In 1999, Japanese developer Yoot Saito released Seaman to the Sega Dreamcast. While the game was well received, Game Informer named the game one of the top ten weirdest of all time.
The title, however, was described by one reviewer as a redefining game:
Every once in a while, a game comes along that redefines game play. Even more rare is a game that actually defies game play — take Seaman, Sega’s unique foray into animal-care simulation. Seaman joins the ranks with such previously unclassifiable breakthroughs like Virtua Fighter, Top Skater, the holographic Time Traveler, Ecco the Dolphin, and the online-ready Chu Chu Rocket.
The premise of the game involved taking care of an evolving virtual pet. But it also offered some unique voice recognition technology that allowed you to teach and have conversations with your creature. According to The Tech’s review, the Seaman character could learn up to 12,000 words. The game recently gave way to a sequel called Seaman 2 which was just released last year in Japan and saw some commercial success.
With that in mind, let me point you to the game play video for an iPhone game called ‘Gabo’ which was written by the same developer. The iPhone version of this game appears to be based on the artificial intelligence technology from Seaman 2. I have to warn you before watching that there is some virtual animal abuse, and you’ll be almost certainly be confused yet intrigued by this strange title.
It seems the game was supposed to be available in the Japanese market earlier this month and the rest of the world soon after, however, it does not appear the game has yet been released. The game may be a bit of an experiment and it does not appear to include any voice recognition based on the video.