[Top 15] Horror Visual Novel Games To Play Today

Um... Can I help you?

As we have been boiling alive since this summer, we need spine-chilling horror stories that give us goosebumps to cool us down. I made this list especially for the people who think the spooky season should be all year round. I got ya’ll.

15. Doki Doki Literature Club (PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Mac OS, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Windows, Linux)

Doki Doki Literature Club! Trailer

It would have been a crime if this critically acclaimed visual novel wouldn’t have been on this list. If you just heard about this game… Hi? Where have you been all this time? The game is from the perspective of a high schooler who reluctantly joins the literature club because of the pleas of his childhood best friend. After he joins the book club, he meets his horrifyingly beautiful love interests. The game is so well-reviewed because the plot structure is doesn’t follow the usual algorithm of a visual novel. The game resets itself, one character breaks the fourth wall multiple times, and you have to access the game files to proceed with the game. Also, don’t forget that it’s just Monika.


14. Firework (Windows)

Firework Trailer

Even though the game doesn’t have an English translation on Steam yet, I can easily appreciate the game for its atmosphere and it is great for anyone who appreciates Chinese culture. Follow Lin Lixun who investigates a crime scene in a remote Chinese village after there was an accidental fire. The investigation takes a twist as the police officers are delving deeper into it. If you are a fan of East Asian horror, be on the lookout for February 4th for its release.


13. Tiny Bunny (Windows, Mac OS, Android, Linux)

Tiny Bunny

This is another game on the list that isn’t fully out yet. While there are only two out of five episodes out, the Steam community gave it an incredible amount of Overwhelmingly Positive reviews. The story follows Anton who moves his family in the Siberian woods, where children are missing and no one can find traces of how they disappeared. Thi game has many immersive elements such as the soundtrack and the Russian dialogue. Even though it is still early access, the game has a lot to give. 


12. Steins; Gate (PS4, Android, PSP, PS Vita, PS3, iOS, Windows, Xbox 360)

STEINS; GATE Steam Trailer

Steins; Gate is the game that should be recommended to any visual novel enthusiast. After a group of students finds out how to send emails to the past while using a microwave, the quirky leader of the group, Okabe Rintaro, uses this device to help prevent the death of one of the group members, while also helping the other members of the group achieve their dreams. What makes the game interesting is the usage of emails via Okabe’s phone that affect the plot of the game.


11. Higurashi When They Cry (Android, Linux, Mac OS, PSP, Nintendo DS, Windows, PS2)

Higurashi: When They Cry Promotional Game Trailer

This is a classic horror series and the first chapter is free on Steam! After Keiichi and his family move to a remote village named Hinamizawa (I think I see a pattern here hmm…), he hears rumors of yearly murders. Keiichi decides to look into the mysterious murders himself alongside a group of girls. Sounds like a safe and fun activity to me! The game received a remaster and the art style is a lot more elaborate, and the characters have proper hands now compared to its initial release, so it is worth checking it out. The writing of this game is amazing, and the atmosphere that is set is bone-chilling especially when the music cuts off and you just know that shit will hit the fan.


10. The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters (PS4, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Linux, Mac OS, Xbox One)

The Coma 2: Vicious Sisters - International Trailer

Does anyone remember that Korean webcomic in which as you scroll through the comic the ghost jump scares you? If you are looking into Korean horror stories like the one I mentioned just now, here is a perfect recommendation for you. Mina Park wakes up in her school but something feels off. She knows that something is wrong when her teacher stalks her through the school. Try and survive the Sehwa district as everything seems to want to hunt you down. Craft different objects that could protect you, and remember not to use your flashlight for too long!


9. Umineko When They Cry (Xbox 360, Linux, Mac OS, PSP, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Windows)

Umineko - Trailer 1 - PS3

This is a murder mystery that follows the events of a family reunion on a remote island. The reason for the gathering is that each family member is after the inheritance of the eldest member. During the family reunion, they receive a message from a witch that is said to live on the island, and then shortly after that strange murders occur. The action of the story is reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, with the mysterious deaths of each person on the island. The game is long but worth the play, and definitely worth its money. 


8. Hashihime of the Old Book Town (Windows, Mac OS, Android, Linux)

7. Zero Escape: The Nonary Games (PS4, Windows, iOS, Nintendo DS, PS Vita)

Zero Escape: The Nonary Games Release Trailer

When nine people get kidnapped and taken to an unfamiliar place, they find themselves forced by an evil mastermind to put their lives on the line. At the beginning of the game, everything seems very confusing, but as everything gets pieced together, it gives you an “OOOH” moment. Zero Escape has interesting and mind-boggling puzzles that keep you hooked. The writing of this game is amazing and I can’t recommend this game enough. If you like escape rooms, you’ll definitely enjoy this game.


6. Corpse Party (Android, PS Vita, PSP-E1000, PSP, Nintendo Switch, iOS, Windows)

Corpse Party: Launch Trailer

This is another cult classic for the horror visual novel enthusiasts. After a group of high schoolers performs an occultist ritual, an earthquake transports them to another alternate reality to Heavenly Host Elementary School. This group is trying to survive the attacks vengeful spirits of young children. The story is gripping and complex, and you’ll have to face twists and turns at every step of the story. There are many corpses in this game, but no party. The title is very misleading but I’ll let it slide this time.


5. Tokyo Dark (Windows, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Mac OS)

Tokyo Dark | Launch Trailer | Square Enix Collective | PEGI

Tokyo Dark is a detective horror visual novel that focuses on detective Ito who is in the search of their missing partner. The choices you make during the game will affect Ito’s story and sanity, so you’ll have to be mindful of your decisions. The story is intriguing, but the English version of the game has a pretty good grasp of Japanese culture which influences the game a lot. The anime cut scenes are well made, and it has multiple endings. The game is quite short, but it’s worth the money if you play through all the endings. 


4. Detention (PS4, Android, Nintendo Switch, Windows, Mac OS, Linux)

Detention | Launch Trailer | PS4

This is a game my university professor has recommended after we learned about the White Terror era of Taiwan’s history. As you may have noticed in this list, I am a big fan of historical horror stories. What makes this game so unnerving is that it is inspired by a real-life historic event that haunts the people of Taiwan to this day. This game is quite short, so I recommend playing this in one sitting so you can fully immerse yourself in the story. 


3. What Remains of Edith Finch (PS4, Nintendo Switch, Windows, iOS, Xbox One)

What Remains of Edith Finch Official Launch Trailer

This game is known for winning the 2018 BAFTA Game Awards, Best Narrative awards at GDC 2018 Choice Awards, 2018 SXSW Gaming Awards, and the Game Awards 2017. This is the game that should get anyone into visual novels. Follow Edith as she explores the Finch family mansion trying to discover why she is the only person left in the family. Even though this game isn’t the typical text block visual novel, what makes it a visual novel is watching how the story unfolds in front of you.


2. Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc (Android, PSP, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS Vita, iOS, Windows, Mac OS, Linux)

Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc Trailer #1

Everyone in Japan knows of Hope’s Peak Academy. High schoolers who are naturally insanely talented in their field get to go to this academy. After the painfully average Makoto Naegi gets invited to attend the academy, he gets stuck inside the building with his other classmates. The students quickly find out that the school’s principal, an anthropomorphic bear named Monokuma separated them from the real world and the only way to get out is to kill the other students without getting caught. I keep saying that these games have amazing writing, and it is because they do, but this game has amazing writing. 


1. The Song of Saya (Windows, Android)

Saya no Uta ~ The Song of Saya - Official English Trailer

After Sakisaka Fuminori survives a terrible accident, he finds that something in his brain affected his perception of his day-to-day life. Everything seems to rot and decay in front of his eyes, but suddenly he meets someone who seems normal. This game has been brought by the same developers who came up with Steins; Gate and the same writers behind Fate/Zero, Madoka Magika, and Psycho-Pass, so it is safe to say that this romantic horror story is of high quality and unforgettable. 


If you enjoy the horror genre of games, here are some recommendations for you:

Top 15 Best Indie Horror Games for PC

Tokyo Dark: A New Horror Game for Anime Fans - 5 Interesting Things You Should Know

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