A romantic visual novel of a different type, Four Leaf Studios's Katawa Shoujo focuses on a school for disabled children. You play as Hisao Nakai, a recent transfer suffering from a severe heart condition. Unable to attend traditional schools, you follow his story as he adjusts to life there.

The game sticks to the essentials of visual novel storytelling. You have one primary character with a basic history, commentary and his own opinions on events. You can prod him down certain paths, but his voice and actions are his own. This means that certain choices can have unexpected results, both for better and worse. Some even lead to hidden endings or abrupt conclusions. Combined with the variety of romance options, this grants the game immense replay value. This is evident in how many locations can be easily missed in a single play through.

Katawa Shoujo does not shy away from the subject matter at hand. Rather than using handicaps as a gimmick or a fetish, it's used to build character. The difficulties of maintaining a normal life are crucial to several stories. Accepting differences before adjusting to or overcoming them is a recurring subject. As is the point that there is no easy answer to such flaws. Or that there is no abrupt point where someone can simply shrug them off. Katawa Shoujo is a visual novel with a complex story and impactful consequences thanks to these qualities.