Kismet's Visual Novel Fan Profile


Empress with her Knight

CG from the Imperial Grace demo by Synstoria


Now that I've played through a number of visual novels, I have a good handle on what my preferences are. And now that I've started reviewing VNs here, it might interest you to know what I look for in them. These are just things I've noticed so far; some of my opinions may change as I encounter more novels, but many of them probably won't because they're consistent with what I enjoy in other media. Since there are so many VNs out there, it's worth considering what you want out of them.


Hand-drawn Western style art preferred. I'm okay with anime-style art; it's just not my favorite. I haven't been able to get into pixel art yet.

Art > text-heavy or text-only VNs. I come to visual novels to see the characters and locations in some motion, not just a few static pieces with walls of text.

Pet peeve: The younger and more cutesy the characters appear to be, even if they're supposed to be adults, the less I'm interested.


OST: Music > silence. As long as it fits the story, I don't care if the music is original or not.

Sound Effects: Nice but not a dealbreaker.

Voice Acting: At least partial for main characters = preferred

I love voice acting and voice actors. I know some voice actors are new or trying to find their stride and performances will vary, so I'm pretty forgiving. I've backed Kickstarters raising funds for voice work and it's worth every penny!



Subtitles are a must; I came to read, yo!

Rewind or text log preferred because I get interrupted sometimes or click too fast and need to go back.

Characters & Relationships

Brash and Bright

Sir Brash, a pretty problematic guy from Demonheart by Rolling Crown

Main Character: Female preferred; I'm a big otome fan! But I'll play other genders, too.

Friendships: Sure. It's especially interesting to see a variety of friendships.

Romances: Yes please! With a variety of conversation options to build relationships, from flirting to deep conversation. And options for love interests and orientations! I'd love to see more options for polyamorous relationships.

Rivalries/Enemies: As long as they're not one-note, grating bastards all the time.

Morally Sus Characters: Oh yes! It's okay if they're twisted, confused, selfish, etc. - but I'd like chances to learn why they're that way and to see other sides to them.

Under 18 Characters: No thanks; I like my stories to be about adults.

Choices & Endings

Iris and her other self

Iris 2 introducing a branching point in the Still Joking demo by Purple Brick Games

Branches > linear.

I like choices and lots of 'em! (Demonheart totally spoiled me in this regard; blame/thank Lamb.)

I don't expect every choice to directly impact the flow of scenes or the ending but it's best if some do. I'm happy if choices let me learn more about characters or the world or develop relationships further. I love having a variety of attitudes in the responses the MC can give (serious, bratty, sarcastic, etc.) so it feels like I'm building a personality for them.

It's nice to have at least a few endings to shoot for. I don't mind having a whole bunch as long as I can find a guide to get 'em all.

Mature Content

Roman and Carmen in a violent standoff

Roman holding Carmen at swordpoint in the explicit Sanguine Rose by DuskyHallows

I'm good with a broad variety of mature content, and most VN descriptions do a good job of letting you know what's in the story.

Ideologically Sensitive Material: I'm open to many topics, but I've found myself not wanting to deal with religious abuse in my VNs.

Nudity: I enjoy it when the creators want to provide it. We have some wonderful artists in visual novels who can really show the beauty of bodies.

Sex: I definitely like it to be an option! Text-only is okay; erotic CGs are nice; animated scenes are cool. Unless it's a primarily erotic novel, it's good if you can skip sexual involvement, though. Sometimes you're in the mood, sometimes you're not. Yes, I'm an amare game fan.

"Strong Language": It doesn't bother me, even in historic or fantasy settings.

Violence & Gore: I'm usually fine with it.


Hair and skin tone selections

Hair and skin tone options from the Imperial Grace demo by Synstoria

It's nice to be able to choose a name and pronouns for the main character, but I'm okay if I can't.

I like to see the MC, at least from time to time, but I know many VNs don't offer that.

If I can see the MC, it's nice to be able to choose some aspects of what they look like. I haven't played a visual novel that offers costume changes yet but I am interested in that.


I've been drawn to fantasy and horror VNs the most, as well as VNs that blend the two. I haven't actually read many traditional fantasy novels, even though I like the genre, so it's stood out to me that I seek out fantasy visual novels. I've seen sci fi games that look interesting but just haven't felt the urge to get them yet.

Unique Systems

The main character using a shadow power

The main character of the Sigh of the Abyss: Shadow Bonds demo by Rascal Devworks using a shadow power

Character Attitude Systems: I love systems that result in distinct attitudes for the main character!

Hybrid RPGs: I've only played one hybrid so far, and it wasn't as good of an experience as I'd hoped it would be. I go to action RPGs to run around, fight monsters, get gear, and all that; I go to visual novels for character interactions and story. Playing a hybrid means I can't easily skip ahead after trying new choices and that gets frustrating.

Puzzles: Simple ones are okay but I'm not interested in a lot of them or high difficulty ones.

Resource Management: These kinds of systems can be fun, as long as they're not so tricky and demanding that it becomes a slog.


Micro VNs are fun to read over my morning coffee, but I prefer games that take 3-4 hours per playthrough and need 3+ playthroughs to get most of the story, achievements, etc.


Right now, I prefer Steam because it's easy to take screenshots and I love taking screenshots throughout. I also like having achievements to aim for, but I can live without them.

That said, I want to support other platforms that make it easier for creators to publish their work, aren't quick to reject novels with sensitive content, and don't take a huge cut of the profits. I'm looking into ways to take screenshots while playing the games I download from


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