Chaos;Head Noah / Chaos;Child Double Pack (Switch)

Chaos;Head Noah is a great point for players to jump in if they’re new to the genre, and its direct sequel — Chaos;Child — is a step up from its predecessor and has every right to stake a claim at being the best game in the Science Adventure series. Visual novel veterans will find plenty to enjoy in both games, with a story that goes to some dark and unsettling places and a huge amount of content, particularly in the latter game. With solid characters and some genuinely surprising twists, fans of visual novels will want to get their hands on at least one of these games, if not both.

OPUS: Echo of Starsong - Full Bloom Edition (Switch eShop)

OPUS: Echo of Starsong is a lovely game and an emotional adventure that represents the apex of the series to date. It's easily one of the best story-driven games on Switch, and it's also excellent value for money, offering around ten hours of gameplay for its low price — or more if you really take your time and soak the whole thing up the way you really should do. Even with simple, familiar character designs, the characters themselves are complex, interesting, and likeable, and the story told with them is a complete, satisfying tale. Oh, and when the opening suggests playing with headphones? That's a hard agree from us, both to help with the music-based puzzles and simply to enjoy the excellent score.

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Digimon Survive (Switch)

Digimon Survive was one of the best visual novels to come out in 2022, with plenty of heart and tension to carry you through to the final act. Fans looking for an engaging story with well-written and presented characters that deal with life-and-death situations will enjoy the ride, while players focused on the combat will probably find that the game comes up short. Despite its sluggish, padded start, Digimon Survive was well worth the long wait.

PARANORMASIGHT: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo (Switch eShop)

Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is one of the most surprising games we've experienced in a good while. Its overarching narrative, while initially quite heavy on exposition, is wonderfully told, interweaving the lives of multiple protagonists and tasking the player with progressing their stories in meaningful ways. The puzzles are fantastic, the characters well realised, and the visuals top-notch, making those brief moments of horror and terror exceedingly effective. It's an experience we fully recommend going into with as little information as possible, as this will prove to be an incredibly memorable experience; one that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Switch's best visual novels.

TRON: Identity (Switch eShop)

TRON: Identity won’t wow anyone with its puzzles, but it does a great job of telling a tight story that changes with each playthrough. The short playtime encourages you to explore the world a bit more and uncover new truths that you missed because of your previous actions. If this is the start of a series of Tron visual novels, which the plot certainly feels like, then we’re hopeful we get to continue our journey with Query very soon.


Just as the Science Adventure games posit that human perception affects reality, not every player will experience ANONYMOUS;CODE the same way. For those new to the franchise, this latest entry is an imaginative if conceptually dense sci-fi romp. For those who have played the other entries, it’s something more — a gratifying culmination of thematic and narrative strands roughly 15 years in the making. Either way, ANONYMOUS;CODE has something special to say about the universe, the soul, and video games as a medium.

Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy (Switch)

We genuinely can't believe how lucky we are that the Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy games exist, let alone that they've been lovingly polished up for the Switch. Here is some of the best writing you'll find on the console, and it's a steal for all three games plus extras. A couple of bumps here and there are to be expected with such a wealth of content (three games, DLC, and extras), but they barely leave a dent on the brilliance of this well-written and beautifully illustrated trilogy.

Bahnsen Knights (Switch eShop)

If you’re intrigued by visual novels and their potential to delight, then the Pixel Pulps series is arguably the best possible place to start. Bahnsen Knights is the third entry and it’s pretty damn wonderful. With its tighter emphasis on gameplay, it's arguably the best of the three, though that would be like choosing your favourite child, and it’s okay to love them all. Bahnsen Knights is an easy recommendation and one which becomes even stronger if you’re interested in horror and weird tales.

Those are our picks for the best visual novels on Nintendo Switch, but there are tons on the system. We've got a whole host of honourable mentions if you're jonesing for more after checking out the cream of the crop:

Think there's something missing from our list? We'll be expanding this selection with more worthy entries in the future, but let us know if we've missed something and we may add that, too.