GameSetContest Results Logo[Last month we held Mr. Raroo's first GSW contest, in which we asked readers to pitch a Raroo Fun System game in hopes of winning a free download of Arkedo's JUMP! or SWAP! In typical Mister Raroo style, the contest winners are announced in an atypical manner. Don't worry. The rest of us at GameSetWatch are as befuddled as you are!]

The latest issue of Japanese gaming magazine OK! Game! Score! lifted the lid on six new Raroo Fun System games that are currently in development and expected to release sometime in 2010. Intriguingly, the issue also provided a rare glimpse at three titles that have been cancelled. Preorders for the upcoming games began this morning, and as expected lengthy lines of fans gathered outside Awesome Onion game store locations.

We sent GameSetWatch’s Japanese correspondent, Shiichi Okuma, to provide coverage on what has turned into one of the largest gaming-related events of the year. Okuma interviewed many of the individuals standing in line to hear their opinions and expectations of the upcoming Raroo Fun System game barrage. Spirits were high amongst the preorder lines, and a handful of fanatics even came dressed in Police Chicken, Roger, and Mister Raroo costumes.

Angry Walter

Angry WalterIt’s uncommon for Raroo Games to let a second party developer handle one of its top franchises, but that appears to be the case with Angry Walter, the direct sequel to this past year’s smash hit Hungry Walter. Unknown developer Midodok is credited with production, though at this point nobody seems to know anything of the company beyond their name. OK! Game! Score! describes Angry Walter as follows:

Yes, the Walter of Hungry Walter fame is back--and he's ANGRY! The premise of this game is simple: make...Walter...ANGRY!

Some possible mini stages:

1. Move Walter's burger.
2. Poke Walter in the belly.
3. Kiss Walter's girlfriend.

Kazushige Sasaki, better known as “RFS_Maniac” on popular gaming message board GEONEF, says Angry Walter is his most anticipated game of the coming year. “I was a little worried because Raroo Games isn’t directly handling the development, but since they are still publishing the game, I have high hopes. I’m glad Midodok appears to be doing something beyond a rehash of the first game.”

Lalia Leapwell and the Lecherous Lemurs!

Lalia Leapwell and the Lecherous Lemurs!P.F. Studio’s latest title is certainly going to help fill a noticeable void of traditional platformers on the Raroo Fun System. Though introducing a new intellectual property can be risky in the current economic climate, OK! Game! Score! had a hands-on session with the game and complimented its creative level design and gameplay mechanics. The magazine’s description:

Laila's husband-to-be, Lucky, lands lad-napped by a gang of lecherous pirate-lemurs, leave it to Laila to save the day!

While Laila can't use force (She's a firm believer in peaceful resolutions; also, Lemurs are endangered -- and cute!) it's lucky for lithe Laila that's she's a world renowned gymnast, acrobat and athlete!

Pole-vault over pirate traps, backflip your way around guards, and do sweet tricks on Uneven Bars luckily and inexplicably scattered just about everywhere you go! Can you make it to Lucky before he finds himself lost in lemur-love-limbo!?

Tom Dodgers, perhaps best known for his over-the-top game reviews on his site Frantic Knob, provided a shockingly positive response when asked what he expected of the game. “P.F. Studios has yet to disappoint, though naturally my expectations for Lalia Leapwell may be artificially inflated by the fact that their past titles have all pushed the envelope of platforming when compared to the mindless typhoon of tripe that clogs the shelves of retail outlets.” Okuma reports that Dodgers asked what site his quote would appear on then let out a snort when he heard the name “GameSetWatch.”

Sword Dancer: Kill with Rhythm

Sword Dancer: Kill with RhythmMuch like traditional platformers, there has been a serious lack of fighting games on the Raroo Fun System, but the latest title from developer A.X.E.L. appears to be changing that. Sword Dancer: Kill with Rhythm looks to be the Raroo Fun System’s first possible Mature-rated game, something which fans of the system seem to be embracing. OK! Game! Score!’s preview of the game:

A Rhythm fighting game based on attacks with swords and shield defenses. Every stage has a song that has beats that must be used by every character to perform attacks and defenses.

During the span of the song, the players switch between attacking, defending and sword duels. Depending of which note a player hits to attack, it will result into a high, medium or low attack -the same for the defender-, making the game a delicate combination of timing and strategy, while fighting with the time limit imposed by the length of the song.

Okuma caught up with Shawn Betterhowser, internationally known as being a long-time editor for now-defunct game magazine Popular Playing Weekly. Betterhowser, a self-proclaimed “Raroo Fun System Devotee,” seemed slightly skeptical of Sword Dancer, but his overall outlook was hopeful. “When I first read that the Raroo Fun System was going to be home to a mature fighting game I thought, ‘Really? Is the RFS the right platform for this game?’ But after hearing more about the unique rhythm-based gameplay, I think it might be a surprise hit in 2010.”

DYNAMITE!!!

DYNAMITE!!!Indie developer Mike Schiller is bringing a revamped version of his popular Flash game DYNAMITE!!! to the Raroo Fun System, much to the delight of system owners. Being completely rebuilt from the ground up, DYNAMITE!!! is rumored to ship with a special modem adapter that will allow players to upload their scores for each stage to worldwide leaderboards, thus making it the first Raroo Fun System game to include an online component. Schiller declined to comment on the reality of the modem adapter of if it will affect the price of the game, but even if the online aspect doesn't make it into the end product, OK! Game! Score!’s description has put the game at the top of preorder lists:

You are Joe Dynamite, a contractor whose job it is to demolish abandoned buildings. Unfortunately, your budget is very limited (Joe is a spendthrift, after all), and you only have the budget for one charge of dynamite per job. Place the dynamite in the spot on the building to do the most structural damage.

Buildings become more and more complex as the game goes on, and each blast is rated on a scale of "Dynamite." to "DYNAMITE!!!!!" Its 255 levels of building-blasting mayhem! A decent programmer might even be able to insert procedurally generated bonus levels and a building builder for unlimited replay possibilities!

So, something like Red Faction: Guerrilla, without all of the nasty combat or parallels to terrorism. With very limited ammo. In 2D.

Yumi Masayuki, a hardcore BankQuest player who gained infamy by being one of Japan’s all-time top Happy Health Toilet Seat users, almost glowed when asked about DYNAMITE!!!. “I can’t wait to play this game!” was all she had to say before she excused herself and made her way to a nearby women’s restroom. But as she was walking away from the line she gave a thumbs-up gesture and yelled “DYNAMITE!!!”

Roger Takes Science (R.T.S.)

Roger Takes ScienceLast year’s Roger Passes Geometry was a bigger-than-expected seller, much to the delight of developer and publisher Raroo Games. The second game in the Roger series, helmed by developer Absolutely Orland, sees everyone’s favorite nerdy student returning, this time in a strategy game. OK! Game! Score!’s rundown of the game makes it sound very promising:

The game takes place in a chemistry classroom, where students have to divide themselves into the strongest possible lab groups. You have to corral the smart kids to your ever-expanding lab area-of-influence in real time, all while making sure the stupid kids stay at their bunsen burners. You do this, of course, with a vast array of chemical compounds including:

* Super-slippery juice: sends any student sliding along his current path
* Super-sticky juice: Freezes even the fatest students in their tracks
* Sodium pentathol: Makes stupid kids masquerading as smart kinds reveal themselves as fools.

AND MORE!

It’s fitting that schoolteacher Masa Takahashi was in line to preorder the game. “Sometimes my students think it’s funny that their instructor is maybe more into games than they are, but it’s also a good way for me to break down some of the barriers that exist between students and teachers. I can’t wait to trade strategies with my students—after all of our coursework for the day is done, that is!”

Gotcha Gacha Gato!

Gotcha Gacha Gato!In what may possibly be the Raroo Fun System’s answer to the addictiveness of a collection-based game like Pokémon, Gotcha Gacha Gato is every obsessive-compulsive gamer's dream game. The game’s developer, Griffin Games, has hired two (still secret) character designers from one of Japan’s top animation studios to create the game’s collectible characters. The description from OK! Game! Score! provides more insight into this highly-anticipated title:

Join the Gachapon Bandito himself, Gotcha Gato, in his journey to collect every capsule toy ever! Spin your coins correctly and bounce them around obstacles to fit them in the Gachapon dispenser. You must, however, watch out for silly little kids looking to steal your beloved trinkets! Features include:

Hundreds of unlockable characters--dozens in every stage! Each with unique characteristics to add hours of play.

Stylish monochrome graphics!

Travel to over twenty Awesome Onion stores in Gotcha Gato's quest to collect every capsule toy!

Perfect to play for five minutes or five hundred!

Gotcha Gacha Gato’s development was partially funded by Awesome Onion, where the game will be sold exclusively. However, this corporate tie-in doesn’t worry hardcore Raroo Fun System fans like Nina Yee. Yee, creator of the influential gaming fanzine Extra Lives, seems anything but worried about the involvement of Awesome Onion. “Awesome Onion was the first store to sell the Raroo Fun System and is still the number one source for the system and its games. Without Awesome Onion there would be no Raroo Fun System, so a pairing like this only makes sense.”

Diaper Disaster!! (Cancelled title)

Diaper Disaster!!Robo-Z Software’s newest title appeared to be pretty far along in development when the plug was pulled on the project. The developer describes the game as follows:

You're a parent who loves videogames, and your baby loves watching you play.

You are playing a series of minigames. The better you play, the more excited your baby gets and the more his/her diaper starts filling up.

Bank your points by taking a game break and changing a full diaper. Wait too long and you'll have an epic explosion all over your new sweatpants.

With development so close to completion, it seems strange that the game should be cancelled instead of simply released. But a preview from GameHater’s Gregory Danish written earlier this year may help solve the mystery. “The gameplay is solid and the underlying experience is fun, but I can’t help but be disgusted by it all the same. Watching the baby’s diaper get larger and larger is repulsive in and of itself, but when the diaper explodes, the game crosses the line in acceptable taste. I think I’ve said enough for now. I’ll save my bile for the final review once the game is released.”

Job Hunt 2009 (Cancelled title)

Job Hunt 2009Developer Klein, Inc. licensed the Police Chicken: Interrogation Specialist engine to create Job Hunt 2009, leading some game journalists to speculate that the game would feature very similar menu-based gameplay. Insiders believe the game is actually complete, but OK! Game! Score! reports the project is officially cancelled all the same. The game is described as follows:

The economy is in the crapper and you just got laid off. You have been with the company for a long and don't have any experience for anything else.

So the goal of the game is go and find a job. You will have to talk to different employers to try and get hired. You will have to choose the right things to say to the employer. If you say the right things then you have the job, if you don't back to searching again. When you get hired you actually get to play the job. From there you work yourself up to gain experience.

The premise is promising and would make for some interesting scenarios, but it is believed the game hits too close to home for many unemployed gamers that are struggling during these difficult times. Kenny “HealthFoodHobo” Crenshaw from RockOnRaroo previewed the game earlier this year, and his impressions lead one to believe the game may just be too depressing to sell well. “The game design is solid, but boy, is it ever a downer to play. Maybe if Klein, Inc. were to make it more comical it would be easier to play, but let’s face it: Joblessness is no laughing matter.”

JACK-A-THON (Cancelled title)

JACK-A-THONGiven its premise, it’s not surprising that the breaks were put on JACK-A-THON early into its development. The game’s developer, Levy Unlimited, reportedly based the title upon the middle school experiences of one of the game’s lead designers, but having a true story as the basis for JACK-A-THON didn’t save it from controversy. When the game was first announced at E3 this past year, an Internet petition was started to boycott the game because of its premise of playing jokes a boy from Saudi Arabia, not to mention rumors that the game would include a masturbation minigame. Levy Unlimited’s initial press release describes the game as follows:

The premise is there are five friends in a neighborhood somewhere in America. They are all good friends,but jokers as well. So when one friend (we will call him Majid) comes from Saudi Arabia, the joker friends play a variety of jokes on him, from the "new deaf friend,” to the ultimate summer ending joke called "Jack-A-Thon."

Bradley Shackford, editor-in-chief of Game Creator magazine, visited Levy Unlimited earlier this year to have a look at JACK-A-THON and his impressions provide some information as to why the game was canned. “In my opinion, JACK-A-THON is being developed for the wrong console. I don’t know what Raroo Fun System owners would be interested in this. There certainly exists a market for darker humor, but it’s not the same people who purchased Galaxy Intruders. It’s too bad, because the game could actually be entertaining if the content were toned down a little.”

[Mister Raroo is a happy husband, proud father, full-time public library employee, and active gamer. He currently lives in El Cajon, CA with his family and many pets. In addition to writing for GameSetWatch, Mister Raroo thinks about writing new content for his neglected blog, Moments, yet rarely gets around to it. You may reach Mister Raroo at mister.raroo@gmail.com.]