6 Absolute BEST Games to Help You Learn Japanese

By OptiLingo • 6 minute read

Japanese Learning Games

Learning Japanese With Games

Language learning seems like a lot of hard work. So, what if I told you that playing online games can help you with learning Japanese? It seems too good to be true. But, you can totally use these apps and online game platforms to reach fluency in Japanese. Here’s a list of 7 games to start streaming and learning today.

Psst! Did you know we have a language learning app?

  1. It teaches you useful words and phrases.
  2. Presented in a natural, everyday context.
  3. Spaced out over time, so you absorb your new language organically.
  4. It’s kind of like learning the words to your new favorite song!

You’re only one click away!


1. Tako

Tako is an app available on both Android and iOS mobile devices, as well as via its own website. It is a game that can be played while you are away from the home or office. The developers promote the fact that no matter what you are doing at the moment, you can learn Japanese with Tako right there with your own smartphone or tablet.

Released in 2015, it is a learning app that helps you learn the basics behind the three different systems of Japanese writing: kanji, katakana, and hiragana. The app has a built-in system of writing that you can manipulate with the touch screens available on mobile devices today. You will learn the writing system as you play a series of mini-games that are incorporated into Tako. These games come at the end of a lesson and help you to practice what you have just learned, all in a fun and interactive way. You might play baseball or practice being a waiter at a restaurant. There are many different variations included with the structure of the app, and that is what makes it so fun.

2. The Influent App

Influent is an application that actually helps to teach more than 15 different languages. It uses a series of games to help individual learners master the language of their choice, including Japanese. It makes use of a 3D interactive environment that contains a series of everyday objects that you need to discover and learn how to say them in Japanese.

The purpose of this game is to help you learn how to pronounce some of the more commonly used words in the Japanese language. It also helps to facilitate your acquisition of vocabulary by helloing you to associate visual images with the Japanese word. There are included audio recordings within the app, all spoken by native Japanese speakers. You will learn how to correctly pronounce new words right from the beginning. Keep in mind that this is a paid app.

3. Katakana War

Everyone can benefit from learning a bit of survival Japanese, and this is the fun game that can get you there. It features a bunch of anime characters that embark on an adventure to learn new words, while along the way learning katakana. This is one of the three main writing systems in Japanese.

When the developers first began creating this app, they set a goal of raising $5,000 AUD to get it to launch. It was nearly five times that amount, so even the first version was able to include an illustrated manga chapter, in addition to flashcards that allows users to study both hiragana and katakana.

This is a great app because no previous knowledge of Japanese is required. Beginners will be able to navigate the game just fine and learn along the way. You will discover some new katakana characters with each new game, and find some friends and encounter some dangerous enemies along the way. This is a great way to begin learning Japanese while having a great time.

4. Koe

This is a Japanese role-playing game that launched in 2017 and has proven to be very successful. This is a game that allows you to use various words as weapons. This provides players with a cursory view of Japanese as they play the game. There is actually no pressure placed on you if you don’t know any Japanese at all. That will come over time as you begin to play the game more and more.

5. My Japanese Coach

If you have a Nintendo DS, you need this program on it to learn Japanese with a cool game. While a Nintendo DS seems like some old technology you need to dust off, it’s just as useful as a smartphone today. Besides, learning Japanese with games never goes out of style.

You will encounter new words with each new play, and you will be encouraged to memorize the correct stroke order of both hiragana and katakana. To be fair, the reviews were quite mixed when this app first came out, with some people making the claim that the explanations contained during the game were too confusing for beginners to understand. However, others have found it to be incredibly fun and educational.

6. Slime Forest Adventure

This is yet another Japanese role-playing game that is actually free. The goal of the game is to teach players how to correctly write using hiragana, katakana, and kanji styles. You can also pay to upgrade this app to learn how to more effectively read in Japanese, in addition to learning more about kanji. The free version alone is sufficient for most beginners, as it does a great job of teaching katakana.

How Games Can Help You Learn Japanese

When you were a child, your parents might have told you to stop playing games and just get your homework done. Don’t tell them now, but this is actually bad advice. Depending on the activity, games are actually a great way to learn. And there are a few benefits specifically true for learning Japanese with games.

  • Access your lessons anywhere: If these games are apps, they’re portable. You can practice Japanese from anywhere in the world. That’s why these apps for language learning are so useful and convenient.
  • Enhance your vocabulary: These games show you real Japanese words and phrases, which are great to add to your vocabulary.
  • Listen to Japanese: The more you play, the more you hear Japanese words spoken by Japanese people. That’s the best way to get comfortable with the sounds of the language.
  • Have fun: Of course, language learning should always be about having fun. Many students forget that. If you enjoy yourself, you associate the language with the activity.

You Need More Than Just Games to Master Japanese

As amazing as these six games are to complement your studies, you need a reliable language learning method to truly reach fluency. You need an app that can give you useful vocabulary, make you speak the language out loud, and is still fun to use. And that’s exactly what OptiLingo offers. 

OptiLingo is the app that gets you to Japanese fluency fast. It has a list of the most common Japanese words and phrases, so you don’t waste any time on unnecessary vocabulary. Have fun and reach fluency in Japanese by downloading OptiLingo!