Katawa Shoujo is a free anime visual novel for Windows by Four Leaf Studios. It consists of a mixture between a visual novel and RPG, in a similar vein to Yandere Simulator: Visual Novel and ERROR143. The premise revolves around Hisao Nakai, the main character with heart issues, and other female characters with different disabilities.
As the main character, you try to get into a relationship with some of your female counterparts. You do this by following different twists and turns in the story.
Interactive story with mature content
It isn’t easy to define Katawa Shoujo as either a game or a novel. It’s an interactive experience where you get the freedom to choose some situations, just like a classic text adventure from the olden days. The story isn’t really bad, but there are some strange situations that seem forced.
Since the objective seems to be getting intimate with these girls, bear in mind that there’s adult content here. This is definitely not suitable for anyone under legal age, or those who find the premise distasteful.
A lot of production value
An international team of amateur developers developed Katawa Shoujo, but you wouldn’t think so, based on the great graphics and design it boasts. The characters look perfect and would fit any AAA anime title, as well as the spectacular backgrounds and other drawn objects.
Everything from the interface, fonts, and dialogue looks polished too. The only thing that would improve this title is the addition of voice dialogue because it can feel a bit empty in long stretches.
For anime lovers
If you’re a hardcore gamer, you might find this very light on the gaming aspect. It will be equally uninteresting for people who aren’t into anime stories. Judging it purely from a visual novel standpoint, it offers a lot of value and is on par with other offerings in the genre.
It’s also interesting that people with different disabilities are portrayed here, which is uncommon in both visual novels and games. The fact that it’s an interactive story means there’s a limited number of playthroughs, so it won’t take long to discover the different endings.