Rice Games’ Shujinkou is an interesting new action-RPG that sees players attempting to save the Japanese language from a demon invasion. The cool part about it is that throughout the game you learn Katakana and Kanji, and how to structure Japanese phrases and idioms through mini-games and word structure.
The project is currently being funded right now over on the Kickstarter page, where Rice Games is hoping to acquire $45,000 to bring the project to life. At the moment they’ve acquired $5,700 and are on a steady clip to reaching their goal with 29 days left on the campaign.
Rice Games is headed up by indie developer and Japanophile Julian M. Rice, who hails from a UCLA start-up studio out of California.
The purpose of the game is to not only provide gamers with a side-scrolling, hack-and-slash, projectile-style RPG experience, but to also provide edutainment by teaching them the language of Japanese.
You can see what the gameplay is like with the prototype footage along with an explanation of how Shujinkou is played with the Kickstarter pitch video below.
The combat seems a little complicated at first, but on the Kickstarter page they explain how utilizing the different symbols to battle the different enemies will be key to learning how to master the game.
One really cool aspect is that the leveling is done through adding verbs and modifiers to the starting symbols, so as you level-up you create phrases with your attacks and abilities to restore the Japanese language and defeat the demons invading the land.
You can see what the combat system is like and how you’ll level with the video teaser below.
If all goes as planned, the game is scheduled to make its debut on PC in the third quarter of 2021. If things go really well, Rice Games has plans on porting the game to the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch as well. Although, by the time 2021 arrives there might be some new consoles on the way.
In any case, this seems like an inventive way to help people learn the basics of the Japanese language. How effective will it be? Well, that remains to be seen, but if you were interested in helping get the project made, you can do so by visiting the Kickstarter page.
(Thanks fro the news tip British Otaku)