F.A.Q. - Frequently Asked Questions (Note: This F.A.Q. mostly deals with Kanji Drop, but a lot of it is relevant to Chinese Drop! Just be aware that in Chinese Drop, there are no hiragana and katakana and the characters are called hanzi instead of kanji!)

First off, thank you for playing! I put a lot of time and energy into this game and am so happy with all the positive feedback! It's a dream come true! I really am grateful for everyone who has downloaded it and tried it!

I created this game for a few reasons. Most importantly, I wanted to remove the fear and anxiety some students associate with learning Japanese and learning kanji in particular. There are a lot of kanji and they can be overwhelming, but many learners of Japanese find that Kanji Drop helps remove that sensation and replace it with one of wonder and excitement! Second, I wanted seasoned learners of Japanese and even native speakers to have fun with this beautiful language the same way English speakers enjoy crossword puzzles and other word puzzles. And third, I wanted to make a game for anyone interested in brain training! Learning a language can be more effective than some brain training apps, so even if you are not setting out to learn a language, you can pick it up while playing games on your phone! That's right, I see a future where people play games and come away with them not with a sense of wasted time but with new knowledge they can use in the real world! So please, pass this game on to anyone who you feel falls into at least one of those three categories, which is practically everyone!

What platforms is it on? How can I get it?

Kanji Drop is on iOS and Android mobile devices - phones, tablets, etc.

How do you play?

Blocks with kanji or commonly found parts of kanji fall down. You keep them from rising to the top by combining them to form words or other kanji. When you make a word, it blows up the blocks around it! When you make a kanji, though, the pieces combine into one block and it changes color. When you do this, the meter on the right fills up. When it reaches the top, a lot of kanji blow up! You will also release bonus blocks from time to time that give you a powerup! See if you can collect them all!

What are the controls?

No swiping! Just tap the left side of the screen to move the blocks left and tap the right side of the screen to move the blocks right. Tap and hold the bottom to make them fall faster or tap the column the block is in and it will drop faster! Again, you do not need to swipe at all!

Why can't I hear spoken Japanese words?

Trust me, the app has spoken Japanese! Sometimes your phone settings need to be changed. Here's how to do it:

For Android phones, please go to Settings -> General Management -> Language and Input -> Text-to-Speech. Make sure your Preferred Engine is the Google Text-to-speech engine. You can check other settings by pressing the gear icon near it. You may also want to install data for English and Japanese. You can also search for "speech" in the settings menu.

If that does not work, or if you have this problem on a non-Android phone, please email info@riotshieldgames.com for one-on-one help! Thank you!

How do I navigate the menus?

Here is a diagram of what the buttons do on the main menu page:
Kanji Drop Main Menu
Labels (Counter-clockwise from upper left):

What are the advanced features unlocked with purchases?

Thank you for asking. First off, ANY purchase unlocks all features. You also get coins you can use to get more powerups! Here are the features: Thanks again. You'll also be supporting my dream to make learning as painless and as fun as possible. I am determined to blur the line between games and learning so that perhaps one day, most of your learning will be in games where you ACTUALLY have fun and ACTUALLY learn something! I know it sounds crazy, but I'm crazy enough to make it happen!

How do I customize my kanji learning list?

Great question! Kanji Drop gives you a LOT of flexibility when deciding which kanji to learn and when. By default, you learn kanji in the order specified by Heisig's Remembering the Kanji, Vol. 1 (all content used with express approval by author and publisher). However, you can narrow down this list to kanji belonging to certain JLPT classes. Furthermore, you can learn kanji from lessons of various textbooks including Nakama, Genki, and Tobira (others can be included upon request). You can even learn from your own specific list, including one you've made from your other Japanese learning apps, by adding them to your Favorites list!

Here's how to set up your learning list. First, navigate to the learning tab of the glossary:
Kanji Drop Learning Menu
In short, you click the glossary button and then the right-most tab that says "Learning".

Then scroll through the pink window to find your learning source(s) and click their check mark (see #1). Then you can see these kanji in the learning list (see #2):
Kanji Drop Learning Menu Sources
You can see in the area below the pink box, that in this example, we have all the kanji present in Chapter 4 of the Nakama I (Second Edition) textbook.

In your learning list, you will see a bunch of card-like objects with various buttons and symbols:
Kanji Drop Learning Block
Here are the parts of the block listed counter-clockwise from the upper-left:

Now you have a kanji list you can customize to your heart's content to get the most out of Kanji Drop!

I believe a definition or translation is wrong. How can this be corrected?

Thank you for the correction! Please email the wrong kanji or word to info@riotshieldgames.com. The last tab in the glossary "index card" for the kanji or word (with the gear on it) will have a report button in the near future. Please use that for a template email to fill out. Thank you for your expertise - you are helping not only the app but all the other learners out there!

Why can some kanji combinations occur, like 寸 and 口 making 舌? This doesn't make sense!

Well, you are very observant! But, trust me, a lot of time and energy was put into this and it does make sense, despite first impressions. Kanji Drop is based on and uses, with permission, content from Remembering the Kanji, vol. 1 by James Heisig.

In it, he explains how you can think of 寸 (measurement) and 千 (thousand) as being made from the elements 十 (ten) and 丶 (a drop). In 寸, 丶 is surrounded by 十, and in 千, 丶 is on top of 十. So, it's easy to see they are made from the same parts! And since 舌 (tongue) is made from 十,丶, and 口 when you break it all down, it can be created from pairs of kanji like 寸 and 口 as well as 千 and 口.

You'll find that this makes the game much more interesting, giving you more options. Case in point, let's say you had a block with 口 and to its left, you have a block with 丶. If the next falling block has a 十, you want it to land on the 丶. Now, you want it to make 千 so that it combines with 口 to make 舌, but with this system, even if it makes 寸, it will still combine with 口 to make 舌 as all its basic components are there: 十,丶, and 口.

You'll find yourself developing a deeper understanding of kanji as you draw more connections between them!

How do I close ads?

Wait for the ad to finish and look for the 'x' in the upper left or upper right corner. It's usually white in color and appears once the ad has played. If you want to disable them completely, please read the next question!

How do I turn off ads?

Just buy coins from the store. Look for the yellow icon in the upper right with the "$" in it. Whenever you make a purchase with real-world money, it turns off all ads - and you get in-game coins to spend on powerups!

What are the weird letters in parentheses in the definitions?

Those are parts of speech. You can learn more about them here.

The game is too fast! What do I do?

This is by design! When the blocks fall quickly, it forces you to recall faster. This will help your learning tremendously.

If it's still too fast, you can select "Easy Mode" from the Settings Menu (red button with a gear icon) where the speed is capped and you can increase the amount of time between drops by increasing the time to view the information from the last word or kanji you made.!

You can also buy a powerup from the store. Click the yellow button with the "$" in it in the upper right and look for the powerup with the turtle!

How do I change the language of the game?

From the main menu, press the button in the upper left with the flag on it. You can learn Japanese from French or Spanish with speech in both languages! If you speak Japanese, this is a great way to learn English.

How do I upload my own custom learning list?

You can now import your Anki, WaniKani, and Koohii decks into Kanji Drop - the falling block puzzle game based on the Japanese language! They go in your Favorites List and from there, you can have them fall as blocks in the game! You can also bulk import words. It's a fun way to practice!

Additionally, if you find progress to be too slow, you can unlock all kanji from the store!

By the way, each story for a kanji links to the Koohii.com page for that kanji!

Useful Links:
- Visual instructions
- Exporting WaniKani Decks
- Exporting Anki Decks
- Go here and press "Export to CSV" to Export your Koohii deck

Can I learn hiragana and katakana here? Why not make words with kana?

Great question! When I set out to make Kanji Drop, I realized there were a lot of kana learning apps and only few for learning ALL jouyou kanji. Kana can typically be learned in about a month, though it can be learned faster. Having to make words with kana and kanji can be cumbersome so I opted to keep the game focused on kanji. HOWEVER, you can look up kana tables in the Help menu and you'll probably pick them up as you play!

Do I need an Internet connection to play?

No! The game can be played offline if you like.

Do I need to create an account to play?

No, you don't. If you do buy something or want to switch devices, however, I strongly recommend you create an account so your purchases and progress will be saved when you move to another device. It's easy to setup -- just tap the red button with the 💾 icon to create an account or log in. You will need an email to save your progress. If you are very protective of your privacy, you can make a dummy account if you like. I don't sell your data or make a profit off of it in any way or even spam your email. This is an app made FOR you!

How did you get content from Remembering the Kanji?

I reached out to the publisher and we made an agreement! I am an official developer of games based on Heisig's work.

لماذا لا يمكنني سماع كلمات يابانية أو عربية منطوقة؟

تحديث (2020 يوليو): محرك تحويل النص إلى كلام من Google يدعم اللغة العربية الآن!

بالنسبة لهواتف Android ، يرجى الانتقال إلى الإعدادات → الإدارة العامة → اللغة والإدخال → تحويل النص إلى كلام. تأكد من أن محركك يدعم كل من العربية واليابانية ، مثل Vocalizer. جوجل لا يدعم حاليا تحويل النص إلى كلام عربي. يمكنك التحقق من الإعدادات الأخرى من خلال النقر على رمز الترس بالقرب منها. قد تحتاج أيضًا إلى تثبيت البيانات باللغتين الإنجليزية واليابانية. يمكنك أيضًا البحث عن "الكلام" في قائمة الإعدادات. يرجى زيارة موقع الأسئلة الشائعة للحصول على تعليمات مفصلة.

يرجى استخدام هذه الإعدادات لـ Vocalizer:
VocalizerSettings VocalizerSettings VocalizerSettings

إذا لم يفلح ذلك ، أو إذا كانت لديك هذه المشكلة على هاتف غير Android ، فيرجى إرسال بريد إلكتروني إلى info@riotshieldgames.com للمساعدة الفردية! أيضًا ، إذا كنت تعرف محركًا أفضل لتحويل النص إلى كلام ، فيرجى إرسال بريد إلكتروني إلى info@riotshieldgames.com! شكرا لك!

I'm learning a lot! How do I express my thanks?

Aww, you're the best! Please write a kind review, tell your friends, post about Kanji Drop on social media, or make an in-app purchase! This helps keep the game going and helps me make more apps!

Are you going to make other games?

Yes! I have plenty of ideas. I already released one similar to Kanji Drop, but for Chinese! Simplified and Traditional characters are supported. I have even more ideas beyond falling block puzzles. Your in-app purchases make this easier if you are interested in supporting my future efforts!

Who is the team behind Kanji Drop?

It's just me! I like making games that help people learn but are still really fun! I also have spent a lot of time learning Japanese and kanji and have been interested in games that bridge the gap between entertainment and learning. I have a LOT of ideas and I do this on the side, so your support means a lot to me!

How can I reach you?

For any inquiries, please email info@riotshieldgames.com! Thanks!

Follow us on Social Media!

Follow us on Twitter to receive daily quizzes and new kanji to review twice a day!