Ludum Dare 32 — April 17th-20th, 2015 — Theme: An Unconventional Weapon

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Kana Konjuror

by Hammers - Compo Entry

Kana Konjuror is an educational game (no wait don't leave yet!)

Ghosts are invading your..umm...field?...And the only weapon you have against them is the Japanese Kana. No time to ask why just start destroying those ghosts!

Ghosts travel in from the left of the screen. Each ghost will have a japanese kana on him. You must type the correct matching kana in english then hit enter to destroy it.

"But I don't know any Japanese Kana!" I hear you shout! Never fear! the first few times you see a ghost, the characters you need to type will be shown above it. But don't rely on that, get learning those Kana!

FOR EXPERTS: If you already know all the Kana (or just want a silly challenge) then hold E when you press enter on the title screen. This will take you straight to level 15 where all the Kana are unlocked and will remove all hints!


DISCLAIMER: I do not claim that this game will be able to teach you the Japanese kana. For a start I only got round to including one set of characters (the hiragana) so there's still quite a lot more you would need to know. Also this game doesn't teach you anything about pronunciation. A couple of the characters are kindof cheaty (ぢ and づ) as the characters you need to type aren't really the standard romaji. It was just the only way I could do them :p Basically, if you find this game interesting and really do want to learn the kana I would highly recommend going away and studying them properly! Then you can come back and use this as just a nice little study aid :)



Each level has a set of kana it is trying to teach you. To begin with you are in learning mode. Each of the kana will be shown to you a few times in order, with random ones from the current set sometimes thrown in. Once you've encountered all of the current set a couple of times, you will begin the level proper.

This is when the bar in the bottom right appears. At this point all previous kana you've encounter can be thrown at you, but the game will favour kana that you've successfully completed less often. In this way you should end up practicing the ones you're finding hardest to remember. Also once the bar is up the rate of ghosts slowly gets faster.

Downloads and Links




BraindeadGeo says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:01pm

Tis a nice idea! Took me a while to realise you had to press Enter after each letter.

hunttis says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:05pm

I like your idea.

I've worked on gamified education and I know it's one of the most effective ways to learn stuff and stay focused. As an adult, one thing I would've liked would be a speed selection, so you could choose how fast the letters come in.

Nice work!

Hammers says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 12:24pm

@BraindeadGeo yeah I know what you mean. I was going to work on a solution to this so that it would just work out when you'd typed a correct kana but I unfortunately didn't get round to it.

@hunttis Yes optional difficulty levels would have been good. The game does get harder and faster, especially from level 15 onwards, but it takes a long time to get to that point!

Apr 20, 2015 @ 5:22pm

Cool typing game!

sally_anne says ...
Apr 20, 2015 @ 7:30pm

I liked this. It would be nice if you could select which kana you want to practice during a level as well or go back to earlier ones.
It was good that it reminds you if you miss some.

rattower says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 12:21am

Damn... this is pretty useful actually.

DesignerNap says ...
Apr 21, 2015 @ 3:04pm

This is absolutely solid. I love it. Games that educate are such a great thing. Well done.

Apr 21, 2015 @ 9:44pm

Nice work! I would've liked it to be a bit faster from the get-go, but its a pretty cool thing you've made here.

stoarch says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 5:36am

Game crashes. Unity plugin in chrome and firefox stop working.

Apr 22, 2015 @ 10:54am

Very nice idea, i liked it. Really fun, the difficulty level is just on the sweet spot.

Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:39pm

Absolutely gorgeous game with a really inventive and educational use of the theme. Good job!

sbot1101 says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:43pm

I didn't know japanese before playing this game...
After playing I still didn't know japanese. :) Excellent idea, very unconventional weapon.

Suvidriel says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 12:45pm

Lovely idea :) Hope you add katakana too

snarf says ...
Apr 22, 2015 @ 3:17pm

Well done! I really enjoyed the game

gormed says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 12:05pm

Cool educational one, i had a Ghost without anything over head, what had i to do?

Hammers says ...
Apr 23, 2015 @ 2:28pm

Thanks for all the great comments guys! Glad everyone is enjoying it.

@stoarch not sure why you got a crash :( As you said, Unity web player no longer works in Chrome, though it should have worked in Firefox. Have you tried it in IE? Or you could also try the Windows download link.

@gormed Each ghost has a symbol on their body. These are the Japanese Kana and they're what you're trying to learn. They are basically the Japanese alphabet. The letters above the ghost teach you the corresponding english sound that you need to type when you see the symbol on the ghost, and you need to remember these and match them with the symbols in the future. So あ = A, い = I, う = U and so on.

If a ghost does and up hitting you, then the next time you see it it will have the letters above it's head again so that you can try and learn what you need to type.

For more info I recommend you check out

Apr 26, 2015 @ 1:44pm

This is great and perfect timing since I'm meant to be going to Japan in June on a holiday. Had fun trying to remember everything I learnt back at school.

creative630 says ...
May 9, 2015 @ 10:14am

Cool idea! I liked that I was learning a little Japanese lettering while playing the game :)

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