A YEAR OF SPRINGS
A downloadable game for Windows, macOS, and Linux
languages: english / 日本語 / deutsch / espanol / français / 한국어 / português / ไทย / 简体中文
three women, three stories, three springs.
experience the stories of haru, erika, and manami in A YEAR OF SPRINGS, a visual novel trilogy about a trio of friends navigating their feelings of love, connection, and just wanting to belong.
- three visual novels with multiple endings
- an all-new epilogue exclusive to the trilogy collection
- soft and cute art with a relaxing original soundtrack
- music player, cg gallery, and other extras
in one night, hot springs, visit the hot springs with haru, a young and anxious trans woman who just wants to enjoy herself on a trip with manami but doesn't want to cause any trouble.
in last day of spring, start off the reiwa era as erika, a well-meaning ex-delinquent who runs into more issues than expected when trying to plan a spa day for haru.
in spring leaves no flowers, help sheltered university student manami think about what friendship and romance mean to her as she spends a day with haru, erika, and her boyfriend.
- soundtrack - bandcamp
- issues/questions - support form
- more info - website
community copies: the minimum purchase price is set to 5 usd, but by paying above the minimum price, you can donate community copies for other users & also support me in making more games like this.
streaming guidelines: it's ok to stream this game, but please do not stream the epilogue. i put a lot of love into it so i want people to be able to experience that on their own first.
content warning: this trilogy discusses issues that people of different genders and sexualities may face, which is a topic that can be sensitive and personal.
- google indie games festival japan 2022 (top 10)
- ludonarracon 2022
- gayming awards 2021 (best lgbtq indie game award nomination)
- tokyo game show 2021: indie game selected exhibit
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ALSO ON STEAM & CONSOLES
|Platforms||Windows, macOS, Linux|
|Genre||Visual Novel, Interactive Fiction|
|Made with||Clip Studio Paint, FL Studio, Audacity, Ren'Py|
|Tags||aromantic, asexual, Cute, Female Protagonist, Lesbian, LGBT, Multiple Endings, Ren'Py, Transgender|
|Average session||About an hour|
|Languages||German, English, Spanish; Castilian, French, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil), Thai, Chinese (Simplified)|
|Inputs||Keyboard, Mouse, Gamepad (any)|
|Accessibility||Color-blind friendly, Subtitles|
|Links||Steam, Homepage, Soundtrack, Twitter, Patreon|
|Mentions||Come get the Pre-Summer itch.io Selects...|
In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $4.99 USD. You will get access to the following files:
Support this game at or above a special price point to receive something exclusive.
if you are in need & cannot afford A YEAR OF SPRINGS, you can claim a community copy donated by other users. tips at above the minimum recommended price go towards community copies.
if you claim a community copy, i only ask that you pay it forward in the future by buying a copy for a friend if you can, or sharing / reviewing / commenting on the game if you can't.
Also available on
- A YEAR OF SPRINGS v1.05: minor updateNov 18, 2022
- A YEAR OF SPRINGS 1-year postmortemMay 14, 2022
- A YEAR OF SPRINGS รองรับภาษาไทยแล้ว ! thai tra...Feb 27, 2022
- A YEAR OF SPRINGS 现已支持简体中文！simplified chinese translation adde...Nov 01, 2021
- A YEAR OF SPRINGS now out on steam! + new languagesSep 29, 2021
- A YEAR OF SPRINGS coming to steam for tokyo game show!Sep 01, 2021
- A YEAR OF SPRINGS v1.01: portuguese & text fixesJul 21, 2021
- A YEAR OF SPRINGS soundtrack release & thanks for 500 purchases!Jun 18, 2021
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amazing game, the writing was great as well. i really felt for haru. manami as well. thanks for making these.
thank you for playing them!
100%d the free version of one night hot springs on steam and i loved it enough to claim a community copy and now i feel bad
please don't feel bad about claiming a community copy! they're there to be taken.
A very good way to approach transidentity and asexuality through play for people unfamiliar with the subject. In this, translations are a must. We need more games like this!
I as a person under the trans umbrella have to admit this really helps the topic. Being unable to know what bathroom to use, and unsure of what name or such to use. It's all so understood!! I feel so seen with all of them, finding your perhaps ace, or else it's hard!
im a big fan of your games! i claimed a community copy and i really enjoyed it, although i feel very guilty for not paying it tho. im too young to get a credit card and i dont have paypal, also i literally cant pay anything online rn with k plus. im planning to try and make a paypal account in the future and try to transfer some of the money from my k plus account to there to purchase it. ill try to talk to a friend and ask if they wanted the game so i could send them the game either online or using a flash drive. im pretty sure that i will be able to pay for this one day!
as for the game, awesome writing as always. society can be cruel sometimes, and i understand the pain they were in. i relate to the three of them in a way. i dont have much time to write now, thanks for this awesome game!
hey please don't feel guilty - that's what the community copies are for (: thank you for playing!
The cozy atmosphere of this game gives me so much hope for myself and my friends, even when society doesn't seem to be friendly towards us. The characters feel very real, and their stories are ones I will always remember.
The writing is incredible, and I have a special fondness for the last one. I started crying as Manami was starting to realize certain things about herself because of how closely her feelings mirrored mine when I was in her position.
thank you! spring leaves no flowers is special to me too for similar reasons.
This is such a beautiful game. Thank you for making something that really helps understand how someone who is trans might feel and the awkward interactions they usually encounter. My wife is trans and I saw so much of her in Haru. <3
thank you for playing & for the comment! <3
have you considered providing an Android release here on itch as well as on Google Play?
sorry not at the moment!
I just wanted to say thank you very much for making these games and this collection. The depiction of transgender topics and romance feels very earnest and raw while still having a hopeful spin to it. I love that the characters are flawed but nice friends who remind me a lot of me and the people I know. Everything hits close to home and gets sometimes quite emotional for me and the whole series has been close to my heart since I played all three a year and a half ago. Now I played this collection on console and I really like the epilogue too and it's good to support the creator finally! :D
hey thank you for the comment! i'm glad you got to enjoy it on console & that the characters in the game feel close to you (:
Everybody in the world is probably talking about "a pet shop after dark", but....!!! HERE I AM, PLAYING THIS INSTEAD........ And I'm really happy I did!!! It's a really beautiful experience.
The uncaring nature of society is really a brutal thing; I mean, I personally have a hard time ever accepting myself and my feelings and anything valuable to me, so. Experiences like this are really important to me. Reminders that, even if you can't exactly think to yourself "I'm valid" or "I'm secure" or "I'm loved", there's so many people in this world who want you to be happy, even if we aren't personally connected.
In terms of the experience itself, the first chapter, "one night, hot springs" really made me feel.... excruciatingly sad, but also really happy, y'know? It had the most put it into it, as far as outcomes go, and so.... There's a lot there to make one feel either dejected or elated. On one hand, giving up is such an easy thing to do, and.... it hurts. Thinking "life would be easier if I didn't bother" is just such a desperately soothing thing at times, but... being who we want to be is a big part of what life is about, right? So... The dichotomy of never trying or trying your best is.... really beautiful. It's a really, really, really good first chapter.
Extremely good because, getting into "last day of spring", the payoff of the experience was very immediate and really powerful. Like!!!! Erika is just.... such a good character. A character that comes off as abrasive but simultaneously tries their hardest to make people happy, for me, is just.... Really powerful. People who're open-minded, understanding, and trying their best to make people feel accepted.... They're really beautiful. So, while the second chapter has its dead ends, which all felt really empty.... the true ending felt, so fricking beautiful. Like.... so much on display is stuff that I have so much trouble, personally, getting over, so.... Seeing a story where such struggles are given a genuinely beautiful conclusion is just, amazing to me.
But the third chapter is also really beautiful in its own way.... I myself identify as asexual, though it's obviously a spectrum and my own place is somewhere different, but.... I mean. It's really fricking impossible to untangle the thoughts of standard, socially acceptable sexuality from my brain sometimes, and understanding that my own perspective genuinely does not have to fit in line with the perspective of the rest of the world is a struggle. So a story like this is really beautiful, too. In terms of romance, I genuinely have no idea where I land, but. The story of forming really deep bonds with people important to you is.... really beautiful. Having people who'll support you no matter the issue, because they want you to be happy, and care about you, is just like... What could be more splendidly sweet and encouraging than that, right? The way it caps off is so perfect!!!!
I suppose I, myself, didn't really experience the build-up of these stories, and the subsequent importance of the epilogue, but.... As somebody who's dived right in, I've genuinely wept a lot of happy tears playing through it! And the epilogue is just..... It's a bit of an overused phrase here, but it really is beautiful. It's a really, really good last note to leave the story on. Deeply encouraging, deeply satisfying, but also.... Like.... God. I want these characters to be happy. They're really wonderful.
As an extra note, just. The music is all really freaking good, too!!! Admittedly my own methods of playing through certain games are probably pretty unusual, but. Sitting at the title screen and chapter select screen for long stretches of time between chapters was such a wonderful experience. The main theme of the story is really beautiful. And, really, the entire game as a whole looks so fricking good... It's a minimalist style, but it's genuinely so fricking good!!!!!!!!!!! I love all of it. ALL OF IT...........
As a personal ramble, I knew a lot things I wanted/identified with for a really long time, but always held it back because, I just simply didn't think any of it was worth bothering with, nor that I deserved any of it anyway. Life is short, society is uncaring, and there's very little assurance that anything I'd want is even possible. So. A story like this, that encourages growth and trying your best to feel valid even if the world is the way it is, it's like.... It's really perfect, y'know? I really appreciate it. So!!!!!!! Thank you for making it!
thank you for this kind comment! i'm really happy that you enjoyed your experience with the game and also want to say that you can play a game however you want! so if you enjoy just having the title screen open for a game and listening to the music, that's valid and awesome.
why'd you take the other two off sale? /general
because i've updated all the games for the trilogy version and want people to play these ones. i've left the first one up on all platforms since it was on steam individually already & i didn't want to remove it.
after playing one night, hot springs for free, i immediatly bought this. I love this game! Will there ever be any more, or will it stay as a trilogy?
thank you for playing! i don't have any plans to continue this trilogy at this time.
i buying this game to support npckc on playstore and i like the stories so far. Being a different gender with legal gender is tough and stressful. Gladly erika and manami can accept it.
Wondering about haru situation if it's in real life? Must be a lot of pain
A YEAR OF SPRINGS is a work of fiction, but the laws mentioned are still the current situation at the time of this comment (so same-sex marriage is still not legal in japan, trans people still can't change their gender legally without going through the medical procedures specified in the law, &c.).
things are slowly changing for the better - for example, tokyo recently announced it will start recognising same-sex unions - but there is still a lot of room to improve.
The game is very cute and the theme is great. Glad to play a game like it.
(It is also my first time to get to know ren’py. Look very interesting :D)
thanks for playing! also ren'py is a great engine & i highly recommend it to anybody who wants to make visual novels.
I really enjoyed this game, it had a nice story. Thank you for making this.
thank you for playing & for the comment!
I'm two weeks late in responding, but I want to say: Thank you.
I first played the AYoS trilogy last summer. I knew it was a collection of three older games (all of which were still available in their legacy forms at the time), but I had no idea you didn't originally plan it as a trilogy. I cried through much of the game, shifting between tears of sadness and joy.
thank you! & i hope the game brought you more joy than it did sadness.
I wanted to thank you for creating this wonderful game. It really is a heartwarming story.
thank you for playing it!
Hi. Thank you so much for these games. I know they're about Japan, but they hit so close to home that I almost cried multiple times (I'm trans and ace)
thank you for playing! i am happy the games resonated with you.
It's been like, months since I last played this and I still think of it with so much fondness from time to time. This felt so hopeful and I love how the way the characters were written felt human instead of having their LGBTQIA+ identity as their only identity. Also, the art was so cute!!!
Thank you so much for this <3.
thank you for coming back to share your thoughts! 💜
This game was amazing and a lot of it resonated with me as a trans woman. This story had such a positive impact on me, and I really hope everyone who needs the love this story can bring to them can find this story and experience it for themselves. Truly a work of art. Thank you.
thank you for playing! i hope this game can reach people who need it too 💜
I loved it!! I already told you on twitter lol, but aaaa this game is so beautiful!! <3
hehe thanks for playing & for coming to comment here too (:
I completely forgot that I claimed a community copy back when this released. After having played it on switch and loving this collection finally came back to pay for the game on here. Thank you so much for this series, it means a lot to me :)
thanks for coming back to comment after playing! i'm happy you liked the game.
I love these! It's rather uncommon to see explorations of queer people navigating Japan and its culture in the VN space; i can't help but root for everyone in their journey to live their best lives
Thank you so much for making this series!
thank you for playing! if this is something you are interested in, right now actually japan has a lawsuit for marriage equality going on - here's a website about it >> https://www.marriageforall.jp/en/
(i'm in no way affiliated but currently the laws in japan make it hard for queer people to live their best lives, so i want to put attention on actions being taken to make things better)
Thanks for showing this to me! I'll make sure to look into it
thank you for this. I can't express my gratitude, and I really hope you are proud of these beautiful games. It moved my heart and it made me learn a lot. Thank you<3
thank you for playing! i'm proud to have made something that could move your heart.
Thank you for this amazing game.
I love all of it!
It's my new favorite game of yours, with a tavern for tea and a pet shop after dark.
Just... Keep doing what you do so well!
hey, thank you for playing this game as well as the others! (: i'm glad you liked them.
So I am admittedly a cheapskate on here and love all the free visual novels on here, but I am so glad I paid the $5 for this one! One of the most wholesome and heartwarming games I've ever played, especially as a trans woman myself. <3
thanks for playing! (:
thank you for playing!
I purchased and played through this on Xbox. As a transwoman, some of what Haru went through hit really close to home; especially the conversation with Erika towards the end of "Last Day of Spring". I really enjoyed my play through, despite the fact that I started crying uncontrollably haha.
thank you for playing on xbox! i'm happy last day of spring resonated with you 💐
I recently claimed a community copy of this game on here, and once I was able to, I purchased it on Steam as well (alongside DLCs for the games available there) to show my appreciation for lovely and cute games like the ones in this collection that also deal with hard-hitting and important topics. Once I set aside some time to play it, I will be sure to leave a review and rating, and to notify others who may be interested in it as well.
thank you for playing on itch & on steam! 💐
wonderful game :)
thank you! (:
I wrote this on the older version without realizing there was a newer one. I just want to know if you plan on releasing an Android version as well. Thanks. :)
if you read the page, you'll see a link to the google play store (:
Oops. lol. I found it. :)
Thank you so much for this game! It was such a great and eye-opening experience for me about how it feels to be trans in a society like today's. As someone who is questioning, Haru's story hit pretty hard for me, and it hasn't left my mind since buying it on Switch a few days ago. It even helped me about coming to terms with myself about who I am and who I feel like I am.
Thank you <3
hi! thank you for playing on switch. it means a lot to me that haru's story could help you even if just a little bit.
I couldn't play this game because I don't have enough money to buy it myself and I don't think my parents would buy it for me, but I played the three games separately for free and I don't think a game ever impacted me this much, I never realized what trans people go through each day, thank you for making me understand and teaching me. These games are so well made and beautiful, so again, thank you! Keep up the good work ^~^
- Daisy <3
thank you for playing the games separately! if you haven't seen it, there are community copies available on this page for those who can't purchase the trilogy. if you claim a community copy, i only ask that you pay it forward in the future by buying a copy for a friend if you can, or sharing / reviewing / commenting on the game if you can't.
No I haven't seen it, ty for telling me! I will see if I can claim a copy and then I'll review the game :>
Wowowowow. I have no words—except to say that this trilogy is absolutely beautiful. The art style is so warm, the characters work amazingly together...it's all just so good. ❤️ Thank you for an incredible experience! Can't wait to gift a few copies to my friends. :)
thank you for playing! i'm happy you enjoyed it & i hope your friends do too if they play.
I bought this game on Switch, and I can confidentially say that no game has ever left this much of an impact on me.
So, some context: I'm Serena (formally Aiden), a transgender woman who fairly recently came out (I came out to my mom in September). I've had a lot of issues with gender dysphoria and being extremely unsure of my sexuality, and until recently I've really felt trapped.
So, I'm browsing through the eShop "deals" section, and I see a charming looking game icon which catches my attention, and upon reading the description I knew I wanted to get it. I'm still fairly new to being trans, so I figured that it would be interesting to play a visual novel featuring a trans protagonist, who I'd come to know as Haru.
Over the past two days, I binged the game and maaaaybe filled up my Switch with screenshots of the game- either way... wow. Getting to know Haru and realizing how much I relate to her and the problems she faces on a daily basis helped fill in so many blanks. It made so many things make so much more sense, and kind of just made me feel like someone... understood. Especially when Erika and the staff lady both went out of their way to show Haru comfort and acceptance, the game/novel gives me hope that things are gonna get better, that one day I will have that supportive friend/person who helps me take the next step and feel more comfortable as... myself. Be it the writer or Haru, I felt a deep connection right from the get go. I became invested in Haru's story, and I was excited to learn more about Erika and Manami, and it was a really exciting feeling.
When I started the second game, I was a mixture of intrigued and excited. Getting to see things from Erika's perspective was a really interesting change of pace, as while she was a character that I got to know a little in 'one night, hot springs', it was really interesting to see things like her personal thoughts and feelings, living space and that, despite her daring/often rude undertone, she always meant well. It really built up both my understanding of Erika as a character and the relationship between Erika and Haru. It was really cute and I absolutely fell in love with this chapter.
The third game was definitely the game that shocked me the most, honestly. Seeing crossed-out choices that often times Manami would go against if picked... it honestly hit really close to home with me in terms of that anxiety and second-guessing everything, which is something Haru also does to a lesser(?) extent. Reading through her conversation with Haru and Erika about asexuality/aromanticy put me in tears. It all felt so... genuine. As with the rest of the game, the writing was superb, heartfelt and genuine.
I won't spoil the Epilogue, but it capped off an amazing, heartfelt visual novel the best way it could. In an odd way... I want to see more of Haru and Erika, even if their remaining stories are best left untold.
Thank you, npckc, for making this.
thank you for playing & for this really sweet comment! i'm happy you stumbled upon the game & i hope you have a good rest of the year.
i played one night hot springs over a year ago over a friend's recommendation, and i am so so glad i did. the three stories and epilogue all deeply resonate with me more than anything i can think of, and having a character i can relate to as much as haru feels really nice.
i want to thank you for all of the effort you put into your games. ^v^
thanks for playing!! i'm glad the stories resonated with you 💜
Finally, I had the time to play a year of springs and it is such a wonderful and lovely game. Especially the story of Manami felt so true to me as I'm asexual and I experienced some of the situations as well. Thank you for creating such amazing little games <3
thank you for playing! your comment about manami's story means a lot to me because i was really careful when writing it to do my best to represent asexuality well.
Thank you for always trying to do your best <3 It was pretty amazing. Sometimes I think I'm broken because I don't feel any sexual attraction, I can't even understand if someone is flirting with me. This felt so, so, so right. Thank you so much. <3
hey!!!! i just wanted to say you're definitely not broken for that! i went through the same feelings previously & it's something i still struggle with, but we're both perfectly normal human beings who just happen to not feel sexual attraction (:
As I just had a baby, postpartum depression has been kicking my butt so, in my downtime, I was checking out games to play.
This resonated so much with me.
I claimed a community copy was thrilled to find this such a wonderful playthrough on the various stories. The representation really just made me so happy.
I will purchase a community copy the moment I can. The soundtrack is so pleasing even my baby calms down when they hear it. Thank you so much ^-^
hello, please make sure to take care of yourself - postpartum depression can be really tough! i'm glad your baby enjoyed the soundtrack too.
Since there really is no way for me to buy this game yet, I claimed a community copy in hopes of buying your games in the future. I've been a fan of your games since I discovered A tavern for tea, and i must say I really appreciate the work you put in each and every one of them. I attempted to go in as blind as possible and I was incredibly happy to see representation done so well. Can't wait to see more of your work!
btw the ost is absolutely amazing, I'm a sucker for good music in games and this one is gorgeous.
thank you for the comment! i'd appreciate it if you pay it forward in the future, especially if you've played my other games - i've set their price as $0 pay-what-you-want, but the labour & time i put into them is not free. i'm glad you enjoyed the soundtrack.
Of course! The moment I can, I'm donating for a community copy or gifting a friend one, I know it takes a lot of effort and time for these games to be made.
fuck i just claimed a community copy by accident im so sorry lol what do i do
i don't think there's any way to undo that but if you want, please consider gifting a friend a copy or donating for another community copy (:
how would i donate a copy? i dont know how to
copying from the summary:
community copies: the minimum purchase price is set to 5 usd, but by paying above the minimum price, you can donate community copies for other users & also support me in making more games like this.
if you buy a copy at 5 usd that will cover the cost of the community copy you claimed but that would just mean you end up with 2 copies i think. however, you can choose to gift a copy to somebody else if you have their email from the purchase screen.
thanks you so much ill try to buy it when i have the chance <33