Chunsoft

チュンソフト

Japanese Company
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Succeeded by: Spike Chunsoft

Chunsoft, while little-known in the west, is the originator of the "Novel" format of games, with Otogirisou (1992) being the first videogame ever to use the now-common format of full screen text on a background image plus occasional selection branches. Chunsoft introduced the series with the "Sound Novel" brandname, which they trademarked. The "Sound Novel" name is just as popular as "Visual Novel" in Japan.

While "Novel" games are mostly associated with anime art in the west, Chunsoft's original Sound Novels did not use the art style for most part. Instead, they use various art styles, sometimes even using styles very rare in videogames. The first game, Otogirisou, used 2D pixel art (due to limitations of the ROM size), but later games like Kamaitachi no Yoru used photographs or 3DCG scenery combined with silhouettes, and few games such as Machi or 428 even went as far as to using a large number of filmed-on-location live stills using real actors.

Chunsoft games also feature experimentation in the structures of the narrative. Kamaitachi no Yoru had a standard branching plot; Otogirisou and Imabikisou had the narrative moving back and forth across a mesh of multiple subplots; and Machi and 428 had what they called a "Multi Fragment" narrative structure, which had multiple protagonists running in parallel, interlocked with each other.

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Releases

1985-11-29Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jiken(developer)
1985-11-29   Portopia Renzoku Satsujin Jikendeveloper 
1992-03-07Otogirisou(developer, publisher)
1992-03-07   Otogirisoupublisher
1999-03-25   Sound Novel Evolution 1: Otogirisou Soseihendeveloper, publisher
2001-04-12   Sound Novel Evolution 1: Otogirisou Soseihen - PlayStation the Bestdeveloper, publisher
2006-11-16  Otogirisoupublisher 
2007-08-28   Otogirisoupublisher 
1994-11-25Kamaitachi no Yoru(developer, publisher)
1994-11-2517+   Kamaitachi no Yorupublisher
1998-12-03   Kamaitachi no Yoru Tokubetsuhenpublisher
1999-12-02   Kamaitachi no Yoru Tokubetsuhen - Playstation The Bestpublisher
2002-04-0117+  Kamaitachi no Yoru minipublisher
2002-06-28   Kamaitachi no Yoru ADVANCEpublisher 
2002-07-0117+   Kamaitachi no Yoru internetpublisher
2004-01-3017+  Kamaitachi no Yorupublisher
2006-07-2715+   Kamaitachi no Yoru Triple: Mikazukishima Jiken no Shinsoudeveloper 
2007-02-1317+   Kamaitachi no Yorupublisher 
2011-02-01All ages   Kamaitachi no Yoru - Android Editiondeveloper, publisher 
1998-01-22Machi(developer, publisher)
1998-01-22   Sound Novel Machipublisher
1999-01-28   Machi ~Unmei no Kousaten~developer, publisher
2002-04-04   Machi ~Unmei no Kousaten~ Sound Novel Evolution 3 - PS One Booksdeveloper, publisher
2002-07-18Kamaitachi no Yoru 2 ~Kangokujima no Warabe Uta~(developer, publisher)
2002-07-1817+   Kamaitachi no Yoru 2 ~Kangokujima no Warabe Uta~ Special Boxdeveloper, publisher 
2002-07-1817+   Kamaitachi no Yoru 2 ~Kangokujima no Warabe Uta~ Regular Editiondeveloper, publisher 
2003-04-0317+   Kamaitachi no Yoru 2 ~Kangokujima no Warabe Uta~ PlayStation 2 The Bestdeveloper, publisher 
2004-12-1617+  Kamaitachi no Yoru 2 ~Kangokujima no Warabe Uta~developer, publisher 
2006-05-2517+   Sega the Best: Kamaitachi no Yoru 2 - Special Compilationdeveloper 
2006-07-2715+   Kamaitachi no Yoru Triple: Mikazukishima Jiken no Shinsoudeveloper 
2006-07-27Kamaitachi no Yoru Triple: Mikazukishima Jiken no Shinsou(developer, publisher)
2006-07-2715+   Kamaitachi no Yoru Triple: Mikazukishima Jiken no Shinsoudeveloper 
2007-02-15  Kamaitachi no Yoru Triple: Mikazukishima Jiken no Shinsoudeveloper, publisher 
2007-10-23Imabikisou(developer)
2007-10-2315+   Imabikisoudeveloper 
2008-08-0715+   Imabikisou Kaimei Hendeveloper 
2008-12-04428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de~(developer)
2008-12-0415+   428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de~developer 
2009-09-0315+   428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de~developer 
2009-09-1715+   428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de~developer 
2010-12-0215+   428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de~ Spike the Bestdeveloper 
2011-11-0312+   428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de~developer 
2011-11-03   428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de~developer 
2018-08-0713+   428: Shibuya Scramble Demodeveloper 
2018-08-2415+   428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de~ Trial Editiondeveloper 
2018-09-0413+   428: Shibuya Scramble - NA Download Editiondeveloper 
2018-09-0413+   428: Shibuya Scramble - NA Package Editiondeveloper 
2018-09-0615+   428 ~Fuusa Sareta Shibuya de~developer 
2018-09-2116+   428: Shibuya Scramble - EU Download Editiondeveloper 
2018-09-2116+   428: Shibuya Scramble - EU Package Editiondeveloper 
2009-12-10Kyokugen Dasshutsu 9-Jikan 9-Nin 9 no Tobira(developer, publisher)
2009-12-1015+   Kyokugen Dasshutsu 9-Jikan 9-Nin 9 no Tobiradeveloper, publisher 
2011-12-1515+   Kyokugen Dasshutsu 9-Jikan 9-Nin 9 no Tobira - Chun Selectiondeveloper, publisher 
2010-07-22Trick x Logic Season 1(developer)
2010-07-2215+   TRICK×LOGIC Season 1developer 
2010-09-16Trick x Logic Season 2(publisher)
2010-09-1615+   Trick x Logic Season 2publisher
2011-12-17Shin Kamaitachi no Yoru: 11ninme no Suspect(developer, publisher)
2011-12-1717+   Shin Kamaitachi no Yoru: 11ninme no Suspectdeveloper, publisher 
2011-12-1717+   Shin Kamaitachi no Yoru: 11ninme no Suspectdeveloper, publisher 
2012-02-16Kyokugen Dasshutsu ADV Zennin Shibou Desu(developer, publisher)
2012-02-1615+   Kyokugen Dasshutsu ADV Zennin Shibou Desudeveloper, publisher 
2012-02-1615+   Kyokugen Dasshutsu ADV Zennin Shibou Desudeveloper, publisher 
2012-02-1615+   Kyokugen Dasshutsu ADV Zennin Shibou Desu - Download Editiondeveloper, publisher