Learn Japanese by taking photos in this cozy new game 

Struggling to learn Japanese? Finding textbooks boring and looking for a fresh, fun way to work on your everyday vocab? Indie developer Autumn Pioneer might have the answer to beginners’ Japanese language learning woes, as they will release Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography on February 28 for PC (Steam). A Nintendo Switch version is also in the works. 

Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography PC Nintendo Switch indie language learning game

As the game’s title suggests, Shashingo is a casual game based around taking photos and learning Japanese. You will explore the game’s fictional Japanese streets taking photos of signs and objects. The polaroids you take will have captions telling you what is in the photo in both Japanese and English. You store these flashcard-like snaps in your virtual photo album. 

Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography PC Nintendo Switch indie language learning game

As well as learning nouns by taking photos of everyday things, the game also teaches you verbs by having you interact with your surroundings- such as by choosing to pet a dog, which will teach you both the word for “dog” and the verb for “to pet/stroke”. The game will also tell you what is written on posters and signs that you are likely to stumble across in daily life. 

Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography PC Nintendo Switch indie language learning game

Learning a new language is hard, especially when the writing system is different to that of your native language. Shashingo presents Japanese words and phrases in both alphabet and in Japanese script (hiragana, katakana and kanji) with an English translation. It also contains voice samples for each word so you can practice your pronunciation. From the trailers and screenshots, the font is very easy to read, and the “textbook” like pages are simple and uncluttered. In addition, the game promises to teach you beginner phrases and grammar lessons. 

Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography PC Nintendo Switch indie language learning game

Shashingo also has a “Find Mode” memory game where you must dash around the city and snap pictures of the things you have already learned in Japanese. You will also be able to jazz up the polaroids that you take by playing with camera filter effects that you unlock and by adding different borders to your snaps. 

Small UK based developer Autumn Pioneer has funded Shashingo’s development through a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign has been backed by 1,424 supporters, raising a total of £37,327 that far exceeds their original goal of £25,000. This shows that there is plenty of demand for a fun game that helps you learn everyday Japanese.  

Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography is scheduled to come out on PC (Steam) on February 28. It is also due to be released on Nintendo Switch in the near future. 

Verity Townsend
Verity Townsend

Automation West Editor and translator. She has a soft spot for old-school Sierra adventure games and Final Fantasy VIII (yes, 8!). Can often be found hunting down weird forgotten games and finding out everything about them. Frequently muses about characters and lines from Metal Gear Solid and Disco Elysium. Aims to keep Automaton fresh and interesting with a wide variety of articles.

Articles: 249

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CAPTCHA