Wander around a 2D-simulated Japan to try to learn Japanese! The So To Speak Demo is available now to try. It’s a puzzle game where you learn Japanese through context and clues.

Watch the official trailer for So To Speak.
So To Speak is being created by a solo developer, Erik. The developer has been learning Japanese for 15+ years, and wanted to put his experience into a video game.

On the /r/Games announcement thread, Erik states that he “doesn’t like memorizing words” and usually forgets the Japanese that he’s learned that way—this served as inspiration for the game.

The developer found “when [he] traveled to Japan, [he] automatically started reading signs and trying to guess what they mean” using context as clues. This had him thinking about the game Heaven’s Vault, which had him learning a fictional language.

This all led Erik to wonder—“What if he made a game where you learn Japanese by solving a bunch of little puzzles?

This led to the birth of So To Speak—where you will be wandering around a 2D simulation of Japan, gradually progressing from simple words to sentences in Japanese using context as clues.

The developer also made So To Speak with the design philosophy of the game being fun—regardless of your interest or background in Japanese.

“What makes it unique among language learning games is that it doesn’t tell you what things mean right away. You have to figure it out for yourself from context, just as you might in real life.” — Erik (Developer).

So To Speak might not seem like your usual interactive fiction title, or belong on this media outlet—but it caught our eye. At the heart of any type of fiction is language, and this is an interesting—interactive tool to learn it.

The So To Speak Demo is available on Steam for download now, you can also add it to your wishlist. The game is planning to launch in 2023.

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By Camellia Hao Ren

Camellia Hao Ren is an Australian journalist and editor. When they aren't writing, they are usually playing games or reading.

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