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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

TouchArcade Rating

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  • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

    Wow! This game looks pretty awesome. I love crazy Japanese games like this. So for $1.99 I'm buying this!!

  • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

    Wow! This game looks pretty awesome. I love crazy Japanese games like this. So for $1.99 I'm buying this!!

  • Cranker

    I am wondering if there are leaderboards in the game and also if anyone who has tried the game can comment bout the control and if it feels a bit "off" as mentioned in the TA article.

  • Cranker

    I am wondering if there are leaderboards in the game and also if anyone who has tried the game can comment bout the control and if it feels a bit "off" as mentioned in the TA article.

  • The Theory

    what a beautifully crazy (and thoroughly Japanese) game! Quite addicting, too.

  • The Theory

    what a beautifully crazy (and thoroughly Japanese) game! Quite addicting, too.

  • danrel

    IMHO, this has got to be one of the most addictive and visually stimulating game that I've played on the iPhone. I beat it later the same day that i bought it, but i find myself coming back to it if for no other reason than to see some more of the crazy animations that occur when you pass by/jump over people/objects.

  • danrel

    IMHO, this has got to be one of the most addictive and visually stimulating game that I've played on the iPhone. I beat it later the same day that i bought it, but i find myself coming back to it if for no other reason than to see some more of the crazy animations that occur when you pass by/jump over people/objects.

  • Cookies

    This game looks ridiculously awesome. And I like how he walks funny after seeing the girl.

  • Cookies

    This game looks ridiculously awesome. And I like how he walks funny after seeing the girl.

  • Cranker

    Too bad. No global scores=no sale ......:(

    • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

      Really? You buy a game for leader boards? You can only enjoy a game if you know where you rank? It would be great if that was included but that's no reason not to buy it... But hey! It's your money.

      • Cranker

        ok,Maybe I took that comment a bit too far but I know that I would play alot more canabalt if there were leaderboards. I am wondering how the control is because that is important to me and it was mentioned in the article that is was soso..........anyone ?

      • The Theory

        Cracker-
        I think the control works well. It is just tapping, after all. The trick isn't so much in the mechanics of the control as much as it is in getting used to WHEN to tap. At first it seems a bit random, but I think it might be nuanced a bit to be different for different kinds of obstacles. It's not a game i play and say "gosh these controls suck!" when something bad happens... more, "gosh, why didn't i tap sooner!"

      • http://twitter.com/bragproofcom Brag Proof

        Better late than never :)

        I made a free leader-boards site - you can post any of your high scores there.

        http://www.bragproof.com/game/tomenasanner1

  • Cranker

    Too bad. No global scores=no sale ......:(

    • http://musicgamespickles.blogspot.com/ Robert M.

      Really? You buy a game for leader boards? You can only enjoy a game if you know where you rank? It would be great if that was included but that's no reason not to buy it... But hey! It's your money.

      • Cranker

        ok,Maybe I took that comment a bit too far but I know that I would play alot more canabalt if there were leaderboards. I am wondering how the control is because that is important to me and it was mentioned in the article that is was soso..........anyone ?

      • The Theory

        Cracker-
        I think the control works well. It is just tapping, after all. The trick isn't so much in the mechanics of the control as much as it is in getting used to WHEN to tap. At first it seems a bit random, but I think it might be nuanced a bit to be different for different kinds of obstacles. It's not a game i play and say "gosh these controls suck!" when something bad happens... more, "gosh, why didn't i tap sooner!"

  • drone9

    now this only needs to become available in Europe...

    *hint*hint*

    • jumpingrunningclimbing

      Exactamundo! What are they waiting for?!?

  • drone9

    now this only needs to become available in Europe...

    *hint*hint*

    • jumpingrunningclimbing

      Exactamundo! What are they waiting for?!?

  • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

    Not in the German store....SO SAD! :(

  • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

    Not in the German store....SO SAD! :(

  • alberto

    why this game is not present on the european shop !!???????

  • alberto

    why this game is not present on the european shop !!???????

  • RamuChano

    I'd like to buy this... if it were in the UK store. Konami, I am unimpressed.

  • RamuChano

    I'd like to buy this... if it were in the UK store. Konami, I am unimpressed.

  • monkeymonster

    this game's not in the french Store, i'm so sad :(

  • monkeymonster

    this game's not in the french Store, i'm so sad :(

  • JoeyTR

    It's not in the uk store..........WHY NOT!!!!!

  • JoeyTR

    It's not in the uk store..........WHY NOT!!!!!

  • kyou

    I'm just here to join my European brethren here and whine about the lack of this game in the European store.

  • trolomatic

    Seriously? Down ranking a game because of a lack of a global leader-board to judge your PERFORMANCE? Has gamers really gotten so sad that they are encouraged by comparing their performance to a bunch of anonymous people on the internet?

    High-score screens were put into old arcade games to create fun, SOCIAL, competition; not to rank preformance. Games are about fun, not preforming...especially casual games like this.

    If you get your jollies by being credited by your handle on the interwebz, That's just sad.

  • kyou

    I'm just here to join my European brethren here and whine about the lack of this game in the European store.

  • trolomatic

    Seriously? Down ranking a game because of a lack of a global leader-board to judge your PERFORMANCE? Has gamers really gotten so sad that they are encouraged by comparing their performance to a bunch of anonymous people on the internet?

    High-score screens were put into old arcade games to create fun, SOCIAL, competition; not to rank preformance. Games are about fun, not preforming...especially casual games like this.

    If you get your jollies by being credited by your handle on the interwebz, That's just sad.

  • Edz

    Seriously?? Not even in EU store? what's the reason on holding back from the rest of the world Konami?

    You guys hate money or us I suppose -_-

  • Edz

    Seriously?? Not even in EU store? what's the reason on holding back from the rest of the world Konami?

    You guys hate money or us I suppose -_-

  • boms

    Tomena Sanneeeeer!
    Finally coming to EU store!!!!

  • boms

    Tomena Sanneeeeer!
    Finally coming to EU store!!!!