In my last article, I made some recommendations for videogames that I thought might appeal to a romance reading audience. The first batch of games I discussed were the ones I categorised as More Like Books, that is you require essentially no gaming experience or technology to experience them. In my next article, I’ll be looking at the games that are More Like Games, that is the ones with strong, conventional videogame tropes and mechanics that might be less accessible to a non-gaming audience. This article is about the ones in the middle. You won’t have to circle strafe anything or worry about optimal gearing but there’s enough “game” in these games that you might not necessarily get the ending you want.
Visual Novels With Resource Management
In the last article, I recommended a bunch of visual novels as an easy introduction to what you might call digital storytelling. The next, well, I hesitate to use the phrase step up because that implies a progression but the next step gamier from straight VNs is what I’m loosely describing as VNs with resource management. Like traditional visual novels, these games are primarily told through text and images with gameplay restricted to selecting options from lists or menus. The big difference is that there’s usually a more abstract level to keep track of as well the purely narrative choices like “do I kiss the butler or the duke.” You might find that your character has numerical stats to manage that go up or down depending on what you do. You might even have control of a small stable of other characters who can achieve things on your behalf to greater or lesser degrees of success. There might even be fighting in it.
Here are a few of this sort of game that I’ve enjoyed recently: