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

You stop that. It’s utterly delightful no matter the semantics.

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I’m planning to have all three modes, in that order of priority. I also plan to have the option to do either readings or meanings. It should be easy enough to pull in one’s WK synonyms from the API.

I’m running out of likes for the first time ever :scream:

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This is how I did on my first playthrough:


Not knowing that I was supposed to type in Romaji, I had tried for the first 3-4 inputs to type with my IME…

However, I didn’t have anything hit the top of the screen until level 7. I even hit a point towards the end of level 6 where the screen was BLANK grey!

Here are some of my thoughts:

  • Make the や ゆ よ smaller for the きゃ、きゅ、じゃ kind of combos. I didn’t notice the difference in size at first and so mistyped a lot - it’s such a slight difference as it is right now.
  • The difficulty seems to jump (only because of speed difference) all of a sudden between level 1 and 2 (from too easy to suddenly “that’s fast!”) After cycling through some waves, I see why you did this, however a speed between the two may be good for a level 2, and then after that, keep things as they are. (More of a progression, that way.)
  • The character づ、ぢ etc - I wasn’t clear which way to type them, so I had tried the other (non D) method… Might want to explain that in a text box below the game, as there is more than one way to type these. May not matter if you accept IME input later.
  • The types of characters could be grouped by colour - I know you have the yellow-green for getting it right, but let’s say you had the ぎゃ ぎゅ にゃ にょ じゃ types as BLUE, for instance… they could start as dark blue and get lighter, while single hirigana could be another colour (and get lighter). These would then be further differentiated from WHOLE WORDS (if it ever gets to that?) which could be yet another colour… etc. Do you understand what I mean?

Anyway, it’s a cool app that works smoothly (at least in the one play).

I don’t think I should have been able to clear the screen so easily… I had nothing for a second or two, which was a weird respite that had me wondering if it froze for a second! XD


They are difficult to read in the vertical layout, but I think that’s true of actual vertically written Japanese too (at least for me), so it might be good practice? I’m pretty sure I configured the layout correctly :thinking: it’s something to think about!

I agree, I want it to not be too hard at the beginning for people who are just learning the kana

I missed a way? How do you type them? This should be fixed when I add the integrated IME, but I’d still like to know for the text that displays when they hit the top

Hmmm, on one hand, that would make them easier to read, on the other hand, native Japanese doesn’t have word delimiters… maybe it can be an option? Or maybe sentence mode would be where it gets serious

It spawns items faster if you have most of the screen clear, so that it adapts to the player’s skill (it still takes the same amount of cleared items to move to the next level). The spawn speed resets at the beginning of each level so it doesn’t get too out of control before you get to a high level. Probably there were some items moving really slow that hadn’t reached the screen yet lol
I’ll continuing to experiment with the item speeds, spawn rates, and level definitions.

Thanks for all the feedback! :+1:


That’s fun and good practice. I’m using it for katakana. I thought the difficulty curve needs a good bit of work. Not the speed of the kana, but certainly the “complexity” if you will.

While I had no problem typing these, I was surprised that they showed up early. Those are an order of magnitude less common so I don’t think they belong in the same level where you’re seeing combining marks for the first time.

キャ ビュ
The diagraphs would be much easier to read if horizontal. I get that it’s good vertical reading practice, but maybe that should be eased into?

When it comes to katakana and difficulty curves ン、ソ、シ、ツ should be introduced gradually not in any particular order but all four at the same time is a bit of a mind warp.

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I enjoyed it and will keep playing it. Thanks for making this.


That’s a good idea. I’d like to have all these options, but the interface needs to be clean and intuitive so it doesn’t take 50 steps to start a game :sweat_smile:

Maybe there can be some preset modes with a variety of different levels, and then a custom mode for practicing specific things?

Awesome, thank you for playing! :grin:

What in the world are those? Are those Pokémon?


A game where the kanji drop slowly, but when you type the reading it explodes into its radicals and components and then you have to type all those too.


Those are old hiragana that you will almost never see. In all my time studying Japanese for around 1-2 years I’ve only seen either of those in a real context (aka outside of study books and such) once or twice.


How about the katakana versions, ヰ and ヱ? Lol
I’m pretty sure I saw a picture of a poster with Evangelion stylized as ヱヴァンゲリオン once

I think I saw ヱ once as well. I’m pretty sure these might be used mainly to give it an olden feel, kind of like certain speech patterns or writing styles in games or other media with a medieval theme.

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Yikes, my hands tired quickly! I get very tense during these kinds of games. That’s an incentive to learn the native keyboard typing mode. o_O Maybe. (Actually it might not be much better.) A stop/start button, or an enforced pause (fifteen to thirty seconds between levels?), might be nice to use to stretch hands and avoid hand strain and fatigue…

Font options might be nice in the future (block lettering, handwriting, calligraphy…) Maybe not as many as jitai offers, but a few.

Can’t wait for the planned stage when we’re able to load kanji and vocab for Wanikani! :smiley:


You can pause it by hitting Escape or by clicking anywhere outside the text box! Then you restart by either clicking on the game area or clicking the textbox. If you go to a different tab or a different window, it will also pause until you come back :grin:
It’s not a very obvious feature, I should add a button too :+1:

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2018-10-23 level design update

  • 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)

Here’s my score in Katakana mode after I tested the changes:



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



Sure, I am no “Level 17” but I certainly am getting better. It’s also the best way to learn Katagana…which I definitely don’t recognize well AT ALL…yet <3

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Did a small round of Kanjiroids. :purple_heart:

Love the auto-pause when the window isn’t active!

One thing I ran into: at least twice, a bunch of characters overlapped. Most of the time, the differences in movement speed meant they extricated themselves again, but not always.


There is a て nestled within those two ね


I let this bunch move most of the way up the screen in the hope they’d drift apart enough on their own, but it remained a jumble.

Then I had a bunch of random thoughts/ideas - don’t know how popular or feasible they are, but I thought I’d just throw them out there. Feel free to ignore it all, of course!

Other life-based games sometimes have a kind of “lives reward system.” If you get X amount of consecutive inputs/levels correct, you earn yourself a life back!

Other random thought (sorry if it has been discussed and I just missed it): any way to have a sort of level select? If you know your kana pretty well, but just want a challenge of quick typing and recognition, it can be a bit slow at the beginning while one only puts in the more basic, straightforward kana. Perhaps a way to immediately jump in with all the kana “unlocked,” and that just the speed increases over time?

Because I’m a silly person, I also wouldn’t mind a kind of “zen mode.” Select what content you want to practice, maybe manually set the desired scroll speed, and then it just keeps going ad infinitum. That way one can also practice for whatever amount of time they want - without the pressure of it slowly becoming a typing skill test as it speeds up.

But I don’t know anything about coding it on the back end, so this is easy for me to suggest without any proper knowledge of how much additional work I’m asking for.

頑張ってください! Thanks for sharing your hard work!


Cool! I’ll check it out again tomorrow night.

I’ll have to try the katakana mode, too, as I’m not as quick to recognize those, and currently (I’m just about to go to bed) I’m not sure which is which for those last two:

… Which of course only makes me feel silly.

But I have work in the morning. Too bad I didn’t see this earlier. Thanks for taking my suggestions into consideration! ^^


I really like your idea of a zen mode!

And that’s really too bad about the bunching.

@Darcinon - is there a way in the code to make sure each set of kana has it’s own “lane” or vertical column, and as long as that row isn’t empty, nothing else can come in that row? Let’s say the play screen was 12 columns across, or something? (Think of swimming lanes)??? Would that help the programming side of this?


Haha i was trying to find it on my android for quite a while …

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