Kanjiroids: Space Invaders for Vocab, Kanji, Hiragana, Katakana

:warning: This is a third-party script/app and is not created by the WaniKani team. By using this, you understand that it can stop working at any time or be discontinued indefinitely.

Kanjiroids, a.k.a. 漢字ロイド, a simple, free web game made by me!
  name inspired by Asteroids

Have you ever seen Japanese characters falling from space and been powerless to stop them before they crash into Earth?

    Then this simulation is for you!
    They fall up because, what is down in space?

Has your mind ever shut down at the sight of a wall of Japanese text?

Do you want to increase your reading and/or typing speed?

    Then this game is for you!

    I cheated to get this screenshot

Phase: Alpha Testing

Feedback? Suggestions? Questions? Recommendations? Love? Hate?
Let me know!
Post here, or email kanjiroids@gmail.com


  • Items are spelled vertically so you can practice reading in that orientation
  • Items fall upwards so you can read the first character first
  • Hiragana readings mode
  • Katakana readings mode
  • Wanikani kanji and vocab readings modes
  • Game will pause automatically if you hit Esc, leave the textbox, or go to a different tab/window
  • Load your kanji from Wanikani
  • Load your vocab from Wanikani
  • Kana input (with WanaKana.js)
  • End game results screen with list of missed items


  • Combined kana mode (hiragana + katakana)
  • Eliminate item overlap (lanes)
  • Options for romaji and external IME input
  • Option for horizontal spelling
  • Meanings mode for kanji and vocab (using synonyms from Wanikani)
  • Fancier graphics
  • Improved mobile support
  • Add pause button and/or make auto pause feature more obvious
  • Other kanji lists
  • Other vocab lists
  • Sentences
  • High score tracking
  • Missed item tracking so they can appear more frequently
  • Option for Japanese menus/interface
  • Music and sound effects

What about monetization? At the most, maybe a non-intrusive ad and/or a donation button - eventually. I would love to be able to make stuff like this for my primary job, but I’m not expecting that to be anytime soon!


2022-01-10 Speed Selection
  • Added speed menu before mode menu
  • Added speed multiplier display to scoreboard

2022-01-09 Improved WK level loading
  • Improved Wanikani level data loading efficiency
  • Added loading percent progress for Wanikani levels

2021-11-04 WK modes without API key, Infinity level updates
  • Added full WaniKani items (all 60 levels) without requiring API key
  • Made Infinity levels increase difficulty faster
  • Every 5th Infinity level is now an EXTREME level

2020-08-19 API v2 bugfixes, more rare Katakana, spacebar fire
  • Fixed bugs in Ordered Vocab and Kanji levels due to API v2 switch
  • Added more rare katakana to Katakana levels 9+
  • (Technically 2020-08-20) Made Spacebar also work to fire, as alternative to Enter key

2020-05-17 Switched to Wanikani API v2
  • Uses Wanikani API v2 instead of v1
  • Removed holiday theme

2019-06-21 Results Screen added
  • Your misses are now shown at the end of each game
  • Results are highlight-able so you can copy-paste as needed
  • Click “Done” to return to the title splash screen

2019-02-09 Ordered by WaniKani Level (new modes)
  • WaniKani Kanji Readings - Ordered by Level mode added
  • WaniKani Vocab Readings - Ordered by Level mode added

2018-12-09 Dark Theme + Christmas Theme
  • Changed to Dark Theme
  • Christmas Theme added
  • That’s it
2018-11-10 Kanji and Vocab Readings added
  • WaniKani Kanji Readings mode added
  • WaniKani Vocab Readings mode added
  • Bonus lives every level when remaining lives are less than 3

2018-11-01 gameplay improvements
  • Made items “warp” onto screen (items move faster until fully visible)
  • Added delay when item hits top of screen
  • Improved spawning pattern to reduce overlap
  • Bonus life gained on every level that’s a multiple of 5

  • Testing kana input method using wanakana.js
  • Added mode name to scoreboard
  • Added level name to scoreboard
  • Scores now bigger and better (like an arcade game!)
  • Hits tell you exactly how many you got right

  • Improved backend design of modes/levels system
  • Added level between 1 and 2 to reduce jump in difficulty
  • シツソン now don’t appear in Katakana mode until level 2
  • Reorganization of rare kana (ぢづヂヅヲ etc.)
  • ゐゑヰヱ are temporarily removed (they had a chance to appear starting at level 8, I plan to re-add them in a higher level as legendary kana)

  • Small visual improvements to buttons on Mode screen.

Before this thread
  • Created falling hiragana
  • Implemented clearing items by typing and hitting enter
  • Added pausing when cursor not in text entry box or tab/window unfocused
  • Added levels, lives, and score
  • Added missed item info quick display
  • Added Mode screen
  • Added Katakana mode


I’m a programmer/web developer, and for a while, it has been a dream of mine to make and host web games/Japanese learning tools as a hobby (and potentially future career).
I brought up some ideas in @Corbayne’s Keeping it Fun thread in this post, and was inspired to make the very first barely functional version and post a link to it the next day in this post. Thanks for inspiring me Corbayne!

There was also a poll and early feedback in the POLL thread, which is a super cool place to hang out.



I'll tag the people here when I post an update so they get notified.


Let me know if you want to be added to/removed from the testers list!


That looks fun >u<.
I’m surely going to check it out.


nice - already smoother than last time i played :smiley: upwards movement is much better!

(hiragana mode)

  • if you could choose between vertical and horizontal spelling mode would be great. not sure what i prefer.
  • a mixed hiragana / katakana mode because i love to torture myself?
  • everything else seems to be already planned :slight_smile:

i got some ゑ’s and ゐ’s but i think only in one level but not later on anymore? whether it’s a bug or feature it’s probably for the better to just throw them in for some levels ^^


This has improved so much since when I first played it omg
Love it so far!

I’m curious as to how sentences would work on this. The same concept, but at slower speeds to accommodate the increased typing? Or just another separate feature on the site?


Good idea! Initially I was going to have them horizontal, then I accidentally made them vertical and thought that might be better practice :sweat_smile:

Actually I’m planning to make that, I just forgot to list it!

I think those have a chance to show up starting at level 7 or 8, when it says to watch out for rare ones. The levels are definitely not set in stone yet though

That’s what I’m thinking, the speed would probably be affected by how long the word/sentence is, but there are infinite levels after the last named one so they would get faster as you go on!

Awesome! Thanks everybody :grin:

It took me like 2 hours to make the OP, I need to go to sleep now


Is the name inspired by the hemorrhoids caused by endless hours of studying Japanese? :confused:


omg this is so much fun :smiley: what a great idea!


"name inspired by asteroids"


Cool game.


Very cool game! It would be nice if it were a little more mobile friendly. It was definitely playable on my iPhone but could use a little optimization.

The other idea I had was a mode where the player can type the matching kana. The goal of this would be typing practice!


Thank you so much for this!
My problem is that I can’t type without looking at the keyboard! I will be playing this lots.


I can’t find the kanji ;_;


Hmm. Could there possibly be a campaign mode? Fulfill varied challenges through silly stories? I would love to think of personifying the Kanji and making it about the life of the language versus the life of humans. A rather grandiose suggestion but I would lovingly assist wherever whenever. <3

SO happy for you making a thread dedicated to hottest new addition to WaniKani and language learning!

Sooner than later can’t hurt! The internet is a wild place and you deserve some compensation.

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I need to add those soon, it has “kanji” in the name after all. :sweat_smile:

I tested it on my phone once and it worked for me too, but it’s definitely not designed to be mobile friendly - yet

I’m also planning to add options to input with kana (with WanaKana.js) or your own external IME. I’ll add them to the Planned section!

There could be! I have a lot to work on before then though :yum:

…did I jinx myself?


Interesting! I love this idea.

From the name, “Kanji on steroids” was what came to mind.

How do I sign up to help test? Is this going to be a web app game/flash game? Or for Android/iOS for phones?



I don’t have anything set up for testers yet besides this thread. I welcome suggestions!
Edit: just made the email address kanjiroids@gmail.com

It’s a web game (without Flash), so it already works in phone browsers, it just needs to be optimized for them more. There’s also a way to download web pages and display them on your phone’s home screen that I’ll have to look into. Easy mobile app!


May I refer you to this post by @MissMisc :rofl:


Only, in Asteroids, they come at you from all sides. Your game is more like Space Invaders, from the screenshot I’ve seen in the OP.

So where is the link to try it out, or is it only given out to the rare chosen few at the moment?


The link is at the very top:
Kanjiroids, a.k.a. 漢字ロイド, a simple, free web game made by me!
Anyone can try!

I agree, the name isn’t perfect :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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How did I miss that?!


… XD Thanks. ^_^;;;

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How is the kanji mode going to work? Is it going to be single kanji, vocabulary, or sentences?