App Review: KanjiPop
Friday, December 18th, 2009
Lima Sky, the two man iPhone development team responsible for the imaginatively titled Kanji (one of the first kanji iPhone learning apps), has unleashed yet another gem with the wonderfully addictive KanjiPop.
KanjiPop is deceptive in its simplicity featuring 16 squares each containing one kanji and an English word at the top of the screen with its On and Kun readings below it.
The aim of the game is to choose one kanji from the grid whose meaning correctly matches the English word at the top.
Seems pretty simple, huh?
Well, the kicker is that there is a time limit of two minutes, which is displayed at the very bottom of the screen and ticks away relentlessly as you fumble your way through each level.
For a competitive bloke like myself I have found it a great way to keep my kanji knowledge up to speed while satisfying my inner need to always beat the clock. ^_^
If you finish a level and beat the clock, you are automagically taken to the next level where sixteen new kanji await you.
This cycle continues until you eventually reach a level where your kanji knowledge fails to beat the clock. Here you are presented with the option of choosing a lower level to re-try or you can simply test yourself on the same level again until you master it and can move on.
Set Options Screen
Choose Kanji Screen
Levels In Action
Wrong Kanji Popup
Choose Level Screen
My only real gripe is that you can’t choose what level to start from at the beginning of the game. If you are up to level 21 but decide you want to refresh yourself with a few simpler kanji, you have to play level 21 and deliberatley not finish it on time or wait for two minutes and then KanjiPop will present you with the screen where you can choose what level you want to play next.
It seems like a strange omission to me so maybe I am missing something. Of course, the smart thing would be to email the guys and let them know rather than expecting them to read my mind and fix it!
With over 2000 kanji across 127 levels, KanjiPop has something to offer everyone from newbies to advanced students of Japanese. Beginners can use it to revise and learn while more advanced students can use it as a fun way to keep their kanji knowledge fresh.
Igor Pusenjak, one half of the Lima Sky team, said in an interview, “With KanjiPop we wanted to bring some fun to reviewing, practicing, and learning the Japanese Kanji characters.”
And they succeeded.
Find KanjiPop at an iTunes store near you. This review is for version 1.14, which is priced at USD$1.99 (Dec 2009).
Please note that this is not an advertisement. I only recommend products that I have bought and used myself.