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Weird Japanese game update: Happiness Controller, Uo

I just read this article on GamePro about Happiness Controller, an upcoming game from Sony.

The goal of Happiness Controller is to make 100 people that you control happy. The kinds of characters the player needs to keep happy drastically vary, from the white collar average Joe to a social recluse. Each character has their own daily cycle, enabling you to control interactions at home, in the workplace, or outside. Some of the types of people you need to make happy include:
  • Happily married businessman, whose company is about to go bankrupt
  • Manga artist
  • Party animal with an utter disregard for everybody around her
  • A child whose father is a slob, and whose mother comes home late at night drunk
  • Bar club hostess, who gets paid to listen to rich Japanese businessmen talk
I definitely like the choice of subject matter. Very original, and quite daring. I wonder how tightly setting and gameplay are integrated though.

And while you're over there, have a look at this preview of Uo: The Seven Seas and the Tale of the Nushi, a game where you play a fish, and which apparently has sophisticated chewing and eating game mechanics.

(From Slashdot Games.)

Update: this post appeared on TV. Sort of. If you're interested in weird Japanese games, you may also want to read this post and this really long one on innovation.