No One But You, or NOBY, is a Kickstarted visual novel from Unwonted Studies. Despite some uneven storytelling, it’s a welcome addition to the OELVN scene which brings something new and interesting to the table while still being firmly rooted in familiar visual novel tropes.
Playtime: 8 hours at a fast reading pace
NOBY starts out as a typical high-school romance story, but once you get into the individual character routes it quickly becomes much darker and more serious. Unfortunately, this change in tone doesn’t always work, but each route brings something new and interesting to the table, as I will discuss in detail below.
The common route was fun, it felt like I was really choosing the path the story went down, and the banter between Hideaki and his friends is great, particularly with Ryo. There are a lot of choices which made this visual novel feel very interactive, but unfortunately this also resulted in some encounters not really making sense. For example, even after never speaking with Yui you still end up being friends with her. Another example is that in one playthrough I never discovered that Shiro was my neighbour or spoke to her…