Review: Successfully Learning German: Year 3 (WiiWare)

Hier gehen wir wieder

By now you probably have a fairly good grasp on whether or not Tivola's array of educational games is for you, and Successfully Learning German: Year 3 does absolutely nothing to change the series template. If you're still desperately grappling with the language then this second instalment of Wii-based linguistic training might come in handy.

If you've not tackled a game in the series so far, the premise is very simple: you're graded on your efforts after each exercise, with better grades getting you more time to spend in the bonus game. Exercises on offer include working on root words, spelling, word genders and definite articles, challenging you on some of the trickier parts of the language. There's a definite advance in difficulty from the previous release, so it's not recommended to jump straight into Year 3 without finishing the previous game, as you'll need some prior knowledge to make progress instead of resorting to guesswork.

Like its predecessor, this is not intended to replace a formal German language course: rarely are the answers presented with any kind of context, so if you don't have an external reference you won't get much out of this. Exercises on root words and linked meanings won't make any sense without knowledge of the language, so don't make a purchase expecting to learn how to speak, write or read fluent German by this game alone. If, however, you're after a way to reinforce the learning you're doing elsewhere, either at school or with a tutor, this might come in handy.

Tivola deserves credit for introducing a separate bonus game into each download, and this instalment's extra game is a top-down box-pushing puzzle game where you must guide crates to specific squares. Anyone familiar with Legend of Zelda's penchant for tricky box-pushing puzzles will probably enjoy this, and although basic it's still a welcome break from identifying German root words.

Conclusion

If you're a committed student keen to further your understanding of German, this could be a useful little addition to your learning regime. Anyone wanting to jump in and pick the language up without any external help, however, will be left stumped. Anfahrt mit Vorsicht.

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