A Year of Springs from npckc and Ratalaika Games is a beautiful visual novel about three friends. Check our A Year of Springs review!
Experience the stories of Haru, Erika, and Manami in A YEAR OF SPRINGS, a visual novel trilogy about three friends navigating their feelings of love, connection, and just wanting to belong
A Year of Springs from npckc and Ratalaika Games is a collection of three different visual novels following three friends: Haru – an anxious transgender woman -, Manami – Haru’s long-time best friend – and Erika – one of Manami’s friends who’s introduced to Haru during the story for the first episode of the collection.
Episode 1: “One Night, Hot Springs”
This episode revolves around Manami going to hot baths with her friends, and also serves as a presentation of the characters. This whole episode spans the two days of the event, and you’ll raise your affinity with the other characters depending on your replies. You’ll live this day from the point of view of Haru, a transgender woman still in the process of both accepting herself and being recognized by others. I was surprised to see that if you decline the offer to go out right as the game begins, you’ll already get a “bad” ending.
Episode 2: “Last Day of Spring”
This story takes place a few months after the events of “One Night, Hot Springs”, and now Haru is friends with Erika. As Haru begins a new job, she gets new challenges and is anxious. Erika wants to plan a birthday party for Haru, and she’ll face different struggles while trying to plan her event. This story puts Haru’s anxiety on the front, and the story revolves around this subject.
Episode 3: “Spring Leaves No Flowers”
A few months following the events of “Last Day of Sprint”, Haru and Erika are now friends, and Manami is curious about her own relationship.
Gameplay-wise, and being a visual novel, there isn’t much else to do than read the story and select your reaction when faced with an option. There are a lot of choices available in this story, and most of them will lead to one of the many endings of this game, which was great to discover.
The game in itself is very beautifully drawn, and I loved the amazing art style. It is also well-written and I liked how it touched mature and meaningful subjects to which I’m sure many players will be able to identify. The soundtrack is composed of piano music and felt appropriate even though it won’t stay in your head after a play session. The game doesn’t take advantage of the DualSense controller however and was no vibration in my playthrough.
As for the trophies, in this game, you can earn eight Bronze trophies, four Silver, Nine Gold, and a new Platinum. This game is Cross-Buy between the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 version so you can earn two new Platinums for the price of one game. All the trophies are tied to the multiple endings that can be found in this game. I needed approximately 1h30 to go through the whole game and reading the story, which I already mentioned was interesting.
I liked playing through A Year of Springs, thanks to its great story, and its amazing presentation. I felt that some players could identify themselves to the characters which is a definite plus for this kind of game. Moreover, if you’re a Trophy Hunter, this game can net you two Platinum trophies thanks to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions being Cross-Buy.
If you’re looking for a guide to help you get the Platinum trophy for this game as fast as possible, you can check this one:
This A Year of Springs review is based on a PlayStation copy provided by Ratalaika Games.