HAL Laboratory, the Japanese developer that has worked closely with Nintendo for decades and brought forth such massive franchises as Kirby, Super Smash Bros., and the Earthbound/Mother series, have just released their very first smartphone game. It's called Hataraku UFO and it's the first product of their internal smartphone game development studio which they've dubbed HAL Egg. In the game you control a UFO with a retractable claw as you travel around helping people with tasks that are best suited to a floating object with a retractable claw. Stack ice cream sundaes, move cargo into the back of a truck, stack cheerleaders into a pyramid… there's seemingly no end to the usefulness of a floating retractible claw. It also doesn't hurt that Hataraku UFO is almost painfully adorable, as you can see in the official trailer for.

Ugh, I NEED this game in my life. Unfortunately, at this time there has been no announcements or indications that HAL will be bringing this one to anywhere outside of Japan, and the fact that they don't have an international branch anywhere means localizing and releasing Hataraku UFO outside of Japan might be a tall order. Another interesting thing about Hataraku UFO (and the reason I'm not simply downloading it from my Japanese iTunes account) is that it's a paid game with no IAP. It's very interesting to see such a close partner of Nintendo also entering the smartphone gaming fray, and right now I have all my fingers and toes crossed that Hataraku UFO makes its way out West someday. For now though, if you're in Japan or have a Japanese iTunes account that you can actually buy stuff on, you can grab the game right now with the link below and if you do we've created a forum thread where you can talk about it.

Japanese App Store Linke: Hataraku UFO, ¥480 (by HAL Laboratory, Inc.)

  • boydstr

    When thinking of Kirby or Mario Smash Bros. I remember that these games had very new and original gameplay mechanics and were fantastic so I hoped for something more than this “game” what a letdown.

    • Shaun Musgrave

      Dude, it's HAL. They've always put out simple arcade-style games alongside their bigger projects. You don't need scare quotes around the word 'game' here any more than you'd need them for Pokemon Snap or Revenge of the Gator.

      • boydstr

        Common guys what the f**k if you like the game that’s okay but it seems that I have to justify why I don’t like it it seems that people feel insulted by my post and you write yourself “They've always put out simple arcade-style games“ the AppStore is full of this type of games.

    • Dailon Huskey

      have you played it? would be very surprised if you have played it and don't like it!

  • nonen

    Eager to hear what Shaun thinks of it.

  • Dailon Huskey

    Love this game! Addictive and fun gameplay