Super Table-Flip Arcade Game is Japan-Style Stress Relief [Video]
TOKYO, JAPAN — Sick of the wife and kids? Time to throw the kitchen table at them.
Not really, of course! That would be domestic violence! However, you can act out this scenario harmlessly in a new arcade game called Cho Chabudai Gaeshi! (Super Table-Flip!), released last fall by Taito. For 100 yen, you can grab hold of a plastic table and flip it over, sending dishes and supper flying all over your bratty kids and henpecking wife.
Chabudai-gaeshi is used as a metaphor in the Japanese language. Many gamers are familiar with it since Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma used it in a Game Developers Conference speech to describe what Shigeru Miyamoto would do to game design teams. He’d sometimes come in and disrupt the whole production process if he thought a game wasn’t going well, sending the team back to square one. This was such a traumatic event that they likened it to a father flipping the tea table over, sending the whole family into disarray.
But anyway, the game itself is pretty simple — when the scenario begins, you can pound on the table with both hands to get your family’s attention and knock a few things off shelves. As you cause things in the room to clatter to the floor, you score points. When the game’s 60-second timer nears its conclusion, you’ll want to grab the table-controller and send it flying. Hinges keep it attached to the machine.
Four different scenarios are available: Besides the dad and kids, there’s a bride at a wedding, a guest at a host club and a frustrated office worker.
The interesting thing about the game design is how it tackles the central problem — that is, how do you create a full game experience around a concept that requires the player to do one single action, exactly one time? Cho Chabudai Gaeshi‘s answer is to build up the moment as much as possible, then replay the moment in several different ways after it happens. We see the table-flipping in a freeze-frame, with Matrix-style camera rotation, allowing us to see the surprised expressions on everyone’s faces. We see it from a side-on view to see the distance the table flew. If we hit any of the bonus scoring areas — for example, clipping a mouse as it runs across the room — we see those in close-up. A karaoke song about the table-flipping moment, with lyrics on screen, plays in the background.
All the ridiculousness of it definitely makes it worth the 100 yen (about $1) price for a single play, although probably only once or twice.