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We Played A Game On Switch That Teaches You Japanese

With the new year comes some New Year’s resolutions. One of mine is that I’ve always wanted to learn Japanese. I’ve tried twice to teach myself before finally realizing that I should probably just take a class. And I am! But then I also stumbled on Hiragana Pixel Party on the Nintendo eShop a couple of weeks ago. Hiragana Pixel Party has also been available on Steam and iOS for a while, but it feels nice on the Switch. It’s a game that tasks you with memorizing Japanese characters and then makes you repeat them via button presses to a fun chiptune beat.

The game also tests your ability to quickly read the characters by shuffling around their designated buttons before each sequence. There’s a decent amount happening to engage players serious about learning how to read and pronounce Japanese hiragana and katakana. I wanted to put it through its paces with our resident 日本語 expert Tim Rogers to see if it’s a decent learning tool for anyone with a Switch and an appetite for language-learning. What I didn’t expect is how tough this game actually would be or all of the things I’d learn from Tim.

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About the author

Paul Tamayo

Video Producer, Kotaku. Hip-hop connoisseur. Fluent in Spanglish. Host of The Optional Podcast.