Late Shift

    late shift

    Released on Steam in 2016, Late Shift is a crime-thriller full-motion video (FMV) game that claims to be "the world's first cinematic interactive movie." Think Black Mirror: Bandersnatch crossed with Night Trap and you'll be getting the idea.

    As you watch/play the movie/game, options appear at the bottom of the screen that you have a limited amount of time to answer. Each choice significantly alters the story and is the sole gameplay element. One full playthrough takes about ninety minutes, but with so many variations possible, you can create and watch a lot longer.

    Late Shift is rated M, so if you're mature enough, check out the trailer:

    You're probably wondering how a game can benefit your Japanese studies. Easy: its makers added a Japanese mode and Japanese subtitles! Even though the movie's soundtrack is in English, the whole game can be played in Japanese. Players can select the (very fast!) subtitles to appear in Japanese, and all the crucial choices appear in Japanese as well.

    The whole concept works well. Some of the subtitles seem a bit strange, but remember they're a translation of English (and other languages… I won't spoil it for you). You'll also hear a decent amount of Japanese spoken in the game as well.

    The whole game can be played in Japanese. Players can select the (very fast!) subtitles to appear in Japanese, and all the crucial choices appear in Japanese as well.

    Subtitles run very quickly, and each answer is timed. You have to be able to read, understand, and react faster than you may be used to. Pausing blocks you from seeing the screen (no cheating!), so that won't let you slow things down either.

    Still, if you're up for the challenge and in the mood for an interesting game/movie ride, ninety minutes or more with Late Shift could be an excellent and entertaining way to sharpen your Japanese reading skills.

    Game
    Steam
    Reading