Think of this game as a book. It’s a thing you read.

DatWombat, review for The foreigner

Not dissimilar from reading a “choose your own adventure” book, Visual Novels (or “VNs”) are reading-heavy games where choices matter. Most visual novels feature player-made choices, and multiple endings (based on what choices the player makes). They tend to be extremely reading heavy, being comprised mostly (if not entirely) of text and imagery. Some visual novels use minigames to offset the lack of player interactivity.

A cookie cutter VN consists of reading text boxes, and occasionally deciding between on-screen prompts.  Characters in the story are traditionally represented with static avatars, and CGs are often used for turning points in a VN’s story. In the case of adult visual novels, CGs are most commonly used to display sex scenes.