Konami has brought their wacky Japanese reaction game Tomena Sanner to the iPhone this past week. The game which was originally released for mobile phones in Japan has made the trek to the U.S. In fact, Konami is planning on bringing the title to WiWare in the first quarter of 2010.
iPhone/iPod Touch owners were greeted with the title early this past week at only $1.99. The game is most succinctly described as Canabalt meets a Japanese game show.
Business man Hitoshi Susumu is behind schedule and is in quite a rush. In fact, he won't stop once he starts to run! Dashing past samurais, T-Rexes, cowboys, and all manner of wacky obstacles Mr. Susumu must get to the goal as fast as he can for the ultimate 2D dance party.
One tap is all that's required as you approach objects. Simply tap and depending on your timing it'll be scored as a "Miss", "Good" or "Great" and each outcome is accompanied by its own wacky animation. You'll find yourself moonwalking, dancing, jumping, kicking and much more in this reaction game.
There are 9 levels with different environments, obstacles, animations and text commentary. And each level seems to have a surprisingly amount of variety and depth. There are special moves that can be triggered, though I still haven't figured out the rhyme or reason. Power ups and power downs are also available throughout each level. There is very much a Lost in Translation sense of disorientation to the game which is perhaps much of its appeal.
Make it to the end of a level, and you've made it to your dance party and you tap along to a short musical piece at the end. This is all demonstrated in the video:
The game does have a few shortcomings, however, once you get past the absolutely wacky and disorienting gameplay. The timing of the taps feels "off" and is difficult to perform consistently. It may be that there is more complexity to the gameplay than I'm giving it credit for, but it can be off putting when you first start playing. Also, high scores are local only and it's difficult to tell how well or poorly you have done. Some sort of score rating system would be nice to have as well. Absent that, global scores would help give you an idea how good (or bad) you really are.
We discussed this game on our upcoming podcast and reactions were generally mixed to the game, though I enjoyed exploring the various content and commentary which is what kept me playing the game.
App Store Link: Tomena Sanner, $1.99