Shujinkou Is Attempting To Be Released On The Nintendo Switch, A RPG That Can Teach You Japanese

Shujinkou Is Attempting To Be Released On The Nintendo Switch, A RPG That Can Teach You Japanese
Credit: Rice Games

The gaming world is familiar with the idea of edutainment, but this game is looking to go much further than simply teaching math. Shunjinkou is looking to teach Japanese to players in the form of an RPG. The developers are hoping to “interweave Japanese language learning into the story and mechanics while maintaining its appeal to gamers.”

These are high ambitions, but if they are successful, this could revolutionize how language is taught. There is a basic value in place as to why Nintendo Switch players would want to learn Japanese. Nintendo fans often stumble across Japanese speech and text almost every day, a release on the switch would put this game in the hands of an audience that wants to learn.

This is much more than a simple repetition game and instead puts you in a world where the Japanese language is being erased by Demons. There is a proper story, actual battle mechanics, and fast-paced combat that create a great game atmosphere while still educating players on how to read and speak Japanese.

The game follows a Metroidvania-style where players must react to situations appearing while simultaneously learning the language as they go. It does have base RPG mechanics like leveling and equipment while still having the language lessons ingrained in the dialogue and story.

There are artifacts, or Kobutsu in Japanese, scattered around each level. As you collect all the pieces, you can recover adjectives that are used to alter the level’s environment. These adjectives are used in everyday Japanese sayings while still being an important feature for in-game effects.

To improve your character, you must learn verbs. The verbs act as buffs for the player and debuffs for the enemies. Their effect is dependant upon the meaning of the respective verb. Scattered throughout the world are signboards, Kanban, that provide hints about enemies as well as tips on finding secret areas.

Aside from the main quest and battling, you will find many minigames scattered around the world. You can learn Radicals with a balloon popping game or race past numbers to learn how to count. If you want someone on one battle, you can fight int Kendama Kombo and learn counter words by matching the correct counter with an opponent’s word.

The kickstart campaign has just started and is looking for $45,000. As of the time of this article, the campaign has already raised over $8,000 with 27 days still to go. If you want to learn Japanese in a story-driven way, then check out their Kickstarter page and be sure to back this project.