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Free & Fun Japanese Computer Games – Part 1 — 33 Comments

    • Thanks for a great post. I have been looking for some games to play. I would love to see more ideas for smart phones! Do you know of any insights about resources for MACs? I am having trouble getting my windows boot camp to work!

    • For Android users living in a country where the app is blocked, you’ll need to use a VPN.

      I recommend this one: http://www.vpngate.net/ja/ (the servers are listed on this page
      Setup instructions on this page: http://www.vpngate.net/ja/howto_l2tp.aspx#android

      Once you’re connected to the VPN, log out of the play store and log back in. You should now have the store contents of the country you’re connected to and have access to apps that were previously blocked before. You don’t need to stay connected to the VPN the whole time — you can disconnect from it as soon as your play store contents have changed.

      • Aaah, I forgot about needing a Japanese iTunes account! *D’oh!*

        And once again, thank you どうして, for being so helpful! Since I don’t have an Android phone, I’m not well-versed on how one would go about getting into the Japnaese store. x_x;;

        @Saruman: Tell me what you think of Chain Chronicle! (And maybe we could add each other :D? Though I don’t really have any rare character cards, ahck!)

        Hmm…another game I enjoy that’s like Chain Chronicle in the sense it has a good (but not as good as CC’s) focus on the story. It’s called Thousand Memories! (千メモ)

        Of course, there’s the ever popular Puzzle & Dragons app you could try. I used to play that game as if it were my life! (Gotta get those mega combos!) Buuuut, there’s no storyline to follow, so I lost interest in it. -w-;;

        Oh my goodness, so many iPhone games I could recommend!*App junkie, eeek* But I don’t want to just brush over them all. I want to introduce them properly! In one of my future game introduction articles I will definitely include more iPhone games. Look forward to it! o(^▽^)o

        @Ember_Seed: As for Macs…I could look into it! Though I don’t own a Mac, so I’m not sure if I’ll be of much assistance in that department; But maybe I can surprise you. ^^

        • My pleasure~

          I enjoyed the the article and look forward to your future ones. ^^

          ps) I also used to play パズドラ like it was my life for a few weeks…

        • Sooo I thought to myself “I got a couple of minutes to spare let’s give this Chain Chronicle a go..”
          TWO HOURS later I thought to myself – stop playing and get on with your life! ;D
          It’s great fun although I’m only in the very beginning so far. I recommend it to other iPhone/iPad users wholeheartedly! A fair amount of text but well suited for intermediate Japanese levels.
          @Gin: Eh.. I don’t know HOW but I’d be happy to become “Chain-buddies”(!?).

          • (oh my god, we sound like a gang…BUT)

            HERE’S MY FRIEND CODE!: 198244234

            Go to friends and in the 3rd tab is where you can add people by ID!

            • 有り難う御座います!I got it now, so if you *don’t* want to really start a gang you can remove it. :) “The Chain-Gang”って pretty badass…

  1. I run windows 7. I want to play the first game you recommended. It downloaded and extracted fine. It will not go beyond the openning screen without crashing. Did this happen to you ever? Am I miss a codex or something? Any idea where to look? Thanks for your time!

      • Oh my good golly goodness! I forgot some important things in this article. I’m sorry if I caused any frustration for you! As どうして said, setting your computer’s regional settings to Japanese should fix it, and you should be able to enter Akiba Chronicle without any more problems!

  2. I found out the other day that I could play Skyrim with japanese audio and japanese subtitles just by changing the language in Steam, so I’ve played that for only a couple of days now, picking out sentences along the day. Since I absolutely loved Skyrim the first time I played it in 2011, it’s awesome.

    • Yes, another important resource to remember for getting Japanese games without the painful shipping is Steam! (Though I’m not sure whether or not you’re using Steam to play Skyrim, and if you’re not, I definitely recommend to look at the games in Japanese on Steam!)

      I’ve also played Skyrim in Japanese. For some reason it’s just so funny to hear all the Nord names in katakana…lol! It makes me giggle thinking about it.

      • Er, I meant to write “along the way”. Either way, it’s great. I’ve only started, so I have yet to hear “I took an arrow to the knee” in Japanese yet^^

        Do you have any other Japanese steam game recommendations?

        • LOL! Ya gotta listen for the, “Did someone steal your sweet roll,” line too! Hehee.

          Hmm…one other steam game I can really recommend, is Recettear. You play as a girl who runs a shop with a fairy in an attempt to repay the debt your dad left behind (Parenting 101). It was cute, and a refreshing play.

  3. Sadly, using a Mac, I can’t get アキバクロニクル. And I adore maid cafes too! I don’t have a smart device either. Most of my gaming is done on my Japanese 3DSLL which, being region-locked, won’t let me play English games if I want to. Luckily I don’t.

    Fortunately the eShop makes most retail releases available for download, (not Bravely Default though, for some reason) – so it’s a bit like Steam without the sales (not quite true, I got a nice little game for ¥100 in a New Year Sale).

    Also Miiverse, which is now accessible via 3DS, provides another place for Japanese interaction. You can set it to worldwide or home-country only, and if you are using a Japanese machine “home country” means Japan.

    • Uwawawawa! I’ve isolated Mac users! If only I had a Mac computer…orz

      Maybe I could find something for Macs! But…my search may turn up only stones. ;o; (But who knows, I may find something! Hehehe.)

      I’ve always thought of saving for a JP 3DS, but at the same time I worry if it’s worth the price…*fret fret*

      • Well I have to say I’ve never regretted the purchase. I am not at all 金持ち myself but one thing I have had since the Gameboy Color is Nintendo’s current handheld. Well I managed with a plain DS (not even a DSi – that upgrade seemed unnecessary) for quite a while, but I am really happy to have upgraded to 3DS. Pokemon XY alone is a very compelling reason! I just LOVE seeing all the darlings in 3D, though sometimes it makes it slightly hard to fight them. I have to remind myself it is sport to them. And you can PET them! And there is now a FAIRY type.

  4. In theory it should be possible to run these on a Mac or other Unix variant using Wine (for Macs the easiest route might be Winebottler). That said, I’ve been trying to get アキバクロニクル running on either my Mac or Linux machines for the past few days with no luck. It consistently crashes about where I think it was crashing for InTheWind which leads me to suspect it’s a locale problem, but so far as I can tell I have the locale set up properly. Anyway, I’m giving up for the moment, but just to let folks know there might be a way forward for someone with more patience or cleverness than I have. Of course failing that we could just watch someone else play it.

    In any case, thanks for the post! It reminded me that I had bookmarked a visual novel called 私の黒猫 a long time back, but unfortunately it looks like I missed my chance to get the Japanese version, although the English port is still up. That site has a pretty extensive list of other VNs, maybe I’ll see if I can get something else running under wine.

    • That looks so good! Oh well, I think I may be getting ファンタジーライフ in a month so so, so I’ll just have to be gaman suru for a while. Meanwhile I have フラベベ and ルリリ to keep me happy. Just watching ルリリ bouncing around on her water-filled beach-ball of a tail makes me happy! Isn’t that bad to talk of gaman suru no when I am so lucky? It was only a joke though really!

    • For me, watching someone else play the game can be good in a different way, as some players read aloud the dialogue. Sometimes hearing a real person say it can really make it stick!

      Thank you for reading! Huh, this site is interesting. (I love visual novels omgggg) Thanks for sharing! *heart heart*

  5. Hi!
    Does anyone know of a japanese game similar to Shining Force, Langrisser, Yggdra Union, Fire emblem? I only have PC and Android atm (I can use emulators for old consoles).

    Problem is i have played most of these kind of games that i have found in English. Now that im learning Jap, i hope i can find some hidden gems that are jap only. Unfortunately i still havent found a good place to find games in jap.

    Thank you.

    Btw, for people who want games for android/Iphone you could check out Kemco Games and Kairosoft. First company make oldschool rpgs, second make sim games. Most of their games are translated, and you can switch between eng and jap anytime. Hundreds of other games out there too probably, but these two is what i have tried till now.

    • Hmm…well, if you’re into RPG games, you could try buying Skyrim on Steam and playing it in Japanese! Steam’s a great way to find Japanese games for PC (although I may admit, their available games in Japanese may be a bit lacking, it’s worth a look-through!).

      Ah man, I looove Fire Emblem. I fought so hard against buying the new Fire Emblem game in English! (But ofc, I did.)

      I love Kairosoft! Yes, I must agree their games are simply addicting. The game developer one was my favorite.

    • I would recommend re-playing your favorite game in Japanese. Having already played it in English is a great help – unless your Japanese is too good to need the boost, of course. It is also really interesting to see how subtly different it is in Japanese.

    • Thanks for your replies :)

      @Gin Hmm Skyrim is too “Western” to be my cup of tea. (I dont like looting, open worlds nor controlling only a single character), but ty anyway. Didnt know you could sort games by language availability in steam though. I found a couple games I`d like to play in jap there ;) ty.

      @Dolly Yeah i guess i could play one of my old favs. Just hoped i would find some hidden gems in my favourite genre, now that i know some japanese. :P Do you guys know of pages like gamefaqs.com or gamerankings.com for finding games in jap ?

      • I don’t think there is one quite like that in Japanese (not that I know of anyway)
        but if you just google the name of the game followed by 攻略 you can usually find some pretty detailed sites dedicated just for that game / series.
        For example, here’s one for テイルズ オブ エクシリア http://h1g.jp/tox/ (there are several more available just for this one game as well.

  6. Looking at the image provided by the second gate, the game’s title clearly seems to be 人喰いさん instead of 人食いさん.

  7. I have almost every single game in japanese on steam, being huge fan of 洋ゲー. That’s great but is always good to expand horizons, the only Japanese game I played in Japanese was 人魚沼 there’s several others by the same author too:http://2style.in/uri/

    I just realized how poor my immersion was, I never finished a novel, read only about 6 manga volumes until the end (「僕は友達が少ない」と「ゆるゆり」). I like my style of learning but now is time to go hardcore. I’m going forward for every anime, novel and game recommendation I see.

  8. Thank you for this post. I didn’t know there were free indie visual novels in japanese. Pretty nice site for indie games, any other similar site like freem.ne.jp?

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