Monday, April 23, 2018

Android: Guide to Downloading Kotodaman Outside Japan

Following yesterday's iPhone/iPad guide to downloading Sega's mobile game Kotodaman, here is one for Android users.

Kotodaman is based on the concept of forming Japanese words, with the UI also being completely in Japanese. However if you are interested in playing around with it anyway, why not give it a try!

Since the game is available only on the Japan Play Store, it is not normally available for people in other countries. (While it is technically possible to change your country setting, Google limits this change to only once a year). To get around this, we will create a second Google account on your device and associate it with the Japan region after installing some easy-to-use VPN software.

So let's get started! We recommend reading through all the steps first to get comfortable with the steps before taking action.

Steps to Download (Android smartphone/tablet)

Step 1: Download VPN Software

Since the country setting depends on the IP address of the device, we will install some free VPN software and use it to pretend the device is located in Japan.

Go to the Google Play Store and install TunnelBear VPN.

Step 2: Create a free TunnelBear account

Once the app has installed, click OPEN to run it.

A log-in screen will be shown.

Enter an Email address & password of your choosing, then click the "Create a free account" button.

Step 3: Confirm TunnelBear email address

A confirmation email will be sent to your address - open it and click "Verify my account" in the email.

Step 4: Enable the TunnelBear VPN

In TunnelBear, change the country dropdown to "Japan", then slide the switch near the top that currently reads "Disconected" to turn on VPN. 
After setting the country to Japan at the bottom, slide the top switch to turn on VPN.
A confirmation pop-up will now be displayed: click OK.

After several seconds, an animation on the map should show the bear arriving in Japan and the status should change to "Connected". Leave it in this state as you perform the remaining steps.

Step 5: Create a new Google account

Go to Settings > Accounts on your device and select Add account > Google.

Enter your lock screen password to continue, if prompted.

Select "Or create a new account".

Enter details for the new account (these can be fictional): first and last name, birthday, username, password. The phone number can be skipped.

After moving through and filling all screens, a "Privacy & Terms" screen will be shown. Scroll to the bottom and click "I AGREE".

The set-up of the new account is now complete.

Step 6: Clear Data for Google Play Store

On your Android device, go to Settings > Apps > Google Play Store > Storage and press "Clear Data" then OK.

Step 7: Switch to your new account on the Play Store

With VPN (TunnelBear) still connected, open the Play Store app.

Change to your newly-created account by clicking on the menu button (three horizontal bars) at the top left.

Next to the current account email address you will see a drop down button. Press this and select the account that you created in Step 5.

If a "Terms of Service" pop-up is shown, press ACCEPT.

You should now see Japanese games advertised on the Play Store!

Step 8: Disable VPN

Your new account should now have been automatically associated with Japan, so you can disconnect the VPN: in the TunnelBear app, slide the top switch to disconnect.

Step 9: Locate Kotodaman on the Play Store

Click on the following link. If your Play Store is now successfully accessing the Japan store, it should take you directly to the page for Kotodaman:

Visit Kotodaman on the Japan Play Store

Alternatively, search for "kotodaman" using the search feature, and it should appear in the search result.

Step 10: Download

Press on "INSTALL" to download!

Note: as this game has optional in-app purchases, a pop-up may be shown asking whether you wish to set up payment. Press Skip on this pop-up.

Step 11: Revert to your usual Play Store account

In the Play Store, change back to your usual account by clicking on the menu button (three horizontal bars) at the top left.

Press the drop down button next to the new account name and select your usual account.

In the future, if you need to access the Japan store again for updates etc, just switch back to the "Japan" account in Play Store (there should be no need to use VPN).

That's it!

And that wraps up our guide for installing Kotodaman on Android devices!

You should now have the Kotodaman game installed onto your Android phone or tablet. (Figuring out how to play it is a whole different matter! Will you be the first to unlock the character of Ryo Hazuki who is believed to be lurking somewhere within...?).

Thank you to Sílvia Vila Tarrés for helping to confirm the steps.
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  1. Awesome 10 step (turned up to 11!) guide aswell Switch :D - if I ever switch to an Android device i'll be back! :P

    1. Or even just meet someone in the street with an Android device! :D

  2. it didnt work for me and i followed all the steps X(

    1. Hi, what issue did you see (and at what step)?