The popular Japanese video game franchise, Danganronpa, has gathered a massive fan base in the past few years. This adventure visual novel has been the subject of positive reception for its compelling characters, the intensity of the Class Trial segments, and many other hair-raising, sometimes confusing features.
If you have played through all the Danganronpa games and are craving a new mystery, here are 15 games like Danganronpa that you can buy and play right now.
15. The “Ace Attorney” series
Capcom’s adventure video game series “Ace Attorney” is popular among gamers with a penchant for mysteries. In this game, you cross-examine witnesses and utilize evidence to either convict or acquit. This is similar to the Class Trial element of “Danganronpa,” where the player uses evidence from conversations with NPCs to refute the arguments of those who are testifying.
It is also in a visual novel-like layout, much like the structure of “Dangonronpa,” so “Danganronpa” fans will be comfortable with the gameplay of this series. The most recent installment in this series, “The Great Ace Attorney 2: Resolve,” was released in August 2017.
14. The “Professor Layton” series
Similar to the “Ace Attorney” series, the “Professor Layton” games revolve around mystery-solving skills in a puzzle-adventure genre. The puzzles take place in a variety of mediums, including logic puzzles, mazes, and sliding blocks, among many others.
A “Danganronpa” fan will enjoy these games due to their element of mystery and the need to use logic and reasoning to solve the mysteries throughout the games. This game also had a crossover with “Ace Attorney” in 2014, called “Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.”
The most recent installment of the “Professor Layton” games is “Layton’s Mystery Journey,” released in July 2017.
This 2016 visual novel-style game set in a dystopian authoritarian country will leave the player wondering what is going on the entire time. The player is a government worker involved in state surveillance, responsible for finding and preventing threats to national security.
Like many other visual novels, it relies heavily on its narrative aspect. Danganronpa players will find this suspenseful mystery game thrilling and intriguing.
12. “Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders”
Released in 2016, The ABC Murders is based on Agatha Christie’s novel of the same name in its plot and in the murderer’s identity. It is a point-and-click adventure game wherein the player must solve the titular “ABC Murders.” It was met with mixed reviews, but its similarities to “Danganronpa” are unmistakable.
11. Exile Election
This 2017 visual novel game released both for the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation 4 is highly similar to Danganronpa in its plot and its gameplay. Trapped in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, the characters must reckon with a mechanical doll named Alice, who forces the characters into a survival Olympics.
This premise is highly similar to that of Danganronpa with the elements of entrapment, death games, and forced murder. Much like the protagonist of the first Danganronpa game, the protagonist of “Exile Election,” Kaname Ichijou, can see lies spoken by other characters in the color red.
This proves useful for proving that the other characters are engaging in deceit and hiding massive secrets from him.
10. The “Corpse Party” series
If you are more of a fan of the macabre side of “Danganronpa,” the “Corpse Party” series is for you. The gameplay is based around Japanese high school students who, after an earthquake, become trapped in a haunted schoolhouse in an alternate dimension.
The primary task is to escape. This element is where it gets highly similar to Danganronpa, as the player must interact with their surroundings, talk to NPCs, pick up objects, and inspect documents to find the way out. The most recent installment in the “Corpse Party” series was “Corpse Party Blood Covered: Repeated Fear,” released in Japan in February 2021.
9. Shinrai: Broken Beyond Despair
This one even has “despair,” a recurring theme in the Danganronpa series, in the title. “Shinrai,” released in August 2016, is a murder mystery visual novel featuring trope-based but dynamic characters and mysterious twists that leave the player on the edge of their seat.
In “Shinrai,” 10 friends are trapped in a remote mountain resort and it is revealed that one of them is a murderer. It is then the player’s objective to find out who it is. To make it unique from “Danganronpa,” the game has five possible endings.
8. Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
This Capcom adventure game released for the Nintendo DS in 2011 is less gruesome than other games on this list. It centers around a ghost whose goal is to find the person who killed him.
The protagonist, Sissel, has no memory of his past. Using “ghost tricks,” the player is able to solve puzzles that lead to the revelation of Sissel’s murderer. While it is dark in its plotline, this game is much more lighthearted than Danganronpa.
A player looking for a more easy-going experience that maintains the elements of death and puzzle-solving will enjoy a playthrough of this classic game.
7. Fatal Twelve
This Japanese visual novel was initially released in 2018 after a successful Kickstarter campaign and was localized to English in 2019 by the Sekai Project. Centered around Shishimai Rinka, a high school-aged girl, who survived an explosion and wakes up in a mysterious place.
She and the other 11 people are then forced to participate in what is called the “Divine Selection.” The prize? Undoing their untimely demise. Much like Danganronpa, this game requires the player to gather information on the NPCs, including the circumstances surrounding their deaths.
Many players have said that “Fatal Twelve” is their favorite visual novel, and, with its vast similarities to Danganronpa, it is no wonder.
6. The “Zero Escape” series
Initially released in 2009, the “Zero Escape” series is popular among fans of the visual novel format. The nine main characters are kidnapped and held captive by a person code-named “Zero,” and they must play a life-and-death game to escape.
The visual novel structure and the puzzles throughout the game are highly similar to those of Danganronpa. In fact, the first two games in the “Zero Escape” series were developed by the same developer as Danganronpa.
The puzzles throughout the games are presented in escape-the-room formats, as well as sliding puzzles and mini-games. All these puzzles must be solved with clues around the rooms in which the characters are trapped. The most recent game in this series, “Zero Time Dilemma,” was released in 2016.
5. The Wolf Among Us
Breaking away from the visual novel genre, the 2013 Telltale Games mystery-drama “The Wolf Among Us” features many of the same elements of Danganronpa. The protagonist, Bigby Wolf, must investigate a series of suspicious deaths. The plot is distributed throughout the five games in the series, the last of which was released worldwide in July 2014.
Much like Danganronpa, Bigby Wolf talks to the NPCs and is given dialogue options. The options the player selects have an effect on the outcome of the game, as they affect the NPCs’ views on Bigby. Those who are fans of clue-gathering and crime-solving will fall in love with this cult classic.
4. The “Sherlock Holmes” series
Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “Sherlock Holmes” stories, this Frogwares series allows the player to solve mysteries, including murders, while enveloped in the Victorian-era world of Sherlock Holmes.
While the protagonist, detective Sherlock Holmes, and his companion, Dr. John Watson, are taken directly from Doyle’s stories, each game in this expansive series has an original plot and storyline.
Much like Danganronpa, the player must find scattered clues throughout their environment that lead to closed cases. The latest installment, titled “The Devil’s Daughter,” was released in June 2016.
3. AI: The Somnium Files
This 2019 Japanese adventure game centers around detective Kaname Date, who investigates serial murder with the help of an artificial intelligence. Unlike the other games on this list, the protagonist is able to enter the memories of the murder suspects to deduce the identity of the murderer.
Like “Shinrai,” this game has multiple possible endings, but it is possible to click back to them from the in-game flowchart. Fans of Danganronpa are bound to enjoy the psychological elements of this game, as well as the murder mysteries.
2. Raging Loop
“Raging Loop” is yet another psychological horror visual novel. It is highly similar to Danganronpa in its focus on escape and a sense of being hunted. This game, unlike others listed here, is highly replayable, as the choices you make within the game come with a variety of consequences.
Much like “AI,” you can access a flowchart of these consequences. Players rave about this game due to its potential for replay and the extent of its in-game world.
1. The “Persona” series
If you loved the “free time” featured in Danganronpa, the “Persona” series is for you. This game is less mysterious and features less horror elements, but it is still popular for its JRPG elements and its sense of humor. Explore the world and take your time with the combat, the random encounters, and the use of the titular Personas!
There are many games similar to the Danganronpa series. Whether you prefer the sense of humor of the series or the violent, gory macabre, there is another game out there for you once you have finished up with Danganronpa. Happy gaming!
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