The digital medium allows for significant improvements, such as being able to fully explore multiple aspects and perspectives of a story.
Another improvement is having hidden decision points that are automatically determined based on the player's past decisions.
This distinction is normally lost outside Japan, where both NVLs and ADVs are commonly referred to as "visual novels" by international fans.
Visual novels and ADVs are especially prevalent in Japan, where they made up nearly 70% of the PC game titles released in 2006.
Each path only reveals certain aspects of the overall storyline and it is only after uncovering all the possible different paths and outcomes, through multiple playthroughs, that every component comes together to form a coherent well-written story.
For example, the total word count of the English fan translation of Fate/stay night, taking all the branching paths into account, exceeds that of The Lord of the Rings.
Usually such an element is related as a plot device in the game.
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.
Some visual novels do not limit themselves into merely interactive fictions, but also incorporate other elements into them.
An example of this approach is Symphonic Rain, where the player is required to play a musical instrument of some sort, and attain a good score in order to advance.