Hiragana Pixel Party
Hiragana Pixel Party is a welcome rarity: an educational game that's both good fun and an effective learning tool. If you've ever wanted to read Japanese — whether for language study, travel, or playing import games — this is a great way to get started, and an enjoyable rhythm-based runner with an excellent chiptune soundtrack besides. がんばって!
Hiragana Pixel Party is a rhythm game that ends up not standing out as such but rather thanks to its educational component, centered on the teaching of japanese characters. While its rhythm-based gameplay is too simple and shallow for its own good, the educational side is surprisingly fun and the game's retro aesthetics grant it a rather alluring look.
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Hiragana Pixel Party's main issue is that it is just merely an okay rhythm game on the Switch eShop. Even as somebody who doesn't play a lot of rhythm games I have a hard time believing that there are not better games in the genre available for the Switch. If you're interested in learning Japanese, the game might be a solid investment but otherwise the repetitive nature makes it difficult to recommend to anyone who isn't both a fan of rhythm games and interested in learning Japanese.
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.
The interest in learning Japanese has always been large for fans of gaming and geek culture, and tangential learning is a fantastic gateway into understanding the language. However, Hiragana Pixel Party works only in a tangential sense to memorise the easiest part of the language. With just a few tweaks, and some greater focus on learning more of the language, this could have been fantastic as either an actual teaching tool or learning aide. Sadly, though, instead it's about as useful as a deck of flash cards.
Hiragana Pixel Party is an interesting game/educational tool on Nintendo Switch that, for a few bucks, will teach you some basic Japanese by way of a rhythm game presentation. The cartoony graphics and art are great to look at and the voice acting will help you learn the proper pronunciation for the things you'll get to learn. What's not to like?
Hiragana Pixel Party is a game with an identity crisis – it's too shallow to be a serious learning tool but it's too serious about learning to be just fun.
I will always applaud developers that try to make learning languages more entertaining and accessible, but Hiragana Pixel Party isn’t the right answer this time around. Japan is a truly beautiful country with an equally fascinating language, and if you want to start learning it I’d easily argue that flashcards or an introductory lesson would be a more productive way to spend your money.
Hiragana Pixel Party is a simple rhythm game that sets out to teach you how to read and pronounce Japanese characters. It could benefit from some more variety in gameplay, but if you fancy something that you can potentially benefit from, the challenge and the educational value could keep you engaged through its many missions.