PAX East Preview: Kana Quest

Learning a new language is a daunting task as an adult. Our brains become so fixed into patterns and routines that it’s hard to introduce something as complex as language to someone over 20. Your brain seemingly loses patience with figuring out the nuance of language and wants nothing to do with it. How do you solve this problem?

One quick search on the Apple App or Google Play Stores will see a bunch of different apps and games that all boast to teach you a new language in basically no time at all. Do they even really work? It varies from person to person, but finding an app that combines something you love with a skill you want to learn is a pretty solid way to go about things.

That’s where Kana Quest enters. A mixture of dominos, Tetris, and Rosetta Stone, Kana Quest is all about teaching gamers Japanese while letting them flex their lateral thinking skills. This nifty combination of different genres and tools is married with a cute art style that may just be the thing you need to start reading Japanese.

The story in Kana Quest is framed around a tile, aptly named Kana, trying to make friends with the Japanese alphabet. Players can select between using the Katakana or Hiragana characters, but the goal remains the same: match sounds with their corresponding symbols and learn how to recognize them better.

It remains to be seen if Kana Quest will legitimately teach you a new language, but the idea is certainly novel. Gamers have always been more of a “learn by doing” type, so this visual process seems like a perfect fit for this sort of experience. It doesn’t hurt that the visuals are pleasing to the eye.

If you can’t happen to make it to PAX East, then fear not. Kana Quest will be coming to Steam on March 12, 2020. An iOS and Android will release sometime later in 2020. We’ll be checking this out during the convention to see if the claims really do hold up. If nothing else, it should be a fun little puzzle game.

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