Relatively old visual novels that I've played or read...
* Matt's Messy Room translated _Maison Ikkoku Omoide no Photograph_, which was a licensed PC Engine (TG16) adventure game. The interface mostly consists of command prompts such as Open, Move, and Talk. If you're interested, use an emulator that supports save states.
The same people also translated _Pia Carrot_ for PCFX. I think it's a good example of a '90s romance game. There's not much story, and there's some simulation gameplay, but it's not all that difficult. The game is not wall-to-wall porn, and it's not meant to make the player laugh or cry. It's just entertainment.
* _Three Sisters Story_. After all these years, I'm still not sure if I like the protagonist. He did some rather horrible stuff just to help the Okamura family. Also, it seems remarkable that the game allowed the player to make immoral choices. Sure, they usually lead right to a negative ending, but at least the option was there.
_May Club_: Again, this simulation game wasn't exactly complex, and it didn't have much story. But it had a good middle ground in between narrative, gameplay, and NSFW content.
_Rance 1_: Late '80s RPG. I played for a few hours, and mostly enjoyed it. I was surprised by how short the sex scenes were. Overall gameplay wasn't amazing, but it held my interest.
If you were enjoying VNs in the '90s, you might have been tempted to use a term like "moeblob" to disparage characters that didn't have much motivation and similar appearances. Some recent VNs have distinct art styles and interesting characters. However, I don't think the moeblob problem has gone away.
Vintage VNs that I should really get around to playing or reading: Portopia Serial Murder Case, Snatcher, Policenauts, Yu-No, Radical Dreamers, Suikogaiden 1+2, Tsukihime, Air, and a whole bunch more.
Message too long. Click here
to view the full text.