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?