Let's Talk About: Quirky Japanese Games That Are Downright Brilliant

I love Japanese games. Especially the quirky ones. I'm talking about the ones where you see them being played or play them yourself and you know "this game has to be a product of Japan". There are a lot of anime shows like that too, and they tend to have the same effect too (well, the comedy ones anyway). You've got to give it to those dudes in Japan, they can come up with some wacky yet absolutely brilliant ideas. Anyhow, I've decided to make a small list of 'Quirky Japanese Games That Are Downright Brilliant' for you to be getting on with, but there is plenty more out there to be found and enjoyed in all their bizarre glory.

Katamari Damacy

A game where a Prince must roll up cars and buildings into a ball to recreate the stars and constellations that were wiped out by a King's binge drinking spree? Yes, it exists and is very much celebrated by a very big cult following. I played I Love Katamari on the iPhone a while back, and I enjoyed it very much. Absolutely mental concept, but a totally overlooked gem of a video game.


The basic gist of Chu♥lip, is that you play as a young boy who lacks the confidence to ask his crush out on a date, but his crush is a tad stuck up so she wants nothing to do with him due to his family's poor economic status. Despite this, he still decides to write her a love letter. However this letter gets stolen and it is up to the protagonist to travel around the village and retrieve all of its pieces. Along the way he must also increase his reputation by impressing and then kissing as many characters in the game as possible, including old ladies, turtles and aliens.
This game received pretty negative reviews on release, but due to its totally eccentric concept and its overall cutesy feel, I would love to get my hands on it one day and give it a play. Unfortunately it was never released in Europe, so I'd have to buy a chipped PS2 before I'd ever have the chance. I bloody hate region coding.


Putting aside the endless amounts of crude puns that can be made about the games' name, Seaman is a virtual aquarium on your Dreamcast where you can raise a carp-like creature that has a human face, with its final stage being a frog-like thing that also has a human face. You can talk to it too, using the microphone attachment for the Dreamcast controller, and he talks back. It is surprisingly responsive and you can have fairly amusing conversations with it. However, because it is more of a simulator than a game, I found the novelty of insulting Seaman wore off after a while. Seaman is definitely worth a play, as it is definitely a very good conversation starter with other game fanatics and a fantastic experience while it lasts, but don't expect it to make your top 10 favourite games list. Fun fact: the narrator of this game is Star Trek's own Leonard Nimoy.


You probably might have heard of this one, as it has gained a bit of a reputation as one of the more weirder games of recent years. Catherine is an insane puzzle-platformer adventure game where you play as some dude called Vincent Brooks, who begins having nightmares about a world inhabited by anthropomorphic sheep after his girlfriend, Katherine, begins to talk about marriage and commitment. Everything gets a bit more complicated and his nightmares start to get worse when he starts having an affair with another girl called Catherine. In his nightmares, Vincent must climb giant staircases that are slowly collapsing underneath him and reach the top. To do this you have to push, pull and climb blocks as quickly as possible while avoiding various traps. Oh, and he has to do all this in nothing but his boxers with ram horns attached to his head.


Compared to the fairly light-hearted games on the list (perhaps minus Catherine), Killer7 is messed up. Like... creepy, confusing, mental, nightmare kind of messed up. I have never played a game like it, and I doubt that I will ever play anything like it again. You play as a group of 7 killers fighting against a bunch of freaks called Heaven Smiles that are invisible and you have to scan the area around you to reveal them, they scared me a few times too. The plot is confusing as hell, with what has to be one of most mind bending endings in a video game that I have ever seen. Damn this is a fucking weird game, but that is just the reason why it is absolutely fantastic. Just watch the trailer below and you'll see what I mean.

Mischief Makers

I've talked about this one before, in fact, I wrote a whole Underrated Games article about it. You can check it out here. If you've already read my article you might have noticed I constantly go on about how 'quirky' and 'bizarre' it is. You play as a mental robot chick called Marina Liteyears who must save her creator Professor Theo. The gameplay is insane and hard as nails in places and you have to 'shake' a lot of things. To cut a long story short, there is a boss fight in the game where (as I put in my article) 'you grab and throw missiles back at some guy on a motorbike who is chasing you while you're riding a cat who is riding a missile'. Anyway, you can view that boss fight below and make sure you check out my article using the link above if you want to find out more about Mischief Makers!

What are some of your favourite quirky Japanese video games? Let us know in the comments section below or by our Facebook or Twitter page.

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