Learn Japanese To Survive! Hiragana Battle
The ideal introductory course to the Japanese language! Learn how to read and write Japanese characters (Hiragana) at a steady pace. A full-blown RPG specifically designed to keep you engaged. By playing along, you’re going to be introduced to the Japanese language like never before!
User reviews:
Very Positive (31 reviews) - 93% of the 31 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overwhelmingly Positive (537 reviews) - 96% of the 537 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Feb 16, 2016

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July 16

Learn Japanese To Survive! Katakana War now on Kickstarter!

We are very pleased to announce today that Learn Japanese To Survive! Katakana War has just launched on Kickstarter!


Like the first game, Hiragana Battle, we're using Kickstarter to boost the game's budget and increase its quality. By backing the game through Kickstarter, you can take advantage of some sweet rewards!

Learn Japanese To Survive! Katakana War is scheduled for release in February, 2017 for both PC & Mac.

15 comments Read more

About This Game

Learn Japanese To Survive! Hiragana Battle is an educational game that is the ideal introductory course to the Japanese language!

You’re reading this page now because you have more than a passing interest in learning Japanese. Maybe you’ve tried learning it before, but never had any luck? That’s completely normal, so don’t worry! Learning a language can be daunting. And with a language like Japanese, full of strange and wonderful written characters, you might not even know where to start.

You need a learning tool that’s going to keep you interested, challenge you at the right pace, and most importantly, keep you coming back for more.

That’s why Learn Japanese To Survive! Hiragana Battle was made! This isn’t just educational software – this is a full-blown RPG specifically designed to keep you engaged. By playing along, you’re going to be introduced to the Japanese language like never before.

Learn how to read and write Japanese characters (Hiragana) at a steady pace. There’s a new set of characters to learn each chapter, and your revision takes place on the battlefield! If your knowledge is up to scratch, you’ll claim victory in exciting strategic battles. If you’re falling behind, you have the opportunity to revisit specific chapters and brush up on your knowledge.

As a bonus, you’ll also learn common Japanese words and phrases and important grammar points!

What is Hiragana?

Hiragana is the basic writing system used in Japanese. Japanese actually combines 3 different sets of characters to form written works – Hiragana, Katakana and Kanji. This game focuses solely on Hiragana, the foundation. By learning Hiragana, you can write and pronounce nearly any Japanese word.


  • An exciting story based on the concept of learning Japanese. As the characters in the story learn Hiragana, you learn along with them!
  • Learn every single Hiragana character, with detailed instructions on how to read and write each character.
  • Visual animations displaying how to write each character.
  • Audio speech examples demonstrate how to pronounce each character.
  • Exciting gameplay with familiar RPG elements – collect items, complete quests, engage in battles!
  • Earn experience points and level up your characters.
  • Revise completed lessons to brush up on your knowledge.
  • In-game quizzes to test what you’re learning.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 (32bit/64bit)
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 9/OpenGL 4.1 capable GPU
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: 1280 x 720 or higher display
    • OS: Mac OSX 10.10 or better
    • Processor: Intel Core2 Duo or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Compatible OpenGLR
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: 1280 x 720 or higher display
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Very Positive (31 reviews)
Overwhelmingly Positive (537 reviews)
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438 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
13 of 17 people (76%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
2.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
I have been waiting a long time for educational games that teach language effectively... I am still waiting. I have been trying for a couple hours now to like this game but I cannot. This review is for two purposes: (1) If you sincerely want to learn Japanese, please take the following into consideration before you buy, and (2) If you are a dev of educational games, here are some things NOT to do. I know I'm going to come across as a mansplainer so you're warned...

Why is this an RPG? At first I was excited by the idea that we could learn Japanese (or even just Hiragana) via an RPG system... however, the mechanics of this system do not complement or facilitate learning. At best, they get in the way, and at worst, they really make it hard to want to learn. In order to attack, you have to first select "Answer," then select the correct Hiragana - and by mid-game (as far as I got before throwing in the towel) this is a looooooooong list, then select the correct Hiragana warrior to attack. Pick the wrong answer and you do no damage. This is supposed to reinforce memorization of the Hiragana, right? Wrong. It turns out that this game is made in RPG Maker and no changes were made to the battle system... so there are fixed, pre-determined groups of Hiragana, usually only 2 or 3 possible combinations per world. I quickly memorized the pattern of enemies and was not anymore concentrating on the Hiragana, but the system of button presses that would result in my victory the quickest. Plus, because the Hiragana are never (well, except the alternate dimension part) written into your menu, I was instead memorizing English letters! I doubt the devs intended this but it is a severe oversight.

This type of gameplay mistake persists in almost every area. I suspect it is for a noble cause. The devs are likely very, very passionate about teaching, or at least they like the Japanese language. There isn't much on the market for teaching language that isn't insanely boring or difficult. So, they wanted to make learning into an RPG... but I suspect the devs aren't practiced game designers, so they just downloaded RPG Maker and crammed the Japanese language into the program's way of doing things. This game should have been made in a more flexible system like Unity or Unreal, or coded from the ground up. The mechanics of the game should have been 100% about the mechanics of the Japanese language. Unfortunately we end up with the following:

EXCUSE PLOT INTERFERES WITH LEARNING. I know it's educational so the plot "doesn't matter." Either ditch it or figure out how to work it into learning. Having to walk back and forth across a room to find a key feels like grinding. If I liked grinding I would learn the old-fashioned way.

GRIND. Ideally when you learn a new set of Hiragana you would get a chance to RAPIDLY test your skills. Instead you are given a quiz of 5 questions (seriously? this is the worst part of the game imho) that can be brute forced, then sent out to battle. Each battle is excruciatingly long. Hiragana take multiple hits to defeat, they inflict statuses (why? what point is there to standard RPG mechanics?), they do insane damage to you, and random battles happen every 6 steps or so. If grind is the only way to learn, download a Hiragana chart and do it for free.

PRONUNCIATION IS GIVEN BY ROBOTS. I can't say for sure but I think the sound files for pronunciation are only the 50 or so syllables in Japanese glued together. It sounds okay for the individual Hiragana but very forced when learning the vocabulary. Full sentences sound like Google Translate. I may be a beginner in Japanese but I am confident no one speaks like that. For the love of God just talk into a microphone - there aren't that many vocab words in the game.

WHY LEARN VOCABULARY? The vocab sections are not mechanically a part of the game. Again, I'm playing this to learn the language in a more immersive and enjoyable environment than a classroom. If I'm sitting here listening to someone recite (robotically) 10 words that I have to memorize, I'm going to go elsewhere for learning. Especially if I am not required to use those words ANYWHERE, and they serve no purpose mechanically. Oh, and the vocab words I got through don't actually help you create sentences.

LESSONS AND GAMEPLAY NOT INTEGRATED. The whole point of the educational game is that I learn while I play. I felt the learning was separate - in lessons made before each world, asking you to write and take notes on a separate sheet of paper. Why play the game, then, and not just look at a chart or take a class?

ART STYLE DISTRACTING. This one's more personal, but the music/sound/art felt totally wrong. I'm squarely blaming RPG Maker for this one because the devs are working with it pretty much out-of-the-box. But future edutainment devs should note that using an out-of-the-box program results in a stale, uninspiring game.

ALL THAT SAID! If you want to learn Hiragana, you can with this game. But you won't really learn any useful Japanese, you won't get the pronunciation right, you won't learn Katakana or Kanji, AND it will take you considerably longer than if you just spend five minutes a day looking at a chart of Kana and writing them down.

Long review, I know, but I really, really, REEEEEEEALLY wanted to like this. I want edutainment to be a thing not just in schools, but everywhere. I'm also trying to learn Japanese right now. So I jumped at the chance. But ultimately it looks like we're still waiting for the perfect game. I hope the devs continue, however, and they either work on their dev skills or hire someone to take care of that aspect.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
19.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 20
いらっしゃいませ。にほんごをおしえてください。 I can read this after playing this game. :)
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.3 hrs on record
Posted: September 11
Most important

Some pronunciation of Japanese characters (Hiragana) isn't fully correct. Such as 'ku', "ga', etc.

In general it's a great idea and app. Gives some extra motivation for beginners.
Just keep in your mind that it's one more additional tool to learn Japanese but it's not the main one.


PS: Katakana War incoming. I’m looking forward to it.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 16
Awesome game that really helps you learn Japanese.
Only thing I don't like is no Steam Cloud save sync between devices.. Other than that - 9.5/10
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
16.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 17
Learning is hard, and this game goes a LONG way in making learning fun and approachable. Huge thank you to the developer for encouraging me. Still they could do better.

The fight sequences (where most of the reinforcement of learning takes place) are frustratingly slow. There are just too many keystrokes involved for preloading a character's attack, and by the time I finished all of the characters I've forgotten what I had set them to. So no immediate punishment for bad choices and learning is not very efficient. Also there's too much wandering around to get to the next battle. This is an okay introduction, but it is not designed with optimizing learning in mind - which is a shame because it would only take a few tweaks to the gameplay to make it much better. Bigger enemy armies, and a snappier UI with fewer answers to choose from would help.

Also in the battle phases there could have been reinforcement of the phonetics associated with the symbols, maybe as a symbol died. So the game is mostly learning the shapes of all the Hiragana characters, but I don't feel like I'm getting hardly any practice with the sounds these characters make. And because the order of the vowel sounds don't match the familiar "a, e, i, o, u" (instead it's "a, i, u, e, o") I find myself trying to rearrange the learning process in my notebook to have any hope of remembering the characters.

The game is relatively modable, and changing the shapes of backgrounds and characters might make it even easier for beginners like me to learn quickly.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: September 2
using this to study for my college japanese class, its very useful, i would reccomend for any students.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.6 hrs on record
Posted: September 7
This game is a great tool to kickstart learning Japanese.

I have tried to learn Japanese several times before with different methods, but I've never been able to stick with it. Most recently, I tried the Rosetta Stone software, but it's 'immersive' teaching style left me very frustrated. With Japanese being so different to english, I wasn't able to figure out much of what was being presented, and gave up quickly.

Then I found Hiragana Battle. I flew through the game in a weekend, and gathered up the motivation to give Rosetta Stone another try. This time it went much easier. Having a basic understanding of what the language is built out of, and being able to sound out the written portions made the initial lessons much less overwhelming. Hiragana Battle also threw in a few grammer tips (like how は is often used to denote the subject) which made a world of difference in my understanding.

Characters are presented in well organized groups, makes remembering them easier
Well paced, new groups of characters are presented quickly enough to prevent boredom, but far enough apart that the old groups are sure to stick.
Interesting enough gameplay to keep engaged, assuming you like JRPG style party management

Lacking enemy group variety.
No long-term practice. If you don't start using your new knowledge of Hiragana for something it will fade quickly.

Hiragana Battle made it much easier for me to start learning Japanese with Rosetta Stone, and I believe it would work just as well as an addition to any other learning method.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
6.8 hrs on record
Posted: September 16
This is great. I've only just started but I appreciate this already. Thank you.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
7 people found this review funny
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: September 15
Product received for free
now i can finally watch hentai without subs... much less browsing time.
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
430 of 470 people (91%) found this review helpful
61 people found this review funny
6.0 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
So, on one hand, you have a cute little RPG Maker-style RPG. Friends team up to defeat evil wizard, nothing you haven't seen before.

On the other hand, I'm actually starting to learn a foreign language this way.

Everything I hoped it'd be.
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Recently Posted
3.2 hrs
Posted: September 29
I've started learning japanese at the university and i can tell you that this game is saving my grades IGN 8/8
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.5 hrs
Posted: September 26
Excellent way to learn Hiragana!! If you have EVER wanted to learn Japanese, then I would HIGHLY recommend this game. I am old enough that learning a new language is slow (Heck, I couldn't learn a new language when I was young). Actually I took a 12 week course on Spanish, and I have gotten more out of this game in understanding a new language in less than 3 HOURS of play time!

KUDOS to the developers!!!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.4 hrs
Posted: September 25
Introduction to the Hiragana part of the japanese language. The developers are also working on a Katakana part to be released later. You learn by succesfully "defeating" hirgana enemies by translating them correctly. On the developers homepage you can also buy studyguides in digital or paper form among other things. If you dont enjoy studying the traditional way (through books) this game may be for you. As far as i have gotten the impression this is supposed to be a introduction to tthe japanese language, and you are likely to need further studies after finishing this game if you wish to truly learn japanese.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.8 hrs
Posted: September 24
This is really interesting and useful
Helpful? Yes No Funny
5.6 hrs
Posted: September 23
Great game for learning Hiragana! Has helped me immensely. Also has a quite cute story that manages to keep your attention somewhat even if the main purpose is to learn Hiragana :)

My usual problem with other types of games in this style is that they move forward too fast and you don't manage to remember the previous sets before they introduce you to something new. I think the pace in this game is very good and I have managed to memorize most of the characters 3-4 hours in, still have plenty of game to go so I'm sure I will know them all by the end of it!

Recommended to anyone interested in learning Japanese!
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.6 hrs
Posted: September 21
I like this... It's like Final Fantasy with learning, which makes the grinding a bit more bearable
Helpful? Yes No Funny
18.2 hrs
Posted: September 18
Don't buy this game. You're not really going to learn any hiragana from it. The slow pace of the battles will make it cringe worthy long before any educational value appears.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
1.2 hrs
Posted: September 18
A fun and easy game what's helping you to get to know the japanese hiragana.
You get the uportunity to start learning how to read, write and speak it, what's very helpful for the people who want to get started and learn japanese
Helpful? Yes No Funny