Katawa Shoujo

Literally “cripple girls”, Katawa Shoujo began as a discussion via online image boards about some character sketches of girls with disabilities, but was subsequently developed into a full-scale visual novel project that ended up being one of the most memorable, affecting works in the medium… and one that truly pushes the boundaries of interactive storytelling. Best of all, it’s free.


Developer: 4 Leaf Studios
Publisher: 4 Leaf Studios
Available on: Windows PC/Mac/Linux


Articles about Katawa Shoujo

The Three Ages of Visual Novels - With this month’s Cover Game being one of the most influential, well-regarded visual novels of all time, it seems only right and proper to take a look at the history of the medium as a whole. To date, there have been three main “eras” of visual novels that can be clearly distinguished through a combination … Continue reading The Three Ages of Visual Novels
Waifu Wednesday: Hanako Ikezawa - In this new weekly series, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most memorable, interesting, attractive, sexy, badass and just plain awesome female characters in Japanese gaming, as well as highlighting some great fanart. And what better place to begin than with Hanako Ikezawa from Katawa Shoujo, my favourite character from the game that truly … Continue reading Waifu Wednesday: Hanako Ikezawa
The MoeGamer GameCast: Episode 8 – Garden of Memories, Part 1 - The search for Penelope is on as Midori, Yumi and I find ourselves in the “Garden of Memories”, attempting to hunt down our elusive cat-eared friend. This is a fairly short episode as I’ve been horribly ill over the last few days and barely able to get out of bed! Hopefully you’ll still enjoy what’s … Continue reading The MoeGamer GameCast: Episode 8 – Garden of Memories, Part 1
From the Archives: Culture Shock - One of the things video games are particularly good at as an entire medium is allowing you to immerse yourself in… things. Exactly what you’re able to immerse yourself in depends entirely on the game — in Microsoft Flight Simulator you can immerse yourself in a realistic depiction of what it is like to fly a … Continue reading From the Archives: Culture Shock
The MoeGamer GameCast: Episode 4 - In this episode of the GameCast, Midori, Yumi, Penelope and I discuss the use of language in characterisation and localisation, Gabriel Dropout and much more. No quiz this week as that JRPG monstrosity took a whole lot of time to put together! Expect more in the near future though. If you didn’t get a perfect 20 last … Continue reading The MoeGamer GameCast: Episode 4
From the Archives: The Guilty Pleasures of the Bad Ending - “Failure is not an option.” It’s a mantra we’ve had repeatedly rammed down our throats since the dawn of gaming — sometimes using those exact words — but is it really true? Well, in the case of most games, yes — “failing” whatever task you have been set usually results in a Game Over screen … Continue reading From the Archives: The Guilty Pleasures of the Bad Ending
Waifus I Have Loved - As Valentine’s Day rolls around once again, I find myself keenly aware that not everyone in this world is fortunate enough to be blessed with a partner, lover, spouse or otherwise significant other as understanding, tolerant and patient as my good wife. At times like this, a man often turns to solace in the arms … Continue reading Waifus I Have Loved
From the Archives: Why Do We Play? - A philosophical question for you today, prompted by a thought-provoking discussion I had with a friend the other evening. It’s a particularly interesting question with regard to visual novels, which are regarded by some as not being “games” in the traditionally-understood sense, but it also applies to the interactive entertainment medium as a whole. The … Continue reading From the Archives: Why Do We Play?
Artistic Temperament - Having explored the narrative paths of all the other girls in the Western-developed, Japanese-inspired freeware visual novel Katawa Shoujo, it’s time to turn our attention to the final girl: Rin. As I’ve noted in the previous explorations of Emi, Hanako, Lilly and Shizune, one of the interesting things about Katawa Shoujo is that while you initially — … Continue reading Artistic Temperament
Out of the Comfort Zone - Your average visual novel tends to have a number of different narrative paths to explore, each of which focuses on a different character from the main cast. The free visual novel Katawa Shoujo is no exception, with each of its routes focusing on one of five different girls — each of whom has a different disability — … Continue reading Out of the Comfort Zone
Scars - Let’s talk about Hanako, one of the heroines from 4 Leaf Studios’ excellent free visual novel Katawa Shoujo. As you’ll know if you’ve read the previous posts on Lilly and Emi, Katawa Shoujo is a bold, remarkable work that tackles a variety of difficult subject matter. The most obvious demonstration of this can’t be missed: it’s a … Continue reading Scars
A Misshapen Family - In this, the second part of our look at the free visual novel Katawa Shoujo, we delve into the narrative path that focuses on Lilly the blind girl. If you missed the first part of our exploration of this fascinating game, take a moment to read The Fastest Thing on No Legs from the other day, which takes a … Continue reading A Misshapen Family
The Fastest Thing on No Legs - Emi is the first path most players end up on when playing Katawa Shoujo for the first time, so it’s fitting that we begin an in-depth exploration of the game with a look at her story. Katawa Shoujo, lest you’re unfamiliar, is a Western-developed visual novel that was inspired by a Japanese doujinshi artist’s sketches of girls with a variety of … Continue reading The Fastest Thing on No Legs

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The best of overlooked and underappreciated Japanese and Japanese-inspired games

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