Inspired by the haiku minigames in PS3's Japan-only summer holiday sim Boku no Natsuyasumi 3 (My Summer Vacation 3), John Szczepaniak of Hardcore Gaming 101 developed his own PC title called Haiku Quest, a JRPG in which players try to compose "the five perfect haiku".

It's a curious concept, but the bullet point feature that will likely stand out to most people is that the indie game features some voice work from actor renown Christopher Walken:

"... On a whim which I never expected to work, I emailed Christopher’s agent and, intrigued by the idea of a non-profit independent game based on Japanese poetry, he took five minutes from his schedule to record the lines on someone’s laptop and emailed me a giant WAV file to cut up.

If his voice sounds a little off, it’s because he was pressed for time (he apologises) and it wasn’t done in any kind of sound booth. I did my best to clean it up though.

The poems are generally free-form, but I tried to adhere to most of the rules for writing English haiku. Since only fellow game players are likely to take an interest, all the poems were based on well-known videogames. I suppose the great failing of this endeavour is that you need a background in games to understand them. Christopher mentioned he only got a couple of the references."

You can download Haiku Quest for free here. Along with Walken's contributions, the game features "a large overworld to explore" various villages/NPCs/stores, an "instant-time" battle system, five different monsters, an inventory system, 125 differrent poems to compose, and a "special hidden secret" from the haiku gods.

[Update: This turned out to be a hoax, as far Christopher Walken contributing to the game. Please accept our apologies for being gullible enough to believe this!]