First words expressed about Language Adventure!
Stop motion point-and-click edutainment adventure to offer “language learning” in 2024
Most of the time, games are all about fun while learning feels more like work, but occasionally the two can go hand in hand. Case in point: the upcoming Language Adventure! by indie UK developer Wonky Games, a whimsical sci-fi point-and-click adventure filmed with stop motion animation that teaches players a new language (and maybe a few other things) while they play.
When a spaceship full of aliens that look curiously like tongues crash lands in your back garden, it’s up to you to help these extraterrestrial visitors fix their ship and get back on their way. One big problem, though: you can’t understand a word they say. Compounding matters are the many tasks that need doing around the house, a job you show up late for with a boss annoyed by your tardiness, and a whole host of other unexpected obstacles along the way. As you scour this tiny town for objects needed to repair the broken spacecraft, you’ll encounter a variety of “colourful” residents and solve intuitive puzzles, all without the benefit of anyone speaking your native language.
Language Adventure! is a traditional point-and-click game in many respects, complete with “a verb coin, inventory and animated map, but here you guide events via a first-person godlike perspective that lets you interact directly with the environment. And what a stunning environment it is, entirely hand-crafted with all the action filmed using stop motion. The town may be small but there will be a nice variety of locations to explore, including the beach, a school, a farm, a hospital and the local lighthouse, among others. Each is populated with people to converse with, performed by a single narrator enacting all the parts, but they too are speaking a whole other language than you – literally. The teaching method here is “immersive direct visual learning,” leaving you to piece together the meaning of words in context with only “minimal native language prompts” to aid in “accessibility or complicated concepts like phrasal verbs/sentence structure.” Players can “repeat each spoken line with a button as many times as they like,” and if further help is needed, at any time they can “translate the text back to their own language.”
The developer’s plan is to sell each language version either independently or bundled together, beginning with options for English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Italian, perhaps followed by other localizations later on. (You could, theoretically, simply purchase the version in your own native language, but you’d miss out on all the learning opportunities that way, along with a significant part of the challenge.) Language Adventure! will initially launch on PC for Windows, Mac and Linux, but Switch and mobile versions are being considered as well. Before that can happen, however, a Kickstarter campaign will be launched to help finance the remaining production. If all goes well, we could see the game released on Steam as early as the middle of 2024.