One-button running games are a dime-a-dozen, and have especially saturated the markets on iPhone and web flash games. So how does Konami’s Tomena Sanner stand out? For starters, it features a highly talented Japanese salaryman who goes by the name of Mr. Susumu. The man can breakdance, ride dinosaurs, tip over cars, propel himself by spinning around trees, and slam dunk. Yet his greatest talent is running.
As Susumu dashes through a Japanese neighborhood, a Jurassic era landscape, or a lunar surface, the player has to help Susumu with the game’s many obstacles. These include a surreal cast of biped giraffes, Santas, samurai T-Rexes, schoolgirls, and robots of various sizes. All the gamer has to do is press the A button right before Susumu would otherwise hit the obstacle or person. The button also lets the salaryman jump high for score coins and various power ups and downs.
All it takes is about one stage to get the hang of the timing. There is practically an underlying rhythm that many players will fall into. Yet pulling off long strings of well-timed maneuvers get incrementally challenging. For every button press that the game rates as “GREAT!”, Susumu speeds up and moves closer to the right side of the screen, making it that much harder to anticipate the oncoming characters. Upon reaching the finish line of each level, Susumu celebrates with some of the locals by breakdancing to a series of rhythm action bars. Once again, how long he dances depends on the player’s rhythm.
Getting through Tomena Sanner’s 9 areas should not take more than 15 minutes to get through, but the game offers additional challenges such as a faster version of the game, a survival mode, and competitive multiplayer that supports up to 4 people.
Aesthetically, the Jet Set Radio-inspired title logo adds a nice touch and the game’s color scheme once again exhibits Japanese developers’ knack for thoughtful color coordination. That, and the faceless design of the characters bring to mind Sega’s DS hit Feel The Magic XY/XX. The black bars on both the top and bottom of screen offer a continuous series of often funny observations and commentary. This really is intended to amuse onlookers and not the player because objects and characters are constantly approaching Mr. Susumu.
(This review is based off a 1-hour playthrough of the game at all modes. The game’s was beaten on its Normal setting. A download code was provided by Konami for review purposes.)
Developer: One Button Wai Wai Action
Publisher: Konami Digital Entertainment
Platform: Nintendo Wii (via WiiWare)
Released: February 8, 2010