Sense of Wonder Night (SOWN) is an independent games event held annually at the tail end of the Tokyo Game Show. Each year SOWN presents ten games shortlisted from around 100 applicants that demonstrate “design and ideas that are experimental and creative” and highlight the “importance of creating [games] that give people a sense of wonder; a sense that something will change in their world.”
I know, right? If you could marry a game events then we’d all be SOWN’s suitors.
SOWN 2012, held last week in Tokyo, included Tengami, the iPad game from three ex-Rare staffers that Hookshot Inc. has been championing for a while now.
But it’s Taiso that has grabbed our attention this week, a free iOS/ Android game in which you throw your improbably expensive mobile phone into the air in order to control a gymnast’s dismount from a crossbar.
Your phone’s position in space is mapped one to one with the blocky gymnast on screen (who looks as though he’s recently escaped a Katamari ball) so you must ensure you’re holding the phone at the correct angle and orientation in order to successfully land on his feet. The more twizzles, spins and flips (probably not technical terms) you perform before the landing, the more points you earn.
It’s a simple, pure game without clutter or fuss. It’s properly free too, with no microtransactions or add-on packs to pester you with post-download. And while you can achieve a decent score by awkwardly turning thr hone in your hands, gold medals are reserved for those who throw the phone high into the air with a sharp twisting motion. In this way Taiso brings new meaning to the term risk/ reward.
Download Taiso here now.