I am glad to present to you a new Slice of Life Visual Novel that just launched its Kickstarter campaign. Ochiba – Falling Leaves is one of those visual novel games that is going to bring out emotions and feelings from inside of you that you never even thought you would feel. Inspired by Clannad and Katawa Shoujo and developed by the small indie studio NK Productions, Ochiba is going to take you on an immersive adventure and roller coaster of emotions.
About the Game
Ochiba puts strong emphasis on building a connection between the player and the character. This is how we get so hooked up and emotional over some of favorite video game heroes. Because when the player cares about the character, emotion is put and the player is then able to put himself in the shoes of the protagonist. This is how immersive gameplay is made and this is how games are written down in our memories forever.
Ochiba seems to be capable to do that. The main character is Kai who is a 17-year-old high school student of English and Japanese descent. This has always made him feel like an outsider and like he can’t fit in normally. That and also the fact that when he was 15, he suffered a severe and sudden lung failure. After countless visits to the hospital, he was diagnosed with a very rare condition – one of his lungs was defunct or “necrotic” ever since he was born. And it was overlooked by doctors until he collapsed one day on the basketball court. After a long surgery where he had half of his lung removed and an even longer recovery, Kai had to re-do his last year of junior high. A basketball athlete with half a missing lung is a depressing enough thought for the fragile mind of a 15-year old boy. But then his now ex-girlfriend Rien Tanada, broke up with him because of their departing ways.
Although doctors assure Kai that he is now healthy, he can’t help it but think and worry about his health on a daily basis.
Back to present day, Kai is now 17 and he is in high school. His daily life is full of interactions with potential love interests in the face of his classmates Umi, Meiko, Yumi, Nami and Haruna. And of course an antagonist character – Shinjiro, who is older than Kai and they often find each other in a conflict. The characters have unique personalities that bring to the story. Each girl has multiple paths which can be bad, good or neutral. Whatever decision you make will impact your gameplay towards any of these paths. However there is also a chance that you divert from the path you have already taken and end up with a different ending. It is all up to you, your choices and the way you decide to play the visual novel.
What impressed me the most about Ochiba is the art style. The art of the background landscapes is gorgeous! And the characters don’t really suit my liking but I think this just adds a personal style to the novel. The fact that some of the scenes are presented from first person is something that is not often used and I think in Ochiba, it has been very well implemented. It helps the player to immerse himself more into Kai and what he is going through.
Ochiba – Falling Leaves is a slice of life visual novel that has the potential to wreck your emotional world and make you feel all the feelings you haven’t felt before. I personally love heartbreaking or twisted stories with romance and drama and when this visual novel comes out, I will be quick to grab it. However, for now it needs your support on Kickstarter, so if you like it too and want to see it come to life, make sure you check out their page and support them.