Educational RPG Game To Learn Japanese (Kickstarter)

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Although it wouldn't really attract hardcore gamers, there is an interesting little Kickstarter project for learning to read some Japanese basic Hiragana symbols by playing an education RPG adventure. I've always been intrigued with how the Japanese writing seems so detailed [almost artistic to North American eyes which are so used to just single letter characters].

Only a couple of days left right now, but given that the dev was smart in building a full RPG as the base [rather than just throwing together a tiny game aspect as an afterthought], I can see where it may possibly have some learning retention and basic grasp for reading the symbols/characters... Anyone who has enjoy RPG Maker style games will quickly spot that the individual characters/symbols are used as the monsters being fought (and he has a rather unique and interesting way to reward character recognition by making that part of the fight attack).

Anyhow, if anybody is interested in Japanese, take a quick look at the Kickstarter campaign during these last couple of days. Even the backing levels are pretty inexpensive [highest tier is only $30]... Considering the funding goal to finish up the project is quite small (again, he seems to have a solid foundation for the game already completed), I'm going to back the game as well.

I'm interested in seeing whether the approach can work -- building a full recognizable RPG adventure genre of game around and educational goal (rather than the majority of "educational games" which don't really look at their games as something to be played just for the fun of the actual game itself... hard to explain what I mean, but basically most Educational "Games" often have very little "Game" aspect.

If you get a chance, check it out:

Learn Japanese To Survive! Hiragana Battle

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Funding has almost reached its goal (currently less than $100 left to reach the Kickstarter goal).

Nice part as well is that the campaign is set for Australian dollars, so backing from Canada or the U.S. actually costs even less.

A $30 Tier Backer [the highest tier] actually only means paying approx:

$29.33 CDN

$21.95 U.S.

A $20 Tier Backer [which still also gets 2 digital copies and 1 physical copy] actually only means paying approx:

$19.55 CDN

$16.63 U.S.

Even to back at $3 (the lowest tier to get a digital copy of the game when released) means you get the game for approx:

$2.19 U.S.

I know it's a niche game/market, but kinda nice that even a $2 or $3 backing actually gets a copy of the game (also nice for those who are old style RPG maker style game fans) :)

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  • 2 months later...

The Kickstarter campaign made it possible for the devs to get some extra help (as well as expanding the game a bit more with additional quests and lessons), and it is now available on Steam [it was originally expected to come out in April].

Overall I'm quite pleased with how well it works for learning the Hiragana basics. The story itself is a standard tale (though done reasonably well, albeit a little simplified]. The "battle" sequences are used to help develop memorization and recognition of the Hiragana patterns, and works fairly well. Some UI areas could use a bit better navigation, but overall they did a good job.

Just from some initial play point lessons in the game [it really starts picking up speed by Lesson 3], I was able to go to a pronunciation/teaching site, and was pleased to find I was pronouncing words pretty accurately even before playing the audio files.

The game isn't going to teach you full conversational Japanese, but it does give a reasonably fun and easy way to learn the basics for reading and writing [Hiragana being a necessary foundation to progress to the additional alphabets used].

For $6.99 U.S., I think it's pretty good game and learning value for anyone who may want to give learning Japanese a try.

Learn Japanese To Survive! Hiragana Battle

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