Shashingo, out today, helps you learn Japanese through photography

By admin Feb27,2024

As someone who’s learning Japanese, I crave other methods of language acquisition that don’t feel like studying. Textbooks, flashcards, even watching Japanese media can all feel a bit too close to being back in a classroom. Shashingo, a game that helps you learn Japanese through taking cute photos, may be the study companion I’ve craved. And having covered it two years ago when it was first properly shown off, I’m very happy to see it’s finally arriving later today.

Cover image for YouTube videoShashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography Steam Release Date Reveal Trailer

Shashingo is the work of Autumn Pioneer, a two-person team made up of development head honcho Ryan Pocock and composer Kenya Abe. The game actually started as Pocock’s university thesis project, but turned into a fully fledged release because folks dug the concept and backed it on Kickstarter. Unsurprising, when edutainment games are tricky to come by, especially those that look as slick as Shashingo.

In Shashingo you’ll explore a fictional Japanese city armed with a camera. Take a photo of something and it’ll be added to your photo album with Japanese and English translations, alongside Japanese voice lines. There’s also in-game grammar lessons and a game mode where it’ll test how much vocabulary you’ve remembered. For pretty-fying your albums, there are new filters you can unlock through gacha machines (no word on if they abide by gacha rules, or if you can pick your prizes, I might add).

Shashingo looks like it’ll work for a lot of Japanese learners, absolute beginners who’d like to learn hiragana and katakana (through in-game alphabet charts), some useful vocab, and the basics of sentence structure. And for beginners to intermediates who seek a fun tool to help reinforce some basics, pick up new words, and help things stick through context.

Nothing beats actually being in Japan to learn the language, so I’m excited to see if Shashingo can capture at least a little of the feeling of wandering through its streets, picking out signage and putting knowledge to the test. Nothing beats learning through context, in my experience.

Oh and it’s worth noting that the 1.0 release is designed for English learners only, but Pocock has said they’ll add German language support in a future update.

You can find Shashingo over on its Steam page.

By admin

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