Hungry Sumo

Simple can be good. In this case, simple is very good. Hungry Sumo has your happy sumo team fighting off the sad sumo team. Each sumo bounces around the map like a bubble, and each time they bounce into each other they, both lose a little mass. The first one to get to his smallest size converts to his opponent’s team. First one with all the sumos on the map wins.

The main source of player input is the ability to make your sumo eat. Simply hover your mouse over the sumo to watch him eat. If you bump into an enemy while eating, you automatically lose that sumo. So you’re constantly tracking sumos and trying to sneak in a quick snack between bounces. Different sumo types appear later in the game to further complicate things.

If you’ve ever played an iPhone game, you know where Hungry Sumo got some inspiration from. The design screams “touchscreen” and I wouldn’t be surprised if this game doesn’t end up on the App Store or Android Market at some point. That said, it’s interesting how simple physics-based games are starting to show up on more than just the iPhone.

Theme also plays an important role here, if this game were just about bubbles would you care? What about abstract shapes? The graphics clearly have an impact.

Talking Points: How much do the theme and graphics impact your enjoyment of the game here? Are games generally becoming more “iPhone-like”? Do games like this really need a “tutorial”? Even though this is physics based, how simple are the physics? Do you need complicated physics to make a physics-based game fun?

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Comments

What makes this similar to or different from Osmos?

Man, the later levels have too much randomness in the initial velocity of the sumos and it's just frustrating. You have to go through like ten bad starts to maybe get one good one.

wordsmythe wrote:

What makes this similar to or different from Osmos?

Well, for starters these guys are personified, Osmos is just abstract shapes. I think Osmos is a better game, though. But if Osmos could be done with happy characters like this, would we believe it was a "serious" game with depth?

Osmos is a serious game?

The aesthetics certainly are divergent. I guess the difference is that these sumo grow through direct (and precarious) interaction. Osmos's bubblies move through direct (and detrimental) interaction.

I don't like it with the mouse. It feels imprecise when you try and take your mouse off to stop him growing, but you can't get it off fast enough. Would work with a finger though.