It also features a phone that could be used to dial any number to contact several non-player characters.
Another more non-linear early example was Mirrors, released by Soft Studio Wing for the PC-8801 and FM Towns computers in 1990; it featured a branching narrative, multiple endings, and audio CD music.
Many visual novels use voice actors to provide voices for the characters in the game.
Often, the protagonist is left unvoiced, even when the rest of the characters are fully voiced.
This significant increase in length allows visual novels to tell stories as long and complex as those often found in traditional novels, while still maintaining a branching path structure, and allowing them to focus on complex stories with mature themes and consistent plots in a way which Choose Your Own Adventure books were unable to do due to their physical limitations.
Some shorter works do not contain any decision points at all. Fan-created novel games are reasonably popular; there are a number of free game engines and construction kits aimed at making them easy to construct, most notably NScripter, Kiri Kiri and Ren'Py.
This style of gameplay is similar to story-driven interactive fiction, or the shorter and less detailed real-life gamebook books.
Many fans of visual novels hold them up as exceptions to the relatively weak storytelling in video games overall.
Many visual novels often revolve almost entirely around character interactions and dialogue choices, such as Ace Attorney and Tokimeki Memorial, usually featuring complex branching dialogues and often presenting the player's possible responses word-for-word as the player character would say them.
Such titles revolving around relationship-building, including visual novels as well as dating simulations, such as Tokimeki Memorial, and some role-playing video games, such as Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, often give choices that have a different number of associated "mood points" that influence a player character's relationship and future conversations with a non-player character.