Learn Japanese to Survive: Katakana War is an educational game that has been combined with a game that is part visual novel/part role playing game. The game begins with the player arriving in Japan with no knowledge of how to speak Japanese. Suddenly, there is a loud explosion and you are told you need to evacuate the area. After running out into the street, you encounter enemies overrunning Osaka that look suspiciously like katakana characters, one of the Japanese systems of writing.
An English teacher named Daisuke brings you and three other characters into a school building and says he will teach you the katakana writing system in order to attack and defeat these enemies. Apparently calling out the pronunciation of each character will deal them damage and help you to defeat them. The game is all about learning the different katakana characters, their pronunciations, and using them to defeat enemies and figure out what happened to Osaka and what you can do to save Japan.
The player interacts with other characters by reading text on screen or listening to voice acting sessions. The combat in the game is turn-based, and the player will need to be able to navigate the in-game menus to select the pronunciation of the katakana characters they see on the screen. The player also needs to use items that are traditional to role playing games such as healing items, and clothing and weapons that will upgrade your statistics to help you deal more damage.
Working Memory: Recalling and retaining information in our minds while working.
Learning a language is a great way to practice Working Memory skills and Katakana War requires the player to use this skill throughout the game. The player must be able to look at the written katakana characters and recall not only their pronunciation in English but also the stroke order used to write them. In order to attack the monsters you encounter, you need to “speak their true name” by identifying their pronunciation. The player needs to recall these while in the middle of combat, where they are given several options and need to choose the correct one to do damage. The combat in the game is turn-based so the player can take a moment to think about the answer but working memory skills will help make it through the battles much faster.
Focus: Getting started and then maintaining attention and effort to tasks.
Learning a language also takes a great amount of focus so learning Japanese while playing a game is a fun way to practice a language and focusing skills at the same time. When Daisuke-sensei is teaching your characters about the different katakana, the player also needs to pay attention to the stroke order of each character as well as the different pronunciations of each katakana character. These will be required for battles because if the player gets the answer wrong, their team will take damage and maybe lose the battle or the game entirely. Paying attention during the lesson sections will allow the player to make it through the battles in the game much faster and will help retain knowledge about the pronunciations of the different katakana.
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