Visual Novels are distinguished by their mostly static graphics or live-action stills and minimal game-play. They use a text-based story with a narrative style of literature and interactivity aided by static or sprite-based visuals. Typically the majority of player interaction is limited to clicking to keep the text, graphics and sound moving, while making narrative choices along the way. Most visual novels have multiple storylines and more than one ending; the mechanic in these cases typically consists of intermittent multiple-choice decision points, where the player selects a direction in which to take the game. Some shorter works may not contain any decision points at all, while others do not limit themselves, incorporating other elements like mini-games.
They feature multiple story-lines, and/or endings, typically achieved by intermittent multiple-choice decision points. They are typically (but not always) text heavy and story-driven with strong character development. While most player interaction is limited to clicking to keep the text, graphics, and sound moving not all visual novels limit themselves to clicking through text and may allow the player further interaction with the environment, objects, and characters. More recent games implement a "play" or "fast-forward" option that now makes replays less tedious or clicking through dialogue unnecessary.
May start out ordinary or happy in order to lull the player into a false sense of security, before shocking them with the introduction of horror elements.