When it comes to some of our video games favourites, we have Asia to thank. Our beloved Mario wouldn’t exist without Japan, and neither would Pokémon, which is a huge phenomenon around the world alongside films, TV shows and innovative apps. Whilst these games make complete sense, and have inspired other popular indie games such as 8-bit boy, not all games that originate from Asia do.
Strange video games have existed since the industry began. However, as technology has advanced, we now have creepy, realistic graphics and virtual reality gaming as opposed to unassuming pixels. With a broad range of indie games hitting the market every day, it’s easy to see just how popular crazy games are becoming – and it doesn’t get crazier than Asian video games. In order to gain an actual understanding of how crazy these games are, it’s probably worth going into detail – buckle up!
Ever wondered what it would be like to date a pigeon? No, me neither really! But in Japan this game is a massive hit. Its popularity is probably generated by the fact that it’s an unusual take on the otome visual novel/dating sim, which many people love to play in Asia. Within this crazy game, you play as the only human that attends St. PigeoNation’s Institute, which is a posh school for pigeons.
If you thought that was bad, you also flirt with other pigeons whilst being pursued by other pathetic male pigeons who are desperate to be your boyfriend. Within this game, you can choose how you decide to act, so there are several ways this game can end. For example, you can choose what pigeons you decide to date, which will ultimately have an impact on the rest of your gameplay and how they story will finish. Once completing routes in the game, you can unlock documents that will provide insight into the game’s overarching storyline.
Although the over-riding concept of the game seems bizarre, the actual gameplay itself is very captivating and definitely similar to others, such as Heavy Rain, for example. In fact, it’s clear to see how successful this game has been, as Hatoful Boyfriend was translated into an English version for PC in 2012, and a sequel Hatoful Boyfriend HolidayStar was released in 2013.
Super Table Flip
Everyone knows that people often play games as a way to relieve stress, however what if I told you there are games literally designed to relieve stress for yourself and the protagonist? Despite casinos being somewhat illegal in the majority of Asia, there are a number of online casinos and alternative betting options, which are a fun way to reduce stress.
Arcade-style games like Pachinko are the closest Japan gets to casino games until the first casinos are built, since the gambling legislation in the country was passed late last year. This hugely popular game involves firing balls into a machine in attempt to win more. It’s a great way to relieve stress and is one of the reasons that arcades are so popular in Asia.
In addition to Pachinkos, many Asian citizens are returning to the arcades for their fix of Super Table Flip– another great stress-busting game. The concept behind the game is reasonably simple to grasp. You play as a father who has received very distressing news, thus resulting in him losing his temper. With this build-up of anger, it’s your job to flip the table as hard as you can, sending food and dishes flying everywhere.
At an arcade, you actually get a plastic table controller attached to the machine to flip, making the entire experience realistic and all the more crazy. Plus, if the father at the table scenario doesn’t float your boat, you can opt for other scenarios, including the bride at a wedding or a frustrated office worker. From an outsider’s point of view, it may be difficult to understand how this concept could possibly be intriguing for gamers to come back to. However, with a build-up of anger from the protagonist as well as several action replays at the end of your table flip, people find this particular game extremely entertaining. And why not? There’s nothing out there quite like it!
This Asian video game is a relatively old one, being released in 1999 by Polygon Magic. The game begins with grandma Haruko’s birthday, which sparks huge panic amongst the family members because they forgot! Therefore, as the player, you get to control each character to ensure that they all buy an appropriate present for grandma.
You get to focus on one family member at a time, guiding them through a number of crises. From the beginning of the game, you wouldn’t be able to guess the mayhem that follows, as whilst trying to buy Haruko a present, father almost gets hit with a boulder and the daughter has to fight a UFO.
Over all, there are 24 minigames within this video game, with some repeating throughout the gameplay. Whilst this game is predominately one player only, you are able to pass the controller to others due to the layout of the minigames. Whilst the entire concept of the game appears strange, it proved to be very successful. When it was released in 1999, Incredible Crisis sold 70,760 copies, making it the 184th best-selling video game in Japan for that year. Furthermore, GameRankings has given the game a rating of 76.90 per cent, showing the incredible reception that this game received.
If the games above aren’t weird enough for you, this one should do the trick. Rather than acting as a dating simulator, Mr. Mosquito acts as an action simulator, placing you in the shoes of a blood-thirsty mosquito (it literally wears shoes). In this game, you have the ability to terrorise a suburban family in order to suck their blood to prepare for the harsh winter ahead. However, you must try your best to stay hidden, otherwise you run the risk of being spotted and killed.
Sounds easy, right? Well, you are only able to suck blood from specific body areas are given times, making the blood-sucking task a little more challenging. On top of this, the character that you are sucking from will have a stress level. If you suck the blood too fast or too slow, the stress level of the victim will increase, increasing the likelihood of them detecting you and swatting you dead. Mr Mosquito was released in Japan in 2001, and managed to become the fifth best-selling game in the week that it was released. However, sales of the video game were much poorer in other countries, with fans insisting that the original was always better than any adaptations.
Japan World Cup 3
From the title, this game seems completely unassuming, but it isn’t what you’d expect at all. It might look like your everyday horse-racing game, but since when could you race as a yeti or a walrus in a horse race? As you’d expect, the gameplay is extremely simple, as you simply control one of these absurd characters in order to win the overall race. Playing this crazy Asian game, you can expect to see a horse on its hind legs doing the Charleston, as well as a limousine equine with several naked jockeys on the back.
It’s clear to see why the game took off so easily in Asia, as the craziness of it provides some secure entertainment for the players. Plus, with so much demand for horse racing video games, people were quick to eat this game up! With bizarre characters that perform unpredictable acts, it’s no surprise that people love it so much.