Review – Easy Japanesey (Switch)

As gamers, we’ve always been fascinated with the idea of learning Japanese, be it for the prospect of playing hidden gems stuck in Japan, enjoying cheaper versions of games released in the West, or just plain adoration for Japan and its culture. Sadly, as we all know, this is an extremely complicated language that’s difficult to learn, and the older we get, the harder it becomes to learn it, let alone become fluent in it. There’s Duolingo, there’s enrolling at your local Kumon, but we rarely, if ever, see an easy and intuitive manner to mix the joy of learning such a different language with the rewarding features of an entertainment product. And no, Easy Japanesey is not one of those exceptions.

Easy Japanesey words

Half of what this game has to offer…

Marketed as a fun way to learn and improve your skills in the language, Easy Japanesey is not what it advertises. It won’t teach you the difference between Hiragana and Katakana. It won’t help you memorize kanji. This is merely a port of a cheap mobile game, a memory puzzle which assumes you are already knowledgeable in the language, as all you do is look at a word at the top of the screen, be it in Japanese or English, and look for its respective counterpart on the opposite language. That’s it. Add in touch-only controls, and you will notice even faster the fact this is a shoddy port of a mobile app with absolutely no style, substance, or educational value.

There are no Japanese-styled visuals, no animations, no tutorials, not even a soundtrack that would even remotely resemble something to inspire you to learn Japanese. Granted, the bland-as-hell soundtrack is actually the least egregious thing in general about this game, but damn, there’s not even a single artistic element to incentivize your brain. Easy Japanesey is as brain dead of a product as one can be.

Easy Japanesey kanji symbols

… and here is the other half. Congrats. You still don’t know how to speak or read Japanese.

If you’re looking for a way to learn Japanese in an interactive manner, even dealing with the annoying reminders from Duolingo is a better choice than paying actual money for a game like Easy Japanesey. It is an excruciatingly boring puzzle game if you already know Japanese. It is also a completely pointless waste of time if you don’t, given how it doesn’t teach you anything. I booted it up expecting very little, and I still managed to give up on it just a few minutes later feeling disappointed and angry.


Graphics: 2.5

Static imagery that doesn’t even do the bare minimum of looking Japanese or Japanese-adjacent.

Gameplay: 1.5

Completely touch-based, which wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t for the pointless gameplay loop that assumes you already know how to read Kana and Kanji.

Sound: 4.0

Boring background noise. It doesn’t compromise the already unpleasant experience, at least.

Fun Factor: 1.0

A boring puzzle game if you already know Japanese. A completely pointless waste of time if you don’t, given how it doesn’t teach you a damn thing.

Final Verdict: 2.0

Easy Japanesey is available now on Nintendo Switch and mobile.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Easy Japanesey was provided by the publisher.