Autumn Pioneer has been working on a rather lovely little project over the past few years, and now the game is on Kickstarter. Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography is a chill, fun, and accessible educational game that combines photography with language learning, and if the Kickstarter is fully funded, the game will be coming to Switch.
Autumn Pioneer is a one-man development studio based in the UK. Ryan Pocock has worked on the development, art, and design of the game on his own, creating an engaging and delightful-looking world to help hone your language skills in. Kenya Abe is helping as the game’s composer, but he’s also working as the translation assistant and authenticity checker.
Think more TOEM than Pokémon Snap with Shashingo (which means “the Language of Photographs” in Japanese). This isn’t about on-rail photography or fast photo reflexes — instead, you can wander the streets of a fictional Japanese street and take pictures at your leisure. You can play in Capture Mode to just take in the sights and learn whatever you want or need to, or hop into Find Mode to test your memory skills.
Every photo you take becomes a flash card for a different word, term, or phrase in Japanese, which you’ll store in an album. The photos will be unique to you, and every flashcard will have additional associated vocabulary on the back of it, so you know when to use the word and what situations it might match up with.
If you like taking pretty pictures, too, then you can also use all sorts of different filters to create memorable photos to help you learn the words in your own way. There’s no confirmed release date yet, but Autumn Pioneer is hoping to release the game by July 2023. You can find out more info about the game by heading over to the official website.
Shanshingo has been spotted and celebrated by photography publications and video game enthusiasts alike, and we’re not surprised. The game has 20 days left on its campaign and is only £3,000 shy of reaching it. So if you’re a lover of languages, or just enjoy a chilled photography game, Shashingo might just be for you. The campaign closes on 31st March, and some of the pledges have already sold out.
We took a little look at the game last year following its announcement at the Guerrilla Collective 2022 on YouTube, so make sure you have a little look at that to see what our early impressions were like. It’s come a fair way since last year and continues to look fantastic.
What do you think of Shashingo: Learn Japanese with Photography? Would you enjoy learning Japanese through a photography game? Let us know.
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