Higurashi When They Cry is a sound novel. The music, backgrounds and characters work together to create a world that is the stage of a novel for the user to read. They laugh and cry and get angry. The user takes the point of view of the protagonist to experience the story.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (31 reviews) - 93% of the 31 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (899 reviews) - 97% of the 899 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: May 15, 2015

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Packages that include this game

Buy Higurashi Onikakushi & Watanagashi Bundle

Includes 2 items: Higurashi When They Cry Hou - Ch.1 Onikakushi, Higurashi When They Cry Hou - Ch.2 Watanagashi

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Recent updates View all (6)

June 17

Tatarigoroshi On Sale Now!

Higurashi When They Cry Hou – Ch 3 Tatarigoroshi is now live and available for download!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/472870

Help spread the word on twitter with #Higurashi and introduce new fans to this remastered version of such a great series from 07th Expansion!

1 comments Read more

May 20

Umineko When They Cry (Question Arcs) Coming Soon!

Umineko When They Cry (Question Arcs) Coming this July 8th!

http://store.steampowered.com/app/406550

Fans of Higurashi When They Cry won't want to miss this amazing new tale from the same creators at 07th Expansion!

Join Battler, a scion of the wealthy Ushiromiya family, as he attends their annual reunion on the island of Rokkenjima for the first time in six years. However, that night, a disaster falls upon the Ushiromiya family, and they all begin to fear for their very lives. Battler's cousin Maria believes the golden witch Beatrice has returned and committed murder through magic, but Battler doesn't believe in such a fantasy. Still, could anyone in his family really have killed their own kin for the sake of riches? You know both the situation leading up to the incident and its tragic result, but the course of events is an enigma, and no one willing to share the whole truth. What really happened on Rokkenjima that night?

Don't forget to check out our 07th Expansion page either:

http://www.mangagamer.org/07thExpansion/

Help spread the word on twitter with #Umineko and introduce new fans to this remastered version of such a great series from 07th Expansion!

27 comments Read more

Reviews

“Nearly everything about this game’s story just works. It leans from the most asinine, youthful banter possible to truly twisted mental states by the end. Players will end up second guessing themselves just as much as the protagonist does.”
4.5/5 – Hardcore Gamer

“Higurashi stands out as an example of how evocative a game can be based on storytelling without the aid of high-end graphics.”
8.5/10 – APG Nation

About This Game

*THE GAME THAT INSPIRED THE MEGA-HIT ANIME SERIES
RETURNS WITH BRAND NEW CHARACTER ART!! *

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The 58th year of Shouwa, early summer
It’s June, and the summer heat has arrived earlier than it does most years.
By day there are crickets, and by night there are cicadas.

We’re in Hinamizawa, a small village in the countryside.
There are fewer than two thousand people here. But every year, there is an event.

This event is a mysterious death.
(The series has run from 1979 to 1983)

On a certain day in June, someone dies, and someone else goes missing.
The series of deaths is connected to the upheaval surrounding the dam construction project.
A murder case that was covered up is being reenacted.
Is it a conspiracy? A coincidence? Or perhaps a curse?

Someone who was supposed to be there isn’t.
Someone who wasn’t supposed to be there is.

Someone who was alive last night is dead now.
And someone who is here right now isn’t alive.

So, there is no way to avert tragedy. There is no choice but to give up.
But don’t give up.

Only you can stand up to this.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, 7, 8
    • Processor: Pentium III 800 MHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • Processor: Pentium 4 1.4GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.8: "Mountain Lion"
    • Processor: 1 Ghz or faster processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu or equivalent
    • Processor: 1 Ghz or faster processor
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Recent:
Very Positive (31 reviews)
Overall:
Overwhelmingly Positive (899 reviews)
Recently Posted
GhostkingG1
( 0.1 hrs on record )
Posted: June 27
au au au...
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tokainen
( 14.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 27
At first it seems like you'll just hook up some chicks in a village, but it turns out to be a PTSD simulator.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
SuperZeldaGirl
( 9.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 26
I have been a fan of the Higurashi series for so long and to be honest i didnt know if i would find the viual noval creepy but boy was i wrong. I already know what happens in the story as i have watched the anime and read the manga so many times but still i got creeped out with this. The music and sudden changed in character sprites can catch you off gard even if you know what is going to happen like myself.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
N.A.Bowrock
( 10.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 25
Excellent mystery that starts slow but turns into horrifying experience.


Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mr. H
( 15.7 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
Before reading, be warned that this review, while spoiler-free, focuses on Higurashi as a whole.

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.
~Stephen King

Introduction

I should start by saying that Higurashi is a visual novel, and it comes with all the limitations of the medium: there is absolutely zero gameplay (this is a hardcore novel, so prepare for heavy reading), the pacing can feel weird at times (a long story chopped up into eight pieces and released with half-year gaps will do that), you will probably get frustrated when your viewpoint characters do stupid things (believe me, they will do stupid things), and it is very Japanese (certain anime tropes might turn some off). That being said, these limitations are my only complaints. In terms of fear factor, setting, characters, and themes, Higurashi is one of the best horror stories I have ever experienced.

Fear Factor

It might seem weird to start with the actual scares when the game is so story-based and seemingly chipper. From the screenshots, you'd expect a harem romantic comedy, or at least something like it. However, Higurashi excels in presenting its scares slowly and tensely. From very early on in Onikakushi, the first chapter, the story gives tiny hints that Hinamizawa is not the arcadian paradise Keiichi Maebara seems to see every day. After the initial hints, the story takes its sweet time to develop the characters and get you attached to them. After a common turning point, all you've come to know and love will slowly crumble around you, and there will be tears of fear and sorrow. Higurashi is also quite creative in its selection of where the scares come from. There are dark gods, mad scientists, conspiracies, and plain old people going crazy. Regardless of the threat, it will be out of your control. This isn't a game with a world or a damsel to save; it's a tragedy of blood where everything can always get worse.

Setting

Higurashi takes place in 1983 in the small, quiet town of Hinamizawa, a nice place where everybody knows everybody and the days pass by sleepily. Unless you happen to be in the know about certain traditions, that is. Hinamizawa is very, very simlar to the small towns in Stephen King's works: locals of Derry or Castle Rock will feel right at home. Like these other peculiar little towns, Hinamizawa shines in its dual presentation: it is a nice place to live, but it also has a few dark secrets. Hinamizawa has a dark, tragic, and fascinating history, and most of the story's complex mystery centers around the past tragedies of the town. However, you would never know from spending a random day in town. Hinamizawa is a place of youthful adventure as much as a place of tragedy. The sun is usually shining, our heroes are usually goofing off, and the people will stick up for one another. This two-faced nature only highlights the deep extremes the circumstances fall into. Hinamizawa will take you back to your childhood romps while also making you wonder if those campfire stories were really just stories.

Characters (and a Brief Plot Intro)

Higurashi largely centers around the Game Club of Hinamizawa's one-classroom school. They're a rowdy, irreverant bunch of teenagers, but they're closer than family. The newest member (and only boy), Keiichi Maebara, is a city-slicker who has lived in Hinamizawa for a month now. Quick on his feet and good with words, Keiichi has found his crowd. Still, certain events cause him to suspect that his crowd is keeping very big secrets from him, and he starts to reconsider just how safe he is in this new environment. Higurashi features a small cast for a visual novel, but each character is given surprising depth, considering most are initially presented as stereotypes. Characters have tangible virtues and vices that have logical consequences as events unfold. All of this occurs without any player input, so the characters are forced to shoulder all the blame, and they react to this blame as flawed, complex people. Each character has his or her own dark secrets and insecurities, and all act differently when put under intense pressure. By the end of the first chapter, you will be wondering how you can know anyone when you don't even completely know the viewpoint character.

Themes

Higurashi is a horror story in every sense of the phrase. It is crafted to inspire fear, and it is meant to be a story about fear. All of the previously mentioned elements of Higurashi serve to emphasize its main questions: what causes fear, what results from it, and what naturally opposes it? Does fear come by some divine decree, or is Stephen King right about where ghosts come from? Several visual novels place an abstract conflict as their centerpiece (e.g. Danganronpa and hope vs. despair), and Higurashi is no different. Higurashi's central theme is the struggle between fear and faith. Once characters lose their faith (familial, fraternal, religious, or humanist), the tragedy begins, but could they avoid tragedy by shutting out fear? Even if they could, what does that say about the strength of their faith? Is it then better to have no faith at all? Higurashi forces its characters to confront these questions while inviting the reader to do the same, and it doesn't make it easy. This is a series where the ghosts usually win, and victories are few and far between. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide who and what you will believe in.

Closing Words

Higurashi is a horror and a tragedy, and it's quite skilled at both. I've been excited about the remastered Higurashi Hou for a long time now, and I can say that the fresh art, soundtrack, and translations have given new life to a modern classic. Onikakushi is the story's prologue: you'll discover the basic premise and general formula for the series, but be prepared for shakeups and a truckload of unanswered questions by the end of the chapter. As of writing, three of Higurashi's eight core chapters have been released on Steam. I highly recommend diving into this fable of fear, failure, and faith. Don't rush. Take your time. Immerse yourself in the world and invest in the characters. Stick with this mystery to the end, and make what you will of the ultimate answer.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Darcorn
( 14.3 hrs on record )
Posted: June 24
My first VN! Will update this review when I finish the game :)
Helpful? Yes No Funny
mr-tinkle
( 12.8 hrs on record )
Posted: June 23
This game is a good example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. It may appear innocent on the outside, but it holds a deep and dark narrative that manages to be emotional in various ways. It also shows how well suspense and subtlety can be used in horror stories. Even though it's a visual novel, Higurashi is a linear story with no branching pathes. However, the story and characters alone make this worth the read.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
omg
( 9.0 hrs on record )
Posted: June 22
game no work
Helpful? Yes No Funny
lindbergkaige
( 16.5 hrs on record )
Posted: June 22
Don't be fooled by the exterior; this is without a doubt one of the best horror experiences around, more comparable to a work of literature than a game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Forde
( 14.2 hrs on record )
Posted: June 22
I very much enjoyed the story and with the exception of some of the main character's inner voice I found the writing to be great.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
38 of 50 people (76%) found this review helpful
32 people found this review funny
Recommended
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 17
YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED YOU LIED
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
Recommended
24.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 1
You’re in a small village, Hinamizawa where an event takes place every year during June; and each event will always have a mysterious death, with someone going missing along with it. No one knows why this is…but it only happens each year after the event. Will you be able to find out who or what lead these tragic events?

Graphics: 7/10
With its improved and updated graphics, it sure looks better than before and it stands up with today’s standard of anime drawings. They didn’t attempt anything new here and its nothing impressive. Also, most of the background art are just real life pictures with filters over them; this is fine but it looks kinda weird in some places especially when it’s used many times over and over again.

Storyline: 9/10
A very slow start, but it eventually gets to the point halfway through the novel. They’ll start telling you about ‘the curse’, past events that happened before you moved in and more about the characters themselves. This eventually leads you to start wondering if the mysterious deaths were done by humans…or by the curse, or maybe both…you wonder…

Sound: 6/10
It could’ve been better really, some of the music tracks are the same and are played repeatedly in many of the scenes which was kinda annoying to hear after a while. But that’s not to say the music is bad, they’re ‘okay’ for the most part; just not the best.

Gameplay: 9/10
It took me way longer to complete this 5-10 hour VN, took me 24 hours but it was totally worth all that hours. In terms of gameplay, you have the basic menu options and you also get to choose if you want to play with the old graphics or with the new and updated one. The game crashed a few times so make to save often, there are minor translation errors but nothing too big to affect your experience.

Price: 10/10
They are only asking for £4.79 here, go and pick it up now and read one of the most anticipated horror mystery VN there is. You can also pay £9.99 for both the first and second chapters. This is totally worth picking up if you’re a VN enthusiast or if you’re into horror mystery stories.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 9 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 17
Good, though not great. Too many dumb anime gags; technically poor writing; you'll guess where it's going pretty quickly, and it takes forever to admit it. But the actual story is honestly pretty good, and it's a lot scarier than you might think from looking at the screenshots.

Don’t go in to Higurashi When They Cry: Chapter 1 expecting any definitive answers to much of anything. The first instalment of the cult favourite visual novel which made developers 7th Expansion’s name, Onikakushi is a prologue first and foremost, designed to get fans clamoring for more. It’s purely linear; there are no choices of any kind. It also trades in anime cliches far too often in lieu of real character development, the writing is painfully overdone (as in, multiple paragraphs when one would do), the ending is fairly predictable and the protagonist takes forever to realize things are going badly wrong.

That said, this is still an engaging and surprisingly disturbing little story. For all the amateur presentation drags it down, and the way it blatantly shills the next chapter (”Buy it or you’ll never find out what’s actually going on!”), it’s not hard to feel hooked. Keiichi, the young protagonist, has moved to the village of Hinamizawa with his parents, a tiny rural idyll where his bohemian father can pursue his painting career. But for all the village kids seem welcoming enough, Keiichi still hasn’t quite adapted to country living, and when he starts asking questions about the area’s tangled history, he swiftly begins to regret it.

A gruesome murder case, and a fabled curse that strikes down any outsider the village’s guardian deity doesn’t care for… why do his friends seem to know more than they’re letting on? Is he in danger? Not that it’s that difficult to guess; there wouldn’t be that much to get excited about, otherwise. Again, Onikakushi’s biggest weakness is it’s plainly not interested in explicitly detailing “why”, favoring atmosphere over anything too cerebral. The scene-setting is fairly thin, too; it reads like an anime fan’s idea of how kids bicker among themselves.

Even so, when the villagers finally drop their masks, it’s scarier than one might expect - for all the gore and blank-eyed cartoon sociopathy, a couple of the scares are subtle enough to be genuinely unnerving, even playing in broad daylight. And though it’s not hard to guess the ending, the journey there and the questions it raises are evocative enough to stick with you, for all the game’s flaws. Whether Higurashi actually goes anywhere worthwhile from here is another matter entirely, but as prologues go, this is fairly effective stuff.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
15.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 24
Before reading, be warned that this review, while spoiler-free, focuses on Higurashi as a whole.

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real, too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.
~Stephen King

Introduction

I should start by saying that Higurashi is a visual novel, and it comes with all the limitations of the medium: there is absolutely zero gameplay (this is a hardcore novel, so prepare for heavy reading), the pacing can feel weird at times (a long story chopped up into eight pieces and released with half-year gaps will do that), you will probably get frustrated when your viewpoint characters do stupid things (believe me, they will do stupid things), and it is very Japanese (certain anime tropes might turn some off). That being said, these limitations are my only complaints. In terms of fear factor, setting, characters, and themes, Higurashi is one of the best horror stories I have ever experienced.

Fear Factor

It might seem weird to start with the actual scares when the game is so story-based and seemingly chipper. From the screenshots, you'd expect a harem romantic comedy, or at least something like it. However, Higurashi excels in presenting its scares slowly and tensely. From very early on in Onikakushi, the first chapter, the story gives tiny hints that Hinamizawa is not the arcadian paradise Keiichi Maebara seems to see every day. After the initial hints, the story takes its sweet time to develop the characters and get you attached to them. After a common turning point, all you've come to know and love will slowly crumble around you, and there will be tears of fear and sorrow. Higurashi is also quite creative in its selection of where the scares come from. There are dark gods, mad scientists, conspiracies, and plain old people going crazy. Regardless of the threat, it will be out of your control. This isn't a game with a world or a damsel to save; it's a tragedy of blood where everything can always get worse.

Setting

Higurashi takes place in 1983 in the small, quiet town of Hinamizawa, a nice place where everybody knows everybody and the days pass by sleepily. Unless you happen to be in the know about certain traditions, that is. Hinamizawa is very, very simlar to the small towns in Stephen King's works: locals of Derry or Castle Rock will feel right at home. Like these other peculiar little towns, Hinamizawa shines in its dual presentation: it is a nice place to live, but it also has a few dark secrets. Hinamizawa has a dark, tragic, and fascinating history, and most of the story's complex mystery centers around the past tragedies of the town. However, you would never know from spending a random day in town. Hinamizawa is a place of youthful adventure as much as a place of tragedy. The sun is usually shining, our heroes are usually goofing off, and the people will stick up for one another. This two-faced nature only highlights the deep extremes the circumstances fall into. Hinamizawa will take you back to your childhood romps while also making you wonder if those campfire stories were really just stories.

Characters (and a Brief Plot Intro)

Higurashi largely centers around the Game Club of Hinamizawa's one-classroom school. They're a rowdy, irreverant bunch of teenagers, but they're closer than family. The newest member (and only boy), Keiichi Maebara, is a city-slicker who has lived in Hinamizawa for a month now. Quick on his feet and good with words, Keiichi has found his crowd. Still, certain events cause him to suspect that his crowd is keeping very big secrets from him, and he starts to reconsider just how safe he is in this new environment. Higurashi features a small cast for a visual novel, but each character is given surprising depth, considering most are initially presented as stereotypes. Characters have tangible virtues and vices that have logical consequences as events unfold. All of this occurs without any player input, so the characters are forced to shoulder all the blame, and they react to this blame as flawed, complex people. Each character has his or her own dark secrets and insecurities, and all act differently when put under intense pressure. By the end of the first chapter, you will be wondering how you can know anyone when you don't even completely know the viewpoint character.

Themes

Higurashi is a horror story in every sense of the phrase. It is crafted to inspire fear, and it is meant to be a story about fear. All of the previously mentioned elements of Higurashi serve to emphasize its main questions: what causes fear, what results from it, and what naturally opposes it? Does fear come by some divine decree, or is Stephen King right about where ghosts come from? Several visual novels place an abstract conflict as their centerpiece (e.g. Danganronpa and hope vs. despair), and Higurashi is no different. Higurashi's central theme is the struggle between fear and faith. Once characters lose their faith (familial, fraternal, religious, or humanist), the tragedy begins, but could they avoid tragedy by shutting out fear? Even if they could, what does that say about the strength of their faith? Is it then better to have no faith at all? Higurashi forces its characters to confront these questions while inviting the reader to do the same, and it doesn't make it easy. This is a series where the ghosts usually win, and victories are few and far between. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide who and what you will believe in.

Closing Words

Higurashi is a horror and a tragedy, and it's quite skilled at both. I've been excited about the remastered Higurashi Hou for a long time now, and I can say that the fresh art, soundtrack, and translations have given new life to a modern classic. Onikakushi is the story's prologue: you'll discover the basic premise and general formula for the series, but be prepared for shakeups and a truckload of unanswered questions by the end of the chapter. As of writing, three of Higurashi's eight core chapters have been released on Steam. I highly recommend diving into this fable of fear, failure, and faith. Don't rush. Take your time. Immerse yourself in the world and invest in the characters. Stick with this mystery to the end, and make what you will of the ultimate answer.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
12.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 23
This game is a good example of why you should never judge a book by its cover. It may appear innocent on the outside, but it holds a deep and dark narrative that manages to be emotional in various ways. It also shows how well suspense and subtlety can be used in horror stories. Even though it's a visual novel, Higurashi is a linear story with no branching pathes. However, the story and characters alone make this worth the read.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
13.7 hrs on record
Posted: June 11
How I felt after losing the card game "Old bachelor".

http://i.imgur.com/nrETTA0.png
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
24.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 17
I've loved Higurashi since I first binged the anime, and when I saw the light novels (Which I've not previously read!) were on Steam with updated sprites I couldn't help myself. And am I glad the chapters are now available on steam. I knew most of the story already through reading the manga, and as I said, watching the anime, but I adore how immersed you become with the story.
It's so detailed and I think it can be enjoyed for those that liked the anime and even those who are new to the Higurashi Universe. Definitely recommended!
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
16.5 hrs on record
Posted: June 22
Don't be fooled by the exterior; this is without a doubt one of the best horror experiences around, more comparable to a work of literature than a game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.8 hrs on record
Posted: June 25
Excellent mystery that starts slow but turns into horrifying experience.


Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
Recommended
17.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 10
tl;dr - though I marked this a "Yes", consider it a "mixed" review. the first 1/3 of it is ♥♥♥♥♥, the second is alright, and the end is good. also, no player interaction.

Although many people may prefer to go into games blind, I think there are a few things you should know before delving into Higurashi (many people who are familiar with the franchise may know this already. but hey, I didn't).

First, the beginning is long, slow-paced and stupid. But once things finally kick off, it's pretty good.
Second, in case you're a fan of visual novels: don't expect any interaction in this like most VNs out there. In case you are not familiar with the genre: expect to read a lot. In fact, reading is what makes the largest part of this novel. There are sprites and sound, sure, but in the end you're still in for hours of reading.
Third, I haven't watched the anime (yet), but in case you have, I think some things may play out a bit different. For one, I am pretty sure the anime does not stick to Onikakushi alone, and isn't nearly as detailed.

This novel has many downsides, of course. The beginning is excruciating. Narration is really infantile and there are lenghty descriptions of completely irrelevant things. I get what they're trying to go for by setting that extremely cliché anime mood and then revealing, little by little, that life in Hinamizawa isn't all that relaxing and fun, until it gets to a point when it's taken a 180º curve and turned into the creepy mystery story that people are actually here for. But it still would've been better had they cut some of that snooze-inducing crap at the start and inserted something else, like extra material content or CGs.

Anyway, I still recommend it since the story does turn out to be interesting and somewhat creepy. The writing style near the second half of the game, particularly when describing Keiichi's paranoia, is enticing and has just the right amount of detail. However, especially in case you're a fan of horror/mystery and not in for the kyute moe animu grls and school shenanigans, you'll need to be really patient for the first 2~3 hours or so.
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