Dialogue-rich Computer Games in Second Languages?

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Teango
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Dialogue-rich Computer Games in Second Languages?

Postby Teango » Mon Aug 17, 2015 12:55 am

Last year, I completed a couple of free German adventure games from the Goethe Institute on my iPod ("Das Geheimnis der Himmelsscheibe", "Ein rätselhafter Auftrag"). The dialogues were very comfortable for my level, and the plot was compelling enough to keep me wanting more. Of course, these were still educational graphic adventures, so sometimes the plots and tasks felt a little more contrived than usual, but it was none-the-less an engaging and enjoyable way to practice German.

Being a big fan of dialogue-rich graphic adventures as a kid, especially those with tongue-in-cheek humour (e.g., Monkey Island, Sierra, Lucasarts), I can see myself easily immersing in hours of target language audio and text in stolen moments for fun. Even looking up and saving new words doesn't feel like too much of a chore when it serves the immediate purpose of solving some new puzzle in an ongoing adventure and saving the world. :)

Hence I think it would be really useful to build a simple computer games repository here on the forum that would be suitable to a host of language learners across a variety of platforms. So I'd like to ask if anyone here could recommend any good computer games, sites, or apps that offer plenty of audio and/or text in a second language (educational or otherwise)?

Here are our recommendations so far:


TitlePlatformsLanguagesAudio/TextSuggested By
Animal Crossing: New LeafesSpoonary
AR-Ken, esTati
Assassin's Creed seriesen, fr, de, it, ja, pt, ru, esSoclydeza, Yuurei
Baldur's Gate 1 & 2en, fr, it, de, es, plt123, Zireael, ownerzeff
Baphomets FluchdeDoitsujin
Baphomets Fluch 2.5en, de, es, it, pl, hr, pt, ruDoitsujin
Broken Ageen, deAlexTG
Broken Sword 1 & 2en, de, fr, es, Itdaegga, Doitsujin, emk, Cavesa
Criminal Caseen, es, pt, it, fr, de, tr, zh, idSerpent
Crusader Kings IIen, fr, de, es, plZireael, Alphathon
Das Geheimnis der HimmelsscheibedeTeango
Diablo IIIen, fr, de, es, zhAozu
Dračí historiecz, enCavesa
Dragon Age 2frYuurei
Dreamfallde, en, noCavesa
Ein rätselhafter AuftragdeTeango
Godvilleen, ruVia Diva
Gothic seriesdeeginhard
Grim Fandangoen, de, esAlexTG
Hatoful Boyfriendja, enkyukumber
Icewind Daleen, fr, it, de, es, plt123
Imperia Onlineen, swNIKOLIĆ, Elenia
Inner WorlddeTeango
King's Questen, fr, deTeango
Learn Spanish with Ruby ReiesTeango
MafiacsCavesa
Mass Effect gamesen, fr, desteyyan
Might & Magic: Heroes Onlinecs, nl, en, fr, de, it, pl, pt, ro, ru, esNIKOLIĆ
Monkey Island 1-4en, de, fr, itAlexTG, daegga, rdreaman, garyb
Polda 1czCavesa
Play-AsiaJaAlexTG, cathrynm
Pokemon series (last 4)de, fr, es, ko, jaWalkingAlone14
Randal's Mondayde, en, es, fr, it, ruTati
ScummVM (various games)en, dedaegga
Simon the Sorceror 1 & 2de, en, frCavesa
The Elder Scrolls seriesen, fr, de, hu, ja, es, ruMeyers, Keys, Yuurei, Henkkles
The Longest Journey seriesen, de, fr, it, no, ru, svDoitsujin
The Witcher seriesja, de, pt, ru, en, fr, pl, spCavesa, steyyan, Wurstmann, cathrynm
Uncharted 3fr, nl, es, plYuurei
World of Warcraften, es, zh, it1e4e6, Aozu, ddich

Updates:
Following up on your suggestions, I've hopefully made our list a bit clearer and more accessible by converting it to a new table format (based on Alphathon's suggested template, but limited to basic HTML on the forum's user interface). This includes links where provided, available languages, and member credits; platforms and audio/text fields, however, will need to be filled in. As I don't have time to check through all the links and data, please feel free to suggest any notes, amendments, or additions (as well as let me know if there are any glaring errors), and I'll try to include these during the next update.


Language abbreviations (ISO 639-1 codes):
hr=Croatian, cs=Czech, da=Danish, nl=Dutch, en=English, fi=Finnish, fr=French, de=German, hu=Hungarian, id=Indonesian, it=Italian, ja=Japanese, ko=Korean, zh=Chinese, no=Norwegian, pl=Polish, pt=Portuguese, ro=Romanian, ru=Russian, es=Spanish, sv=Swedish, tr=Turkish.


With games in at least 20 languages, we've already amassed an interesting collection here together. A big thanks to everyone who has contributed to the growing list and the ongoing discussion so far, and let's keep these suggestions rolling in!! ~ Teango

Last update: 16 April, 2017 (1 new Spanish game added to the list).
Last edited by Teango on Sun Apr 16, 2017 10:25 pm, edited 46 times in total.
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Re: Dialogue-rich Computer Games in Second Languages?

Postby daegga » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:06 am

The old Broken Sword titles (1 & 2) have been available in a mobile version for a while now. The 5th iteration came out 1-2 years or so back. They come with the big languages (German, English, French, Spanish, Italian if I remember correctly). Digging through the French subtitles of the first one I would estimate it to be the size of a pocket book (300 pages or so) if printed. Audio is 2 times 4 hours, but there are duplicate lines (in my PC version, in mobile this should be handled better, no CD changes :) ).

edit:
Also look into ScummVM: http://wiki.scummvm.org/index.php/IPhone
Those old Monkey Island titles are available for German too. All games in this list should be actually.
Last edited by daegga on Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:30 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Dialogue-rich Computer Games in Second Languages?

Postby 1e4e6 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:14 am

I am not sure if WoW are on mobile yet, but if you join an EU server surely a guild who speak to each other in L2 would accommodate. Even if not in a guild, if you do PvP with a group I am sure that you could find L2 speakers. You can also ask in the adverts channel (I think that it was channel 2, if I am not mistaken) for a guild that speaks L2.

The last time that I did Arena 2v2, 3v3, and 5v5 was in 2009, and I did practise a bit of Spanish with groups. I did not usually do PvE stuff, but if you get a group also in a foreign server you should be able to find L2 speakers. I remember spending 6 hours getting ripped apart by the bosses. A good way to learn swears and slang...
Last edited by 1e4e6 on Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:36 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Teango
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Re: Dialogue-rich Computer Games in Second Languages?

Postby Teango » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:41 am

@daegga
That's the one...Broken Sword...I was trying to recall the name of this series only yesterday; great suggestion! I'll have a look later today to see if they have a version for the iPod/iPad. I'm also thrilled to hear they have some of the Monkey Island series in German. Do you know if that includes German audio as well? Ich will Pirat werden!

@1e4e6
WoW is another good idea. I'll add that to the list - mahalo!
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Re: Dialogue-rich Computer Games in Second Languages?

Postby daegga » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:50 am

Teango wrote:@daegga
I'm also thrilled to hear they have some of the Monkey Island series in German. Do you know if that includes German audio as well? Ich will Pirat werden!


You need to buy the German version (remember those CDs? they didn't have space for more than one language). Could be tough in Hawaii, not sure if they sell the German version as download (gog.com only has English). Check the underground ;)
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Re: Dialogue-rich Computer Games in Second Languages?

Postby AlexTG » Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:19 am

Monkey Island 1 and 2 had no audio dialogue at all. Audio dialogue was added in the remastered editions, but only in English and Italian, and only if you use the crappy new "remastered" graphics. 3 and 4 had audio dialogue and were dubbed into German. The translations must have been very popular in Germany, because Tim Schafer made a point of getting the same translator to do his new adventure game Broken Age (which is another game you should check out).

Grim Fandango Remastered is available on steam for $15 and has a German dub (and the graphics are the same as the original ✓) .
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Re: Dialogue-rich Computer Games in Second Languages?

Postby Serpent » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:28 pm

I love Criminal Case. Millions of people play that in L1.

It's available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French, German, Turkish, Mandarin, Indonesian.
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Re: Dialogue-rich Computer Games in Second Languages?

Postby rdearman » Mon Aug 17, 2015 1:47 pm

You can try some text only MUD (Multi-user Dungeon) games. There are a lot of them in many languages. Here is a good place to start looking for them. Some allow you to search for a game by language.
http://www.mudconnect.com/index.html
http://mudverse.com/index.php?p=advanced_search

Some free opensource games which are multiplayer and support multiple languages.
http://www.lgdb.org/category/game_features/online_multiplayer
http://sauerbraten.org/
http://www.cahilig.net/2011/07/29/100-best-free-and-high-quality-linux-games
https://computing4free.wordpress.com/2009/03/28/25-of-the-best-linux-games/
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Re: Dialogue-rich Computer Games in Second Languages?

Postby WalkingAlone13 » Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:28 pm

Probably a long shot for most as I am somewhat of a big kid at heart, but the newest Pokemon games (last four) which are for the Nintendo 3ds - a handheld console so it's portable - all give you the option of playing the game in either German, French, Spanish, Korean or Japanese. You can not change mid way through but you could always complete the story and start again in a different language.

Naturally there will be points in which you'll be levelling up so won't have as much dialogue but you could always talk to people anyway.

*Edit: This is more for those who may happen to already have said console as otherwise it's obviously not going to be a viable option in terms of cost.
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Re: Dialogue-rich Computer Games in Second Languages?

Postby Spoonary » Mon Aug 17, 2015 2:59 pm

WalkingAlone13 wrote:Probably a long shot for most as I am somewhat of a big kid at heart, but the newest Pokemon games (last four) which are for the Nintendo 3ds - a handheld console so it's portable - all give you the option of playing the game in either German, French, Spanish, Korean or Japanese. You can not change mid way through but you could always complete the story and start again in a different language.


I second this. I also played Animal Crossing: New Leaf for a while in Spanish, before real life got in the way. AC is a slice of life game, where you run around a town and collect furniture and clothing, basically, but there is a lot of chatting with the various creatures so there is plenty of opportunity to read inane chit chat in your target language. There are also plenty of fish and bug names to learn :D
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