Kanji training meets party gaming

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JC Fletcher
November 8th, 2007
In this article: kanji, kanken, training
Kanji training meets party gaming

The DS is home to stacks upon stacks of kanji training games, and now the phenomenon is making its way to the Wii. Kanken Wii is a bizarre educational take on Mario Party: a four-player kanji training party game. Like Mario Party, it involves a board game motíf used to parcel out the minigames.

Kanken Wii is named after the Kanji kentei, a standardized test of kanji comprehension. It doesn't normally involve kung fu or hamburger building in non-Wii situations, opting instead for the "characters on white paper" approach popular to so many other tests.

While it may seem like a crazy idea at first, studying with others is often helpful, so maybe playing training games in a crowd also helps. Big Brain Academy was an interesting diversion, but didn't really reinforce any skills that require much learning. Of course, the lack of kanji focus enabled Big Brain Academy to be released outside Japan.
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