Thursday, 14 March 2013

Doujin Platform Games #1

Yamamoto-san (2012)
By: AnnoJoe Genre: Platform Players: 1 Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: PC First Day Score: 23,376
Also Available For: Nothing

Well, isn't she a lovely-looking girly!
There was I, merrily scouring the limitless ether for another interesting-looking doijin shmup to play (and review) and pretty much by accident I discovered that the phenomenon that is doujin seemingly extends to almost all other genres too, not to mention many non-video game related interests as well. Since platform games are, along with shmups, probably my very favourite genre, I figured it was worth picking one at random and giving it a try, and that game was, unsurprisingly, Yamamoto-san. It's a game that features enough kanji to render its premise a mystery to me, but a short intro sequence reveals a tornado or something causing some havoc. That leaves the sprightly girly to the right here to vanquish her land of the evil creatures that have moved in, presumably since the unwelcome disaster.

A hidden cavern containing gold coins... and a blob...
Hitting the start button reveals the game to be a simple Super Mario Bros clone with you in control of what appears to be a super-deformed version of the slender young lady on the title screen. As with Nintendo's ultra classic, the aim is simply to reach the end of each stage which does of course mean navigating tricky landscapes filled with enemies and hazards. Our young heroine (who may or may not be called Yamamoto-san) can walk at a reasonable pace or run faster by pressing one of the two buttons, the other of which is the jump button which not only allows her move around the stages but also comprises her only means of attack as well. Good timing is important though, as a single touch from an enemy will cost a life, and the traps, which include spikes and gaps, are just as deadly. It's not all doom and gloom, however - sprinkled all over the stages are many coins. These come in gold, silver, and bronze varieties and can be collected for bonus points - hooray!

A rather spiky fall onto a moving platform awaits!
The landscapes take all manner of shapes and the further you progress through the game, the more precise you need to be when moving around them. There are plenty of moving and whirly platforms and lifts and stuff and it's easy to fall off into the netherworld that lurks below every platform game stage. The visuals are quite basic with jerky scrolling, and it's disappointing that the foreground scenery is mainly black. The backgrounds change after every fourth stage though, bringing with them a new tune, and the sprites, while small, are well-drawn. It's not an especially long or difficult game (you start with ten lives for one thing!), and nothing about it is flashy, but it definitely has a certain charm. Of course, some may dismiss it purely because of the small and simple graphics or the complete absence of originality, and I can understand that, but it sure is an addictive little game!

RKS Score: 6/10


  1. One to try is Noitu Love & The Army of Grinning Darns, a platformer/beat-em-up that has you changing into different animals to find ways around the levels. The sequel's flashier, but the first one's free!

  2. Thanks for the tip, just downloaded it! I love playing these fan-made games, most of them are at least good fun for ten minutes or so, some are so good they could've been retail releases! Yamamoto-san was more the former I suppose but it's very addictive. I obtained an amusing-looking doujin maze game the other day too, I'm looking forward to trying that one :)

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