Free idol-themed visual novel
Whispers of the Luminaries is a free-to-play role-playing game (RPG) from the VN Heaven team. This visual novel sports a high-quality anime art style, combining detective mysteries with a colorful idol simulation experience. As detective Taichi Fukuda, you can spend all your free time solving a case, improving yourself, or building bonds with the idols themselves.
A diverse, high-stakes storyline plus a good cast of characters make Whispers of the Luminaries a good game. Also, it makes good use of standard VN features like immersive soundtracks and a smooth UI. Other games include Doki Doki Literature Club or Needy Streamer Overload.
Explore the dark side of the idol industry
In Whispers of the Luminaries, you play as the 19-year-old detective Taichi Fukuda. As an apprentice to the world-renowned detective, Eiji Hoshiko, Taichi is privy to some of Japan’s high-profile cases. This time, it concerns the disappearance of an idol. This premise gives players a peek into the glamorous and often-romanticized idol industry, something that has been referenced in works such as the anime and manga series Oshi no Ko.
As a visual novel, it features quality character artworks, with the developers capturing how each of them conveys a range of emotions. As the young, dashing detective, you are given a wide range of activities. You can choose where to hang out: a cafe, gym, park, or the office. Each of these locations improve one of your stats, which determines the skills and storylines available to you.
You can focus on solving the case or pursue one of the multiple potential love interests, ensuring an increased replayability value. To add to this, there are randomized events in the game. The only setback in this game is that some aspects remain under optimized, such as delayed text displays and minor interface issues. Also, for non-fans of the visual novel subgenre, expect a lot of text.
A well-written mystery novel
Although you can play it like a detective game or as a dating sim, you have to recognize how Whispers of the Luminaries is a well-written mystery story at its core. It takes tropes from both the visual novel subgenre and detective anime works and creates a game that has an immersive story. Basically, this is a VN that you get to play over and over again.