Players control a high-school student who is brought into his school's Literature Club by his good friend, the youthful Sayori. There, he makes friends with the rest of the group (including timid Yuri, hotheaded Natsuki, and club leader Monika). Along the way, players must choose a series of words to create poems (which, depending on the choices, increase his bond with each of the girls).
Unlike most visual novels, the game is prefaced with a warning that it is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed. While sensitive topics (such as depression and child abuse) are touched on at certain points in the story, the game is better known for its surprise (and macabre) mid-game plot twist, changing the narrative to psychological horror with elements of metafiction.
It was developed in the Ren'Py Visual Novel Engine. While the game is free, players can support the developer buy purchasing a downloadable "fan pack" (containing the game's soundtrack and some artwork).