Clannad Image
Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 5 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 58 Ratings

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  • Summary: After the death of his mother, Tomoya Okazaki—a guarded delinquent student at Hikarizaka High School—struggles to not only make sense of the abusive relationship he has with his alcoholic father, but also find meaning in his life. While on his way to class one morning, he meets a mystifyingAfter the death of his mother, Tomoya Okazaki—a guarded delinquent student at Hikarizaka High School—struggles to not only make sense of the abusive relationship he has with his alcoholic father, but also find meaning in his life. While on his way to class one morning, he meets a mystifying girl named Nagisa. She is a delinquent like him, but only because she is repeating her senior year, unlike the perpetually tardy Okazaki. From their brief encounter, Nagisa decides they should be friends, and enlists Tomoya's help to revive the school drama club. Not being busy in any way, he decides to join in. Along the way, the two make friends with many other students and try to find both solace and belonging in their endeavors. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Dec 14, 2015
    92
    Clannad is one of the best visual novel ever made.
  2. Pelit (Finland)
    Mar 31, 2016
    89
    Clannad is a Japanese visual novel where you play as a young man called Tomoya Okazaki who spends his days going to school and hanging out with his friends. After a slow start the plot really starts to develop and you will find yourself involved in various romances and in other dramatic storylines. You will also cry a lot because the game can be really touching sometimes. I only wish that the game didn’t have so much filler material. It would have been better if the game had been a bit shorter. [March 2016]
  3. Dec 20, 2015
    80
    Clannad is a visual novel that everyone should complete at least once in their lives. The hard part will be securing enough time to persist through every route in the proper way to see the true ending.
  4. 80
    I don’t remember the last time I was so interested in a story labelled as “romance,” but then came Clannad and everything changed. I never know a romance story could be so engaging, so multifaceted, and so emotional.
  5. Dec 21, 2015
    70
    My biggest complaint to the CLANNAD visual novel is just how long it is. Having all the different routes and choices is great but it is also very time-consuming.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Sep 24, 2017
    10
    Story - It's a family drama, with coming-of-age and magical-realism elements. It has some of the most compelling storytelling and writing I'veStory - It's a family drama, with coming-of-age and magical-realism elements. It has some of the most compelling storytelling and writing I've seen in any medium, possibly the best story ever written for a video game, and even comparable to some of the best dramas in film, television, and literature. It packs a powerful emotional punch; at times the comedy can make you laugh, at times the tragedy can be heart-wrenching, and at times the drama can make you shed tears of joy. It's like a roller-coaster that takes you through the whole gamut of emotions. The story is split into two halves, the School Life arc which is about the teenage high school years, and the After Story arc which is about the adult years after graduating. The School Life arc varies from good-to-great depending on the route, but it's the After Story arc that truly elevates Clannad to a narrative masterpiece, with an original story rarely seen in any medium. It's worth noting, however, that it also has one of the longest scripts ever written for any medium, more than a million words, over twice as much text as all the Lord of the Rings novels combined, which means a whole lot of reading.

    Characterization - It quite possibly has the best characterization ever written for a video game. Tomoya Okazaki in particular may very well be the most well-written protagonist ever seen in a video game. He feels real and believable, and over the years, his character grows and changes, in both positive and negative ways. The supporting cast are also very well-written, with each character having their own fleshed-out personality and backstory, and you also see most of them grow and change over the years. Even for some characters who initially come across as anime cliches, you see them eventually grow out of those cliches over time. And if you get too attached to some of the characters, it can be heart-wrenching when tragedy strikes. In the After Story arc, some of the adult characters in the School Life arc get much bigger roles, while several new characters are also introduced, especially one particular new character (who I won't name to avoid spoiling anything) who changes the dynamics of the story and leaves a deep impression.

    Gameplay - It plays like most visual novels, with gameplay that consists almost entirely of reading while making choices along the way. And like most visual novels, the story is highly non-linear. Clannad has many meaningful choices and consequences, over a dozen branching story routes, and 26 different endings. In terms of how much the story can branch out, Clannad (like many visual novels) trumps most RPGs and adventure games in terms of non-linear storytelling. Compared to other visual novels, many of which often have you wait quite long before you get to make a choice, in Clannad the choices come much more frequently, making it a more interactive experience than the average visual novel. It's interesting to explore the different choices you make and seeing the consequences of those choices and how the story plays out. However, Clannad is very long, at least 50 hours or more to play through all the story routes and get all the different endings, so you'd need quite a bit of patience. Also, if you're a more traditional gamer who doesn't play visual novels, then the gameplay (or lack thereof) may take some getting used to.

    Visuals - The background art is very well-drawn. But the character art is a weak-point. The character drawings are decent, but the unusually large eyes look odd. After a while, however, you kind of just get used to it, so it's not a deal-breaker.

    Audio - The Japanese voice acting is great, with performances full of expression and emotion. It lacks an English dub track, however, but that's understandable given the huge amount of dialogues it has, and I generally prefer playing or watching with the original voice tracks anyway. The music is also amazing, with the entire score very well composed. The music suits the scenes, and the soundtrack is great to listen to on its own as well.

    Note - Clannad was adapted into an anime series, which did a great job of adapting the visual novel. But there are a number of key differences. The visual novel has a much longer script, going much more in-depth with the story, dialogues, and Okazaki's thoughts. The visual novel is also non-linear, allowing you to make choices and seeing how the story unfolds differently, whereas the anime is entirely linear. And the ending can be confusing in the anime, but makes much more sense in the visual novel. For those who saw the anime and were confused by the ending, playing the visual novel is the best way to make sense of the ending.

    Overall - This is a must-play for anyone who enjoys visual novels, adventure games, or interactive storytelling. But if you're not a fan of either of these things, it's still worth giving this a try. In conclusion, Clannad is a masterpiece.
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  2. Feb 9, 2016
    9
    I am very glad to see Clannad on Steam. I still remember the first time I cry because of an anime- because of a game. And yes they wereI am very glad to see Clannad on Steam. I still remember the first time I cry because of an anime- because of a game. And yes they were Clannad- both the visual novel, translated by the fan, and the anime. I was watching, and playing at the same time.
    Used almost all of my money to buy it. And it worth. I know it will.
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  3. Sep 7, 2016
    4
    Clannad is a great story, I love it. However, on Steam, this "game" is $50. Why would I pay $50 for the Visual Novel when I could pay $15 forClannad is a great story, I love it. However, on Steam, this "game" is $50. Why would I pay $50 for the Visual Novel when I could pay $15 for the show on iTunes? $30 if you include After Story. If it was on sale for less than $10, maybe I'd get it. Unfortunately, it's not, and it simply isn't worth all that money for me.
    Now, I wouldn't count this as a "Game" either because it is a Visual Novel. It's actually just a more expensive version of the show. There's no real "gameplay". It's just like clicking to get to the next slide in a slideshow of slightly poorly drawn anime characters. Honestly, I could draw better than that when I was in elementary school.

    Obviously this is just my personal preference, but sacrificing "Gameplay" because I'd rather watch the show for about $35 cheaper, I think that's a better idea for me and my wallet.
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