When Learn Japanese To Survive: Hiragana Battle first hit Kickstarter back in 2015, I was blown away by the potential. Finally, there was a game that understood that the reason most people wanted to learn Japanese was to exclusively weeb out. The notion of creating a game that teaches its players how to read Japanese while at the same time giving them all the beautiful nonsense of a JRPG is an otaku’s wet dream. So lo and behold when Sleepy Duck, the Australian developers behind Hiragana Battle, announced a new Kickstarter for a sequel, Learn Japanese To Survive: Katakana War, I had to jump on it.
To better understand this game, you have to understand a little bit about the language. Japanese has three separate sets of characters: hiragana, katakana, and kanji. To fully get Japanese writing, you need to know all three. So, as the names imply, Hiragana Battle covered the first set, and now with the proposed Katakana War, we’re set to learn the next.
As you can expect from an educational game, the actual game part of Hiragana Battle can be a little bland, with a story as cliché as an educational JRPG can be. It makes sense, of course, since you don’t want an epic storyline overshadowing your vowel quiz, but it could have been better. Sleepy Duck seems to have learned from some of their past mistakes, however, and promise this time around to make a title that has a little more game in it, as well as a more education. They’ve also said that Katakana War is accessible enough that you don’t have to play Hiragana Battle to get into this one, so don’t let that stop you from trying this out.
Having reached its funding goal in only two days’ time, there’s no doubt about Katakana War’s release, but with fun stretch goals like partial voice acting, don’t be afraid to jump on the LJTS bandwagon and invest. Is it bad that I’m already anxious for the eventual Kanji Clash?