Hiragana Pixel Party from Springloaded is an interesting game that aims to teach you a bit of Hiragana, which is one of the two main writing alphabets used in Japan. Find you more about this one in our Hiragana Pixel Party review!
The game starts with a tutorial that will teach you how the game works. Basically, Japanese is written phonetically, so if you manage to learn the sounds of letters in the game then you’ll be able to read Japanese words… right? As you play you will need to time your button presses to the song’s beat, all why making sure you’re pressing the right button that matches the letter you need to learn. Jumping over blocks makes birds follow you, and you need them because every mistake you make will make some of the birds go away, and if you have no birds left then you’ll lose. Making mistakes will also keep you from obtaining a higher score, and you need a higher score to unlock more stages in the game.
At its heart, Hiragana Pixel Party is a rhythm game, and it is thanks to this that players of all skill levels can slowly but surely make some progress in each of lesson. At first, you will be shown the symbol you need to press in one of the four face buttons along with the sound of the letter – you then press the button in time with the music to jump over the corresponding box. But later on you might get the sound of the letter as well as the letter in the English alphabet, so you will then need to remember which letter in Hiragana corresponds to the English letter. Luckily boxes show the Hiragana character you need to press… until they don’t and you’re left with nothing but the sound of the letter and your memory, or even no sound at all.
Repetition is key in this game, so the more you play – and the more you replay each of the stages to try and get a perfect score – the more you will start to learn. Educational titles are usually boring since, well, you know, they’re educational, but this one manages to keep things fresh and fun through its hundreds of mini lessons. Your character will autorun thorugh great looking pixel art landscapes as you watch the girl tell you what needs to be done next. Levels are short enough to not feel overwhelming but long enough to actually teach you something.
The game allows you to play the levels for the hiragana and katakana lessons as you please, as long as you score enough points to unlock a new set of stages. You can go back and forth between both types of lessons, but I’d suggest that you stick with one set for a while before going after the other one so that you don’t end up getting confused from trying to learn a bunch of characters in one to then try to do the same in the other.
If you’re trying to learn some basic Japanese, then Hiragana Pixel Party is a great entry-level game on Nintendo Switch to get you on the right track. You won’t end up learning complicated words or how to have a conversation, but it will definitely take you from not knowing anything to knowing some of it, right? And you’ll get to do it in a fun way that actually works, either at home or on the go.
This Haragana Pixel Party review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Springloaded.