the boundaries when it comes to inclusivity, but it is an enjoyable romp and a relatively 'safe' introduction to the saucy side of the genre for those unfamiliar with its tropes.

Winds of Change (Switch eShop)

This is thoroughly absorbing piece of fiction that manages to justify being a video game by virtue of skillfully integrated choices and missable content, making multiple playthroughs a potentially appealing prospect. The voice acting throughout is extremely impressively performed, the UI and controls are nearly perfect and the art is beautifully drawn, though we felt the characters could use a few more poses/expressions at times. Anyone interested in a ripping virtual novel yarn — and who isn't tediously prejudiced against any and all 'furry' content — will find a lot to love in Winds of Change.

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles (Switch)

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is two brilliant games for the price of one, and it not only gives us more of what we love, but gives us something that is visually, narratively, and historically deeper than ever before. There's a bit of a learning curve that you'll have to get on top of to meet the game where it's at, but honestly, we couldn't have asked for a better version of the game we've been wanting for years.

Danganronpa Decadence (Switch)

Danganronpa Decadence is a very fine package that delivers a trio of deliciously devious and salacious murder mysteries, plus a grindy side-game we can live without. The main games here are funny, dramatic and pretty problematic, so exercise some caution — this is resolutely not a game for kids, but even adults will struggle with some of its less savoury or more overtly brash, thoughtless content. If they sound at all appealing, though, we urge you to check the games out for yourself, as they're classics in the visual novel genre. Trigger Happy Havoc offers a memorable Killing Game with fantastic characters and a genuinely funny and smart script. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is even sicker and more delightfully disturbing than the marvellous original; it doesn't match its predecessor in some ways but makes up for its shortcomings in others. Our favourite is definitely the epic third game, though — go in blind and we promise you'll be in for the ride of your life.

The House in Fata Morgana: Dreams of the Revenants Edition (Switch eShop)

The House in Fata Morgana is over 40 hours long, and in those 40 hours, you'll maybe get to make about three decisions. It is a visual novel in the strictest sense of the word, and you must be prepared for that going in. But with a fantastic, original, slow-burn story about love, loss, hurt, forgiveness, and recovery, it's one of the best visual novels out there — and your patience will be paid off in the end.