Kanji Study: DS Kanken Premium Review

In my previous post I mentioned the many pros of Kanken DS3. However, there is a major flaw in this game that I discovered once I surpassed 9th kyu: they stop teaching you the kanji. For the 10th and 9th kyu you can go to a section called Nazori Gaki なぞり書き; this section is good but could be better. There should be different tracing exercises and additional readings.

For some reason after the 9th kyu there are no more kanji lessons. You can take the kanji drills and practice with them (assuming you already know the readings and how to write the kanji). But this is like taking a test before you learn the material, and learning from the test (and re-taking the test) is not very effective – especially for beginners.

I had a great time learning with this game at the beginner levels, but it doesn’t make any sense that they removed the Nazori Gaki. Wouldn’t it make more sense to have it for the more difficult kanji, rather than the beginner? This game is good for Kanken prep and drills, but I would not recommend it for learning kanji.

I had a great pace of study since getting my DS and I didn’t want my progress to end. Therefore, I got a new 脳トレ学習 game, as they are categorized in Japanese. The new one I got is 250 Man Nin no Kanken Premium (250万人の漢検プレミアム). If you’re planning on learning kanji thoroughly, from the beginning, this is the choice for you.This game (so far) seems more complete and in depth than Kanken DS3 Deluxe. Take the kanji learning/tracing section for example; it gives you all readings, even the rare ones. It also gives you 10 tries when tracing the kanji; the first few on auto-pilot (you’ll see what I mean), the next few free-hand with the blueprint to follow, and the last 5 free-hand with no help. This kind of practice really forces the kanji into your head. I’ve mastered some difficult ones that I had trouble with before, thanks to this game.

If you’re serious about learning Japanese, you will need writing skills. The 250万人の漢検プレミアム for DS will help you get there in an effective and result-producing way.

250 Man Nin > Kanken DS3

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2 thoughts on “Kanji Study: DS Kanken Premium Review

  1. Thanks a lot for the recommendation. I was looking for a good Kanji game for the DS. I will try downloading 250万人の漢検プレミアム.

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