Introducing Dinosaurs And Katakana – Siliconera’s Katakana Training Game

By Spencer . October 4, 2008 . 11:02am


One of the top secret projects we’ve been working on at Siliconera is our very first flash game! An angry stampede of dinosaurs are chasing humans trapped on an island. You can save them with the power of… katakana?!


Dinosaurs and Katakana is an arcade style katakana training game designed to help people interested in studying Japanese recognize katakana symbols. All you need to do is type the corresponding English text to eliminate enraged dinosaurs. You don’t need to know any katakana to play Dinosaurs and Katakana either. Helper English text coaches you while you play.


We’re going to kick the launch of Dinosaurs and Katakana off with a contest! On October 19 one of the top ten scorers on the leaderboards, selected by random, will get a copy of Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis. Whoever is in first place will win a Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit prize pack including a copy of Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit for the PlayStation 3 and a Dragon Ball Z: Burst Limit t-shirt. Please remember to SAVE your score on the leaderboards to enter the contest.


Ready to play Dinosaurs and Katakana? Click here.


More detailed instructions for Dinosaurs and Katakana are here.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • Fun game, I like it! It would be cool to have a spin-off with hiragana and perhaps one with kanji too? Shouldn’t be too hard to implement.

  • Spencer

    @CRIMExTHINK – We may have plans for something like that, but I can’t announce anything at this time. ;)

  • Advent

    I really like the game, but the visuals could use some more work. The score display and on-screen displays kinda look sloppy, looks like it was slapped together. I would like to see some improvement there.

    BUT the prize sounds awesome!!

  • Nigredo

    too fast for me – i’m typing whith 2 fingers searching foor letters :(
    でも日本語が能く話します ;)

  • matty

    That’s pretty cool! I need to brush up on my katakana.

  • Aoshi00

    Fun game, that’s a nice way to encourage readers to recognize katakana (which I think is slightly harder than hiragana since you don’t write them as much). It’s kind of funny I popped in the Lost World DVD last night and here are some dinos again :)

  • EvilAkito

    I like it! I unfortunately haven’t studied any Japanese since high school, so it’s nice to brush up.

  • JKTrix

    Stuff gets *fast*. Good lord, Aoshi00.

  • jeffx

    God damn, give Aoshi00 the first place prize already.
    At this point it has nothing to do with katakana anymore anyway, but brute typing speed.

  • matty

    Next game should have Spencer running around getting as many interviews in a day. Or serving food at Yoshinoya.

  • Pichi

    Nice game to brush up on!

    I find katakana easier because they are more likely to be foreign words I’m familiar with. Would like a hiragana version also!

  • nika

    nice little game ^^

    I had to stop when I reached the compounds because thats when I remembered I had food cooking xD

    @matty; those games would be WIN.

  • Pesmerga00

    This is really nice. I suck at it, but I still think it’s cool. It’s stuff like this that makes this site so amazing.

    LOL, at JKTrix “Lord Aoshi”

  • Aoshi00

    lol.. sry guys, didn’t mean to spoil the party or anything.. I just wanted to keep going as far as I could for the nice prizes. I see someone alrdy catching up to my score, so I might be bumped down for Mana Khemia?

  • R

    A fun game (I was wondering what the image in the ? box was about!) but…it appears to need a little work. Key presses had a delay of 5-15 seconds, sometimes katakana would appear for the first time with no English text… (maybe that’s intentional?)

    Shortly after I reached the compound katakana I got a game over with what appeared to be three runners left. They were still on the screen when I entered my score, so maybe they were just ghost runners? Haha. ->

    Thanks for the practice though!

  • ShinRekka

    Nice…..need to re-learn Katakana again then lol. I’ve always remembered most of the Hiragana from High School but Katakana always been a pain to remember lol.

  • shion16

    it really cool
    its working

  • jeffx

    @R: I had the same problem (game over with humans still running)

  • Spencer

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. :) I didn’t notice the ghosting runners when I was testing it. I’ll need to prune the game again, but I don’t want to post any changes until this contest ends to be fair to all of the people who have been playing the game.

    Aoshi00 and Ash are really killing the scoring system. I didn’t think anyone would get that high a score so quickly! Dinosaurs and Katakana chains points with each successive dinosaur (i.e. the second dino in a row gives more points than the first) and then you get a combo bonus on top of that.

  • Jenni

    Simply a wonderful game. I had a ball sampling it, and passed it on to all of my friends. :D

  • Glad you finally got it done. It’s good but a bit difficult because there is no chance to learn the katakana, starting you just quickly type the english word to continue, nothing really tells or guides you to learn the things that appear so when the english isn’t there, you’re stick.

    I really like the idea, keep on at it!

  • Spencer

    @Luke – Thanks for the feedback! The concept was trial by fire, learn by making mistakes. If you can’t remember a particular katakana or type in a wrong response you get the English text as a reminder to push the association process along.

    Other ideas kicked around during the dev process included showing the English text during the beginning and having a status meter fade the characters out. The first delayed the rapid fire feel. The disappearing reference card was sort of phased out. These are things that might be implemented later. I guess this is sort of like an “open beta” rather than a final release so all and any feedback is being noted. Oh, did you check the credits :)

  • dwizzle13

    Hiragana would definitely be a nice addition. I only wish the dinosaurs weren’t so fast, I can’t type japanese that fast even though I know it. I could write it possibly faster… Luckily you don’t have the weird katakana in the game like Slime Forest does: it is an interesting game too. Good thing it doesn’t use kanji yet… ^_^

  • RyoRyo777

    I had a fun time with this~

  • John H.

    Is quite nice! My only complaint is that I seem to run into the early game ending bug fairly consistently, all my games have finished with at least one runner still visible.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos