hank you to everyone who voted on our poll or offered suggestions to recommend! We've ended up with a lovely list of VNs we'd highly recommend you read over winter, from the cute and fluffy of pre-holiday cheer, to the bleak and despair of having eaten too much during the festivities.

Special thanks to 8cccc9, Lunaterra, and Maggie for their help putting this together.

Winter VN poll results
1Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk
2planetarian ~reverie of a little planet~
3Cartagra
4Remember11 -The Age of Infinity-
5Kanon
6White Album 2 -Introductory Chapter-
7Sepia Tears
8Those Without Names
9A Winter's Daydream
10Swan Song

Comfy winter-themed VNs

A Winter's Daydream
Slice of life
Available in English.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
A boy returns to his countryside home after spending half a year in the city, only to discover the unimaginable — his elderly grandmother has transformed into a cute young girl! Hijinks ensue.
VNDB score: 7/10
Harvest December ~Winter~
Romance, Comedy, Slice of life, Drama
Available in English.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Handheld version available.
Mobile version available.
Tagami, a town of heavy snowfall. In this village is the commonplace idea of the existence of God. Due to his parent's situation, Konno Masaki moves into this village. But on the same day, he is ordered by Shiro, the God of Tagami, to become her husband. Overwhelmed, Masaki accepts, and on the following day transfers to his new school.
VNDB score: 7/10
Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star
Comedy, Drama, Otome
Available in English.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Handheld version available.
Hatoful Boyfriend Holiday Star is the sequel to Hatoful Boyfriend and a separate game. There are 4 main episodes and 6 short episodes contained within it, a gallery, as well as a six part radio program that answers questions from the fans.
VNDB score: 7.3/10
Adolescent Santa Claus
Available in English.
Desktop version available.
Mobile version available.
It was Christmas Eve but my life was stagnant and boring.
VNDB score: 5.2/10
Wolf Tails
Romance
Available in English.
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Moving far away from civilization, you hoped to live a life of solitude in a snowy cabin. Just as you begin to adapt to your peaceful new life, you discover an intruder; a wolf-girl, alone and shivering in your storeroom. Fearful for her life, you take the girl in for the night, offering her a place to stay until she recovers.
VNDB score: 7/10
Sakura Santa
Comedy, Slice of life
Available in English.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Mobile version available.
Koji is feeling a bit down. He’s spending Christmas alone after moving away from home to attend university. He wanders around a local shrine to make an offering. His wish is a simple one: I want to have someone to spend Christmas with this year. Shortly after making that wish, he meets three girls, all with unusual quirks.
VNDB score: 5.6/10

Comfy non-winter themed VNs

planetarian ~reverie of a little planet~
Sci-fi, Drama
Available in English.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Handheld version available.
Mobile version available.
Humanity is nearly extinct. A perpetual and deadly Rain falls on the Earth. Men known as Junkers plunder goods and artifacts from the ruins of civilization. One such Junker sneaks alone into the most dangerous of all ruins -- a 'Sarcophagus City'. In the center of this dead city, he discovers a pre-War planetarium.
VNDB score: 8/10
Those Without Names
Mystery, Slice of life, Drama
Available in English.
Desktop version available.
Eight has a name, a real name. The problem is: she can't remember it. The people around her don't remember theirs either. Like her, they're all trapped in what seems to be the same dream without a name; just a number. In order to leave this place, you must awaken to your name.
VNDB score: 7/10
The Second Reproduction
Romance, Mystery, Fantasy, Otome
Available in English.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Christina's mother, the queen, sends her on a secret mission to assassinate the Demon Lord Gardis in return for his ruthless annihilation of the Kingdom of Crofts.
VNDB score: 7.5/10
ONE
Romance, Mystery, Slice of life, Drama
Available in English.
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Kouhei Orihara suspects that at some point his current life will change. Due to this, he begins to seclude himself in the Eternal World, a world within his mind.
VNDB score: 7/10
A Sky Full of Stars
Romance, Slice of life, Drama
Available in English.
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
When Akito was small, he would gaze at the stars every night with his childhood friends Hikari and Saya. It inspired dreams of journeys into space, exploring the Milky Way and solving the mysteries of the galaxy. However, now he no longer looks up at the night sky and was called the astronomy club member who doesn't watch the stars.
VNDB score: 8/10
That Cheap and Sacred Thing
Romance, Sci-fi, Drama, Otome
Available in English.
Desktop version available.
Only one person has ever told Autumn Godfrey 'I love you' - and that person wasn't even human. She was Autumn's android playmate and babysitter, Elly.
VNDB score: 7.4/10
Juniper's Knot
Fantasy, Drama
Available in English.
Desktop version available.
Mobile version available.
Crafted in a month, Juniper's Knot is a story told from dual perspectives: that of a demon and a boy. It begins on an autumn afternoon in a silent town.
VNDB score: 7.2/10
Crescendo
Romance, Slice of life, Drama
Available in English.
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Five days before graduation, Ryou is in school making up the hours needed to graduate. It's a quiet time to sit and reflect on the past year and all that has happened.
VNDB score: 7.4/10

Light drama winter-themed VNs

Psychedelica of the Ashen Hawk
Drama, Otome
Available in English.
VN isn't free.
Handheld version available.
In order to avoid being cast out, Jed masquerades as a young boy and lives in a derelict tower on the outskirts of town. One day a mysterious treasure is stolen from the city church. Our heroine learns that not only do magic stones exist and are hidden within the city, but also the secret of her origins.
VNDB score: 8/10
Kanon
Romance, Fantasy, Drama
Available in English.
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Handheld version available.
Mobile version available.
Yuuichi Aizawa, a high school student, returns to a town that he last visited 7 years previously to live with his aunt and cousin. For a reason he's not quite sure of, he can hardly remember anything about his last visit. The day after he arrives he bumps into a girl named Ayu Tsukimiya, and Yuuichi's memories slowly begin to return.
VNDB score: 7.7/10
Sepia Tears
Romance, Drama
Available in English.
Desktop version available.
Mobile version available.
Sepia Tears is a love story. It's about a high schooler named Mark, an ordinary protagonist with a secret in his past that he tries very hard to forget.
VNDB score: 7/10
True Remembrance
Romance, Mystery, Slice of life, Drama
Available in English.
Desktop version available.
Handheld version available.
Mobile version available.
True Remembrance is an ordinary tale of the ordinary days spent in an ordinary town by an ordinary girl who learns that everything in this world is extraordinary - or that nothing is.
VNDB score: 7.7/10
D.C. II -Da Capo II-
Romance, Comedy, Fantasy, Drama
Available in English.
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Handheld version available.
Mobile version available.
Taking place approximately 50 years after the original D.C. Da Capo, the story revolves around Yoshiyuki and the sibling granddaughters of the original D.C. Da Capo protagonists.
VNDB score: 7.6/10
ef - a fairy tale of the two.
Romance, Drama
Available in English.
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Amamiya Yuuko, a mysterious girl dressed like a nun, and Himura Yuu, a mysterious gentleman who is somehow attached to the church where Yuuko first appears, are having a reunion in a church during Christmas time. Yuuko and Yuu reminisce about the past and remember events of the previous year.
VNDB score: 8.2/10
Snow Sakura
Romance, Comedy, Slice of life
Available in English.
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Legend says there is a flower that blooms here in the depth of winter... as the twilight deepens and a snowflake melts in the palm of my hand, I stand with a beautiful girl by my side. Will we be able to uncover its mystery in this fleeting moment?
VNDB score: 7/10
Six Days of Snow
Romance, Slice of life, Drama
Available in English.
Desktop version available.
Eiji was a promising young writer who wrote the poem Fireworks, which detailed the beginnings of his youthful and idealistic romance with his wife, Sachiko. Twenty years later, however, Eiji's life has lost much of its shine. In a desperate attempt to rekindle his lost creativity, Eiji embarks on a journey to the snowy mountains of Hakuba.
VNDB score: 6.4/10
Toradora! Portable
Romance, Comedy
Available in English.
VN isn't free.
Handheld version available.
You play as Takasu Ryuuji in an alternate memory loss story with many different endings than the original.
VNDB score: 7.1/10
Kira -snowdrop-
Romance, Drama
Available in English.
VN has adult content.
Desktop version available.
A town covered in snow, a man, a mysterious little girl, and their entanglement.
VNDB score: 6/10

Mystery winter-themed VNs

Solstice
Romance, Mystery, Fantasy, Boys' Love, LGBT+
Available in English.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
A city in the middle of an icy desert, cut off from the world by raging blizzards. Inhabited only by a small group of misfits who either can't or don't want to leave for the winter.
VNDB score: 6.7/10
Read Only Memories
Mystery, Sci-fi, LGBT+
Available in English.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Handheld version available.
Mobile version available.
Neo-San Francisco, 2064 AD. Your life as a struggling journalist is interrupted by the world's first sapient machine, a ROM (Relationship and Organizational Manager) named Turing. Together, you and the quirky robot will uncover the city's secrets behind the overlapping futures of technology and humanity.
VNDB score: 7.2/10
Fuyu no Tabi
Mystery
Available in English.
Desktop version available.
Keiji Ryou is asked to attend a business meeting for work between two rich families that doubles as an engagement party. But the bride-to-be and Ryou's boss isn't looking forward to spending her life with someone she doesn't love... and she might not be the only one thinking that way.
VNDB score: 6.4/10

Bleak winter-themed VNs

Swan Song
Horror, Drama
Available in English.
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
An earthquake occurs during Christmas. Six survivors meet at a church as they try to find shelter from the snow. What will they see and experience in this extreme situation?
VNDB score: 7.7/10
Cartagra
Horror, Mystery
Available in English.
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
A missing persons case is dumped onto Shugo one day. Yura... the girl he had an intimate relationship with before being sent to war. But he soons finds out she's not the only one missing.
VNDB score: 7.5/10
Remember11 -The Age of Infinity-
Mystery, Sci-fi, Drama
Available in English.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Mobile version available.
Fuyukawa Kokoro's plane crashes in the mountains in the middle of a snowstorm. Of the 31 passengers, only she, Kusuda Yuni, Yomogi Seiji, and Mayuzumi Lin survive unharmed. Unable to establish communication with the outside world, the four decide to take shelter in an empty cabin and wait until the storm passes.
VNDB score: 8/10

Untranslated winter-themed VNs

White Album 2 -Closing Chapter-
Slice of life, Drama
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Handheld version available.
This is the second part of the White Album 2 game, taking place three years after the end of the introductory chapter and adding new heroines Koharu, Chiaki and Mari.
VNDB score: 9/10
Gin'iro, Haruka
Romance, Slice of life, Drama
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Snow is not an uncommon sight in April in one of the northernmost towns of the country. Yukito is a well-known honor student at the local school, unable to leave those alone that need his help. As a second year student the new spring will bring him new feelings in his teenage life. Feelings that will soon turn into beautiful realisation.
VNDB score: 8.1/10
Amakano
Romance, Slice of life, Drama
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Yuuki moved to this snowy town to help his grandparents shovel snow at their home. He met many warm-hearted people, including the shrine maiden Sayuki who worries about her inability to properly greet strangers, his mysterious but playful housemate and senpai Mizuki. During that time, his grandfather suggested that he find love while he is still young.
VNDB score: 7.9/10
Code: Realize -Shirogane no Kiseki-
Sci-fi, Otome
VN isn't free.
Handheld version available.
Second fandisc in the Code: Realize series, containing after stories for the new routes from Shukufuku no Mirai.
VNDB score: 8/10
Hatsuyuki Sakura
Romance, Mystery, Comedy, Drama
VN has adult content.
VN isn't free.
Desktop version available.
Handheld version available.
Mobile version available.
Kawano Hatsuyuki is a third-year student, one of the rare delinquents at Shirosaki Gakuen. He reluctantly shows up in order to fulfill his graduation requirements. Hatsuyuki encounters a beautiful girl wearing a white dress. A few days later she transfers into his school.
VNDB score: 8.3/10

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