(Featured Image Source – Not Dead Design)
Developer- Not Dead Design
Publisher – Not Dead Design
Platforms – PC via Steam
Review Copy Provided
Learning a new language can be difficult. Teaching yourself anything can be tough, but if the 90’s ingrained one thing into me, it’s that the gamification of an experience can be a great way to help learn anything. That goes doubly so when you have as cute and fun a game as Kana Quest!
Kana Quest is a match-em up puzzle game where players match kana (Japanese letters) using their sounds.
When a kana tile is clicked, they will play the sound that the character makes, you then make matches by sliding pieces into place alongside their similar-sounding friends. The fewer moves you make, the better the medal you will be rewarded. It is impossible to fail a level, you will at least walk away with a bronze medal.
“Each tile needs a friend.”
The kana tiles have adorable and recognizable faces, helping with the memory process. I found that as I progressed into higher levels, characters that I struggled to remember in the beginning became familiar friends. But with that growing familiarity, the game threw new challenges at me. Special tiles are introduced in every new world, keeping the game fresh. I had to think carefully about movements while also trying to use the new tiles.
One-way kana, mystery kana, stone kana, ice kana, and more, all alter the experience for each world.
The challenges steadily increase with each puzzle solved. It made me familiar with kana.
There are no leaderboards or multiplayer for Kana Quest. The scoring system just works to further gamify the learning process, with new levels being blocked by medal requirements. You will have to return to previous levels occasionally so you can raise your score, ultimately also working to give you further exposure to the kana. A competitive element feels like it would miss the point of Kana Quest. It is such a kind yet challenging game, learning and having fun feels like the drive behind the experience.
Helpful tips between every level shows.
Easy to learn, with an amazing feeling as you master it.
Cute visuals and a hype-yet-chill soundtrack accompany you as you quest across a vibrant pixel Japan.
Kana Quest won’t help you learn full Japanese words, but that’s not its purpose. It’s a way to learn, remember, and reinforce knowledge about kana and the language.
If you are looking for a way to become accustomed with kana and help your Japanese learning experience, we highly recommend Kana Quest. It gets a perfect score from us!