A Kickstarter campaign has launched for a game that seems to want to put the ‘J’ in JRPG. The game is called Koe (pronounced “ko- eh”) and is coming to PC. It handles like any traditional JRPG, but it also brings a Japanese learning element to the game where players will learn Japanese words and phrases to use in battle and throughout the story.
Koe’s story begins with the creation and naming of a character that goes on a trip to Japan. As you explore the land, you realize that this place isn’t what you thought it would be. You will find yourselves in a world of castles and dungeons and will also have the opportunity to meet people to aid your journey along the way.
One of the Games most interesting features is its turn-based battle system where the player will use Japanese words obtained from chests, monsters, and shops to use in battle. The player can combine the Japanese words to produce dozens of combinations of attacks. In other words, the only way you’ll be able to pull off the more devastating attacks found in Koe is to pay attention and learn the Japanese characters throughout the game. Sounds simple enough.
The developers of Koe, Strawberry Games, have also made it clear that this is an actual JRPG with a story, random battles, and item collecting. That means the teaching of the Japanese language does not make this a “learning game”. They stress that “the game itself is a game before anything else, not a flash-card application nor a voice recognition translator, but rather I have put the game, and therefore the gameplay, before anything else.”
The Koe kickstarter page lists two stretch goals to add multiple translations and to hopefully port the game to the PlayStation Vita. These goals have a very high chance of being obtained since Koe is about two-thirds of the way funded with 29 days left to go.