Adult Game Feature Visual Novel

Top Visual Novels of 2020 / Upcoming Visual Novels of 2021

2020 has been a great year for visual novels. We’ve had a number of English releases of highly anticipated titles. There have been some surprise announcements such as the long-awaited Kimi Ga Nozumu Eien. We’ve seen some good indie releases too.

As we roll over into 2021, I’d like to highlight my top picks for 2020 and mention a few 2021 games that we have to look forward to. As always for these types of lists, they are both subjective and based on the games I have personally played, with some seconded by other members of the NookGaming team. As always, feel free to let us know your choices in the comments below, on Twitter or on our Discord.

Top Visual Novels of 2020
Making Lovers - Title

5 – Making Lovers

Making Lovers is one of those rare romance comedy visual novels where the protagonist and most of the love interests have graduated from college.

It pushes you onto a character route within minutes of starting the game – there’s not much common route here! They’re all about getting to know a woman that you are suddenly pushed into a relationship with, finding a job, working, and moving forward in life. That said, the tone of the routes changed depending on the choice of character and a lot of the details were very different. It consistently makes great use of comedy though.

You can read a full review of the game here or buy the game here.

Robotic;Notes Elite - Featured
4 – Robotics;Notes Elite

Robotics;Notes Elite follows the well-known Chaos;Head and Steins;Gate, but does not require any knowledge of these to enjoy it. Some references may be missed, but it’s a seperate title.

Taking place on a rural island, slightly removed from a slightly futuristic world, you follow a high school club trying to achieve a dream of building a robot. In the background, a conspiracy unfolds throughout the 30+ hour playtime.

Despite some community concerns about the consistency of the translation with previous titles, this was one of the titles I enjoyed the most in 2020.

A full review of the game can be found here.

Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen - Featured

3 – Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen

Utawarerumono: Prelude to the Fallen is a remake of an old 2002 visual novel. It follows the rise of Hakuowlo, a man with a mysterious mask that cannot be removed. It is a story involving constant wars, politics, deceit and between it all, some more relaxed scenes where you get to know a wide cast of characters.

This is an epic adventure story, which constantly builds up until it reaches its finale. It does take time to add in comedic scenes and time to get to know all of the characters though.

A full review of the game can be found here.

Majikoi - Featured

2 – Majikoi! Love Me Seriously!

Majijoi! Love Me Seriously! is an older visual novel which was just released officially in English at the end of 2020. It’s an over the top story about a group of friends who are as close as family and the challenges that they face. It has martial arts battles, duels of the mind and romance.

Despite some issues I have with the visual novel that I go into in the review, it’s a visual novel that I couldn’t put down.

A full review of the game can be found here or buy it here.


1 – YOU and ME and HER: A Love Story

YOU And ME And HER: A Love Story (otherwise known as Totono) is not a sweet and light romance story like many other visual novels I have reviewed. It might seem it at times, but there is certainly a dark side hidden beneath the cover. In many ways, this is a story about choice, possibilities, and eternal love.

The best way of playing this game is without knowing much about it. It will say that it is unique and will be best appreciated by people who are familiar with the visual novel genre.

A full spoiler-free review of the game can be found here or buy it here.

Aokana - Featured

Honorable mention – Aokana – Four Rhythms Across The Blue

Aokana – Four Rhythms Across The Blue was top of our 2019 list and for good reason. It’s still the best visual novel following the sports theme I’ve played. It gets an honorary place on this list as PQube released it on consoles in 2020. NekoNyan has also released the first fandisc in 2020, our review of which can be found here.

A full review of Aokana – Four Rhythms Across The Blue can be found here and the game can be bought on PC here.

Upcoming Visual Novels of 2021

LoveSick Darlings

LoveSick Darlings is an Original English Language visual novel (OELVN). This was expected to release in 2020, but it has since been revised to 2021. Speaking with the developer, they expect the script to be finished by the end of 2020, then editing and polish will be in the new year which makes it sound like an Early 2021 release is likely.

The game follows Sydney, a teenager in an Australian high school. He is surrounded by his group of friends and mostly deals with normal teenage life and drama.

One of the important aspects of this visual novel is that scenes change quite a bit based on player choices. Act nice to Maisy in front of Steph and she may back off. Decide to help someone and their life may change. It’s not a case of just getting enough points to get onto that character’s route.

I took a look at the demo here back in 2019, but things are subject to change in the final version.

Kinkoi: Golden Loveriche - Featured

Kinkoi: Golden Loveriche

While no release date is officially confirmed, Kinkoi: Golden Loveriche has started quality assurance and is planned as a 2021 release. NekoNyan has brought us some quality titles in the past, including Aokana and Sankaku Renai, which is one of my personal favorites.

Kinkoi: Golden Loveriche takes place at a private academy that the wealthy attend. An unlikely event occurs and a princess is attending this year takes a liking to the protagonist who is forced to attend and stay in the women’s dormitory.


UPDATE: This game has now released.

Our review can be found here and it can be purchased here.

Irotoridori no Sekai - Example

Irotoridori no Sekai

Having reached out to Sol Press, they have confirmed that I can list Irotoridori no Sekai as a 2021 release. While moving away from visual novels and closer to light novels, they have brought us favorites such as Under One Wing and Newton and the Apple Tree.

Irotoridori no Sekai is the first part of a trilogy of visual novels. It follows a magician with the ability to heal a person’s wounds, at the cost of his memories, which is an interesting concept. It takes place in a seaside town, linked to another world.

Despite a very good rating on VNDB and praise from the community, Irotoridori no Sekai just barely met its Kickstarter goal. I’m particularly glad to hear that this is coming relatively soon.


UPDATE: This game is no longer being released by Sol Press. NekoNyan will be releasing it instead in 2023 or later, with no confirmed release date. You can find more details here.

What did you think of these choices? What would you choose for the Top Visual Novels of 2020? What are you looking forward to in 2021? As always, feel free to let us know your choices on Twitter or our Discord.

Want to see our choices for the other years? Check out the full list here:

Top Visual Novels of 2023 / Upcoming Visual Novels of 2024

Top Visual Novels of 2022 / Upcoming Visual Novels of 2023

Top Visual Novels of 2021 / Upcoming Visual Novels of 2022

Top Visual Novels Of 2020 / Upcoming Visual Novels Of 2021

Top Visual Novels Of 2019 / Upcoming Visual Novels Of 2020

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