Review: Kana Quest
Kana Quest on the Nintendo Switch
A review by Megan Robinson.
Kana Quest is a colourful game where you match similar sounding kana symbols (Japanese phonetic letters) together to complete levels. The aim of this game is to help you learn how to read Hiragana and Katakana by the end of it in a fun, and interactive way.
The game is easy enough to navigate with a tutorial at the beginning, explaining how the game works. You can choose whether to use the buttons on your switch controller to play the game, or you can use the Switch’s touch screen. The loading screen for the game is colourful and reminds you of those old school Japanese arcade game loading symbols.
Within the game you will be presented with Kana symbols that you have to match by their shared sounds. For example, you could match kana that all begin with the letter ‘k’, or you could match kana that start with different letters but sound similar, such as ‘ka’, ‘na’, ‘sa’ etc. The game allows you to double tap a symbol so that you can hear what it sounds like to help you progress in the game.
The fewer moves you solve each level, the more points you receive. These points then become coins within the game. You will receive a gold coin if you complete the game in as little moves as possible, silver for an average amount of moves, and a bronze coin if it took you a lot of moves. To be able to unlock new worlds, you will need a certain amount of gold coins, so you are encouraged to repeat any levels that you may need to improve on.
As you progress through worlds, new things will be added to the game, such as stone kana symbols that cannot be moved and mystery kana symbols that will only be able to move once you correctly guess what the symbol is. This makes each world more difficult and engaging as you progress and encourages you to retry any levels you may have struggled with.
I was only able to play a certain amount of the game, but based on what I was able to play the only issue I had with the game was the fact you were able to listen to what the symbols sounded like without it costing you any moves. Although helpful in the beginning of the game, I feel like it discourages you from learning the symbol as it is written, as I can listen to it whenever I wanted, however many time I wanted to help me match up the symbols without any consequences. Perhaps later in the game, it will cost you moves to listen to a symbol, or you will only be able to listen to a symbol a certain amount of times until you are unable to. If this is the case, then I think this game could work well with helping players learn kana symbols.
Kana Quest is a easy to play game that could help those who want to learn to read Hiragana and Katakana in a more stimulating way. The bright colours and soothing music help immerse you into the game and make the playing experience enjoyable.