IGN writes: "Last year Ubisoft released My French Coach and My Spanish Coach for the Nintendo DS, successfully cashing in on the growing demand for language games that allow people to quickly pick up on the basics. This year they've once again teamed up with developer Sensory Sweep in order to capitalize on the need for Mandarin speakers outside of China. Although making Chinese accessible to everyone is certainly a step in the right direction, My Chinese Coach sometimes proves to be a tangled web of frustration and confusion rather than an enjoyable learning experience.
There are plenty of reasons to want to make a game like this. China is home to a fifth of the globe's total population and is quickly becoming an important economic and political player on the world stage. It's only natural game developers would want to cash in on this. But Chinese isn't something Westerners can just "pick up" like French or Spanish. For one thing, Chinese has very little in common with the European language family. Not only is the writing system vastly different (consisting of pictographs as opposed to an alphabet), but the language itself is both analytic and tonal, with four basic tones and one toneless tone. Trying to teach all of this outside a proper classroom setting would be a formidable task for anyone, but Sensory Sweep seems to struggle with this new, complicated dynamic."