15 Conversation-Heavy Games Like Disco Elysium
Disco Elysium is an indie darling, originally conceptualized as a tabletop role-playing game by Estonian novelist Robert Kurvitz. It shares much of its core gameplay with classic RPG and tabletop titles, switching things up by replacing skills with personality traits.
Where Disco Elysium truly shines is with its stellar writing and ability to dance between different tones.The game can be politically-charged and harrowing, yet it manages to be hilarious and absurd at the same time.
The game is truly a masterpiece, and finishing it just makes you want to look for more. If you’re looking for more games to fill that void, try on these 15 conversation-heavy games like Disco Elysium for size.
Available on PC, Linux, and Mac.
Scarlet Hollow is a horror-mystery visual novel with hand-drawn art. It has impeccable writing, charming characters, and some absurd elements, too.
Scarlet Hollow starts off in a small town in North Carolina, where you have just arrived for your estranged aunt’s funeral. Things quickly spiral into chaos as nightmarish horrors start to come out from the shadows.
Similar to the skill system in Disco Elysium, Scarlet Hollow features seven unique traits for characters to pick from and develop. These traits severely impact dialogue and the choices you can make throughout the game.
For example, Keen Eye makes your character extremely observant. You can only pick two traits in each run, which makes the game replayable for those invested in the story.
Scarlet Hollow has some truly sharp writing. It’s able to flawlessly switch tones and evoke different moods in the player, and it’s worth your time if you’re looking for a great game like Disco Elysium to play today.
Available on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Rainswept is a murder mystery game that stars an emotionally troubled protagonist named Detective Stone. While solving the case, you’ll also unpack Stone’s unresolved trauma, which will feel familiar for Disco Elysium fans.
Rainswept is deliberately cinematic. The clever use of lightning and framing really push the limits of the minimalistic art style. Oftentimes, it feels like a well-crafted drama.
The game is a point-and-click adventure where you have to solve the alleged murder-suicide of a local couple in that town. However, as Stone finds out more about the case, it hits a little too close to home and he’s forced to confront his own baggage.
Aside from that, it’s lighter on its gameplay mechanics and is more akin to an interactive novel. Although there are small puzzles here and there, the strength of the game comes from the meaningful conversations you’ll have.
Available on Windows, Steam, Mac, iPad, Linux, Xbox, PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Sunless Sea is set in the immensely lore-rich world of Fallen London, a text-based browser game. The game shares the same stellar, captivating, and oftentimes cryptic writing style.
You’ll take control as the ship captain in a massive underground ocean. There’s a sharp difficulty curve to master in order to actually get far in this dangerous world, so expect to restart several times before you get the hang of it.
Sunless Sea is one of the best open-world games because of how much it incentivizes exploration and remembers your actions. Every decision you make will determine the fate of your captain and your crew.
Amazingly enough, the narrative isn’t set in stone. Instead, it’s up to you to choose your own win conditions, influencing the background and story of your player character.
This text-heavy game is powerful and evokes a feeling of dread. If you’re a fan of difficult gameplay, dialogue-heavy titles, and of course, games like Disco Elysium, then you should consider picking up this game for your collection.
Available on PS3, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
Forgotten City is the standalone game of a massively popular Skyrim mod of the same name. This game is full of insightful conversations, politically-charged discussions about Roman philosophy, and supernatural mysteries.
In this game, you play as a new arrival who stumbles into a set of underground ruins and ends up getting transported to a city in Ancient Rome. This small cursed city lives by the Golden Rule, where if one person commits a sin, every citizen turns to gold.
For players looking for games like Disco Elysium, your status as an outsider will allow you to play detective. The core gameplay involves you talking to the citizens in hopes of finding out who’s about to commit a sin.
The subtle intricacies of Forgotten City’s gameplay make the game truly stand out. Exploration, conversations, and quests are all intertwined; the more you investigate, the more you’ll unravel other threads.
Sometimes, you have to break the Golden Rule to pursue a lead further. This starts a time loop that spits you back to when you first arrived, allowing you to remember everything that happened. It’s utterly compelling.
Additionally, the architecture is historically accurate to ancient Rome. It’s one of the best detective games, and a worthwhile experience.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
Available on Xbox 360, Windows, PS3, PS4, Xbox One, iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Nintendo Switch.
Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons is a cinematic, story-driven adventure game best experienced in one sitting. Directed by Swedish film director Josef Fares, this game uses its interactivity to keep you involved in its fairy tale journey.
After losing their mother, the titular two brothers learn that they might also lose their father, who is gravely ill. You’ll have to guide the two characters on a long adventure to gather water from the tree of life to save their father, while exploring other narrative threads.
A Tale of Two Sons has an interesting mechanic where each half of the controller moves and controls an assigned brother. You’ll have to navigate tricky puzzles while controlling them separately at the same time.
What makes A Tale of Two Sons similar to Disco Elysium is the strong bond between the two siblings and how it impacts the narrative. The relationship between Harry and Kim in Disco Elysium plays an integral role in the game’s main story, and is very reminiscent of the brothers.
In contrast to Disco Elysium and its massive amount of text, A Tale of Two Sons uses a made-up language based on Lebanese Arabic. Thus, its emotional story is told through gestures, actions, and environmental storytelling.
To The Moon
Available on Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Nintendo Switch.
To The Moon is a short, narrative-focused game that will leave you crying more than once. This emotionally taxing game deals with themes of love, loss, and regret, similar to other games like Disco Elysium.
The game puts you in control of Dr. Watts and Dr. Rosalene. These two operate a complicated machine that could let someone on their deathbed re-experience their life, and even tweak it if they wish to alter anything.
For the game, you’ll be dealing with your current client Johnny, an elderly man whose last wish is to go to the moon. With the help of your machine, you’ll uncover some of Johnny’s most traumatic memories, and understand his life’s greatest tragedy.
To The Moon features beautiful music that diegetically connects to the central story. And while the game only lasts for nearly four hours, its impact will stay with you for years to come.
What Remains of Edith Finch
Available on Windows, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, iOS, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.
What Remains of Edith Finch is an easy-to-play walking simulator where you explore the protagonist’s abandoned family home. Despite the minimal gameplay, the gripping and emotional story will keep you glued to your seat for the whole adventure.
The whole Finch family tree is seemingly cursed, as almost all of them die young and tragically. As you comb through the dilapidated homestead, you’ll get to have a personal look at what happened to every family member.
These morbid sequences often skirt between reality and fantasy. Additionally, these segments feature unique gameplay that blends genres and different art styles. For example, one story is told through the lense of a cheerful comic book.
How Edith Finch discusses death in all its absurdity will feel familiar for players craving games like Disco Elysium. It tells a strong linear story that is tragic, heartbreaking, yet beautiful all at the same time. It’s worth taking a look at today.
Available on Steam, Xbox One, and PS4.
Wasteland 3 is an isometric RPG with satisfying turn-based tactical squad combat. But, as with most games similar to Disco Elysium, it also delivers a heavy, politically-charged story where your decisions truly have an impact
In this game, you’ll have control of the Arizona Ranger Team November, who traveled to post-apocalyptic Colorado. The purpose of their mission is to assist their leader, the Patriarch, in gaining his favor in order to support their depleting supplies back in Arizona.
During story moments, Wasteland 3 has an abundant amount of dialogue. Additionally, it all has wonderful voice acting that helps each moment feel lifelike.
There’s a lot of nuance to consider when it comes to making a decision in this game. From big narrative implications to smaller side stories, you’ll always face the consequences of your actions at one point or another in the game.
Gameplay-wise, you’ll command your squad on an isometric battlefield. There are various ways to gain the upper hand, such as fortifying your sniper on a higher vantage point.
Since Wasteland 3 is an RPG, there are many customization options to diversify your squad. Tinkering around with all the weapons, skills, gear, and more will let you customize the game to fit your exact needs in this harsh nuclear winter.
Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines
Available on Windows.
Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines has a cult following nowadays, and it’s worth sinking your teeth into if you’re looking for gripping, conversation-heavy games.
Bloodlines puts your newly resurrected vampire character in the middle of a long war between several vampire clans. The game is set in modern day Los Angeles, and other creatures of folklore are also involved in the conflict, such as werewolves.
Depending on your choice during the character selection screen, you’ll join one of the seven clans. You will still have the choice of siding with whichever faction you want to rise to the top at a separate
This game is perfect for fans of Disco Elysium because the inner world is rife with a complicated history of nuanced politics and conflict. Whereas Disco Elysium takes place after most key events, Bloodlines puts you right in the middle of a melting point.
If you can’t solve the in-game conflicts with words, you’ll have to resort to brutal combat. Bloodlines is melee-focused but make sure that you make the most out of the supernatural powers that you’ll grow over the course of the game.
If you do plan on jumping into this great game, consider downloading a few mods to improve your experience. These mods do everything from fixing common issues, to upgrading graphics, and even polishing gameplay mechanics.
Available on Mac, Windows, and Nintendo Switch.
Unavowed is an urban fantasy point-and-click adventure game with supernatural elements. Despite hurling fireballs and confronting demons, the game manages to tell grounded and sad personal stories.
You’ll play as an amnesiac who can’t remember his bloody, demon-possessed rampage across New York City. After the rampage has taken place, a team of magical protectors named the Unavowed come to save you and offer you a spot on their team.
The story centers around redemption, similar to Harry’s story after his legendary drunken, forgotten deluge. Games in this style are great for telling stories about second chances.
Since it is a point-and-click game, you don’t have to worry about intense, reactive gameplay. Instead, you’ll focus on the replayable story with branching dialogue and meaningful choices.
You can only bring two party members of the Unavowed at a time, which means players immersed in the story might go for multiple playthroughs. These compelling characters carry the game on their shoulders as they’re wonderfully written.
Available on Windows, Mac, PS4, and Xbox One.
This game is a bizarre, open-world survival horror RPG with tons of unique mechanics.
Pathologic 2 is undoubtedly a masterpiece and achieves what it set out to do. But, admittedly, what it strives to do is hard to describe precisely and might not click with many players.
At its core, Pathologic 2 is full of hard decisions. During the 12 in-game day limits, you’ll choose which townspeople are worth saving, which districts you’ll doom, and what resource to give up for another.
These decisions also reflect on the resource management and survival system. Surviving isn’t easy, and you’ll often have to resort to dubious deeds to scrounge by.
These gameplay decisions all reinforce its narrative theme of sacrifice. The story tells a bleak and depressing narrative centered around a mysterious object called the Polyhedron causing the plague.
Players who enjoyed Disco Elysium but wished they doubled down on its depressing aspects will find a great game in Pathologic 2. It’s a soulful and miserable game that will continue to haunt you long after you put it down.
Available on PS4, Windows, Xbox One, Mac, and Linux.
SOMA is a sci-fi survival horror game with no combat and light stealth mechanics. The game emphasizes psychological horror and existential dread, instead of traditional jump scares.
You’ll play as a car accident survivor named Simon Jarett, who underwent an experimental brain scan. After the experiment, Simon wakes up in an abandoned underwater research facility in the far future, a year after a comet caused a major extinction event on Earth.
You’ll have to explore the abandoned facility while avoiding the sentient hostile robots. A large portion of SOMA’s narrative is told through collectible notes and audio logs scattered throughout the facility.
SOMA heavily delves into philosophical discussions of personal identity, consciousness, and memories. SOMA and other Disco Elysium-esque games are rare titles that will truly challenge you with their themes.
Safe mode has been added to the game which prevents hostiles from taking you down. It’s a perfect addition for those who want to experience this title free of stress.
Kentucky Route Zero
Available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Kentucky Route Zero is my favorite game on this list because of the excellent way it tells its surreal story. Haunting games like Disco Elysium are known for creating an unexplainable feeling that leaves you overwhelmed with emotions and this is no exception.
Kentucky Route Zero is a point-and-click adventure that focuses on its surreal narrative and meandering but meaningful conversations. If you’re a fan of magical realism stories like the iconic 100 Years of Solitude, you’ll appreciate all of its absurd and symbolic elements.
You’ll play as Conway, a truck driver for an antique shop, who is on a delivery run with his dog. The game starts with the duo asking for directions at a truck stop, but afterward the story deviates into scenarios into a maddening, magical tangle of narrative loops.
Kentucky Route Zero is beautiful and uses cinematic framing. There are many scenes in the game where you won’t want to move, for fear of losing the ephemeral moment.
There are countless ways to interpret the game and it all depends on what you take from it. The story doesn’t have much of a focus and it tends to wander and meander. But, rest assured that Kentucky Route Zero is spectacularly written. It’s a unique experience that I implore you to pick up today.
Divinity: Original Sin II
Available on Xbox One, PS4, Steam, Nintendo Switch, and Mac.
Divinity: Original Sin II is hands down one of the best modern action-adventure games. It combines a fun and flexible combat system with intricately written characters set in a world with a rich lore.
The divinity is dead, and the evil forces from the void are taking advantage of this situation to attack the world of Rivellon. You have to lead your premade or custom character to become the next divine to restore balance, if balance is what you desire.
There are six main characters in Original Sin II and you can take up to four of them on the journey. These complex characters interact with one another and engage in the story and quests. This creates an immense amount of replay value.
The highlight of the game is how much you can creatively express yourself in combat. There are many ways to exploit the environment in the game to your favor. Creating a party that fully plays to each other’s strengths represents true mastery of the game’s combat.
Available on Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Xbox One.
Despite being released in 1999, Planescape: Torment is still considered an essential game for classic role-playing game fans. Additionally, this game is one of the biggest inspirations for Disco Elysium and other games like it.
The protagonist is a nameless, immortal amnesiac on a personal quest to learn why. The game has one of the largest scripts in video game history, making it almost an interactive novel with some combat here and there.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Second Edition is one of the main inspirations for this game, so expect to see systems such as the character’s alignment chart that change depending on your actions and decisions.
Companions add a lot of flavor to the game, as they regularly communicate with one another and other characters, and they comment on the events in the game too. Furthermore, they’re essential in assisting the nameless immortal in a fight.
Planescape: Torment encourages players to resolve disputes and quest outcomes using dialogue. Using your wits and skillset, you can engage in compelling conversations to progress this lengthy game and avoid any combat altogether.