Thursday, 27 February 2014

Kickstarting Thursday with Koe!



Koe, which is being made by the three man army of Jitesh Rawal, Dan Tsukasa and Sayuki, is a new breed of educational gaming. WAIT. Don't walk away, I know the sound of education may sicken you, but don't you remember how great The Oregon Trail was? And trust, this game looks a LOT better. Plus, you're learning some useless history, but instead you're learning Japanese, a language that can be VERY practical if you're a gamer. And it's not just some Typing Of The Dead-style lesson, it's an actual JRPG through and through, as Rawal states on the Kickstarter page: "It plays like a JRPG, there are random battles, bosses, a story, pets, wizards, cities, houses as well as cats and you will play through collecting items, experience points, weapons and everything else that comes with a traditional JRPG."

Now that you're hooked, I'll tell you a little more about Koe. You've got all the usual JRPG stuff, like choosing the gender of your character, naming it and doing a couple of tutorial levels. However, the real stuff starts when you battle. It has a great Pokemon/Final Fantasy turn-based combat system, but instead of getting weapons, you get words. These words can be received from anything from a chest to a shop, and these words are, you guessed it, in Japanese. Don't worry, you'll be told the translation, so if you get a word that means Katana, you'll know. If you select that word during a fight, a katana will come out of the card and slash your enemy. However, the most promising part is that you  can make sentences out of these words which are more powerful, so it gives learning Japanese a purpose in this game, because if you know how to make sentences, you'll do very well.


You'll be able to level up these words and letters, so if you get the word neko (A cat) you will have to level up the characters ne and ko to level up the cat! It's a great system, and using words that you want to level up repeatedly will give you a very good chance to learn them off by heart without the annoying process of just saying neko over and over again like on an app, or something like that. And it's not like you'll learn useless phrases like "I had a banana for lunch" like you would in school, you will actually learn how to read basic Japanese, words and USEFUL phrases, all without even realizing you're learning! It's a great system!

Koe needs £35,000, and at the time of writing, is 42% funded still with 31 days to go, so it looks like this game will be hitting the (Digital) shelves! There are stretch goals, which are supporting different languages and PS Vita support, but no amount of money will be confirmed for them until they've reached their £35,000 goal. You only have to pay £10 to get a copy of the game, which will be a special Kickstarter version with more content, or if you're willing to splash the cash, you can spend £1,000 and you'll get to design a boss, weapon or item and get your name in the credits for it, plus a boxed Kickstarter copy of the game, a deck of art cards, a strategy guide, your name appearing as a plaque in the game, your name appearing somewhere in the story of the game, access to all prototyping sessions, a Koe graphic postcard, a digital art book, a digital soundtrack, access to alpha and beta sessions, early access to the game, a digital Kickstarter copy for a friend and your name in the backer credits!

Make sure to fund Koe at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/297265509/koe-a-jrpg-with-japanese-at-the-core-of-gameplay?ref=discovery!

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