Top video games intended for language-learning

Top video games intended for language-learning

The games listed here are games that actually have some typical video games playability to them; typically those are games that require moving around a character in 2D/3D space.


Languages: English, Japanese, French, German, Russian, Swedish, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Portuguese-Brazil, Finnish, Korean, Norwegian, Danish

Influent is a simplistic vocabulary-building game, originally intended for Japanese but later translated to many other languages, Influent might have a positive influence on your vocabulary. The scale of the game is rather small, and the concept is basic: You click on objects in a 3D environment, see how they’re written and hear how they sound like, then in later stages you’re tested for memory, to see if you can remember how those objects are called.

Unique: new language-learning experience

Small scale; a guy in a small apartment
Some words are too obvious (cognate words)
Nothing exciting going on other than your memory being tested

Japanese to survive: Hiragana Battle

Languages: Japanese

Japanese to survive is actually a perfect game for learning Japanese text; it’s stylized based on anime fantasy culture and forces you to recognize letters and words in order to win battles. The game’s main language is English: so you’ll be able to understand what’s going on in terms of the storyline. Moreover, the more the game advances the more it will demand from your Japanese and make English take a smaller role (though still significant).

Well done unique adventure

– Characters speak through text without voice acting. No dual subtitles, no voiceovers in Japanese. Japanese voice acting to the English text would’ve added an extra punch.

Slime Forest Adventure

Languages: Japanese

Anime-style retro style RPG. combat is controlled by the user recognising and typing the on-screen characters

Knuckles in China Land

Languages: Japanese

Another retro style RPG for learning Japanese

Thélème | Speak French or die !

Languages: French

Speak French or die! forces to perform tasks for other people; naturally all in French. You will need to understand their instructions and usually get them the items they require. The project hasn’t been updated since around 2010-2011, so it’s safe to assume it’s defunct, but the website is still on and the game is still free and playable.

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