Kickstarted video games overshooting their forecast release dates occurs so often it’s actually a shock when a game is actually released on time. So it’s a particularly nice surprise to see that Learn Japanese to Survive! Hiragana Battle from developer Sleepy Duck has been released two months ahead of schedule.
With an original planned release of April 2016 Hiragana Battle was actually released on Steam on 17th February with all backers receiving either a Steam key or a direct download. For this educational RPG with a modest budget of AUD$4,650 ($3,420) this marks an impressive achievement.
Hiragana Battle also looks to have been received well by gamers with 125 reviews on Steam already of which an impressive 98% are positive. As a small indie game there aren’t many professional reviews of Hiragana Battle available, with AgressiveComix.com the only site to cover it so far where it’s received a respectable 8/10 rating.
Having backed Hiragana Battle myself my own thoughts mirror those of most of the Steam reviews. As a RPG game it’s competent if a little clunky while the educational side is fairly basic, teaching you the fundamentals of Japanese and some basic vocabulary. However as an entry-level guide to Japanese it’s actually very effective and easy to recommend, especially priced at only $7 through Steam or as a direct download from study-japanese.net.
And on a side note, considering my pledge was only AUD$3 ($2.21) for a copy of the game and my name in the credits it probably reflects my best value Kickstarter reward to date.