hiragana1Learning another language is a long and tedious process. People have thought of innovative and efficient ways to speed up the learning process over the years but still people struggle to learn. Many people rely on music during studying or for learning activities to improve their understanding; they are more open to information. Children’s games often rely on music to teach them to read, count, or even write.

What if we applied the same concept to a game for grownups?

James Barnard years ago left Lucasarts and began creating games on his own. During this time, he wanted to learn Japanese but struggled. To make it easier and fun for himself, he created Hiragana Pixel Party, a lowbit music-based game relying on music to learn Japanese characters. Afterwards, he released it on iTunes and it has been praised for its efficiency.

hiragana2In Hiragana Pixel Party, a character is running across the screen. Japanese letters are read out to the player with the music playing (and some are read out in English as well) and the player must select the matching Japanese character at the right part of the song. Fail to do so and the character falls. Failure.

With the use of repetition, memory, and timing, players eventually grow comfortable with these Japanese characters and naturally associate a tune to them. It’s significantly easier to remember them. Now, James has created a company, Springloaded Software, and wants to improve and release Hiragana Pixel Party on additional consoles. For this, James has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £4K for controller support, a 3DS version, and a PC version (released on Steam). He has organized stretch goals for PS4, PS VITA, Xbox One, Wii U, and Android.


[facebook][tweet][Google][pinterest][follow id=”Cliqist” size=”large” count=”true” ]

About the Author

Julie Morley

Julie Morley is a freelance writer and comic artist from Spring, Texas. She attended the Academy of Art University for two years, studying Animation and Illustration. Whilst here, she learned about writing comic scripts, storyboards, and general storytelling. Since leaving college, she has been working on personal comic projects, stories, and illustrations. She aspires to release a self published comic within two years. For the majority of her life, she has been playing console games, typically being third-person shooters and sandboxes. Her favorite game of existence is Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle) and her favorite Indie game is Gone Home.

View All Articles