Capsule Review: KUUKIYOMI: Consider It!

Japanese politeness WarioWare.

A rapid-fire microgame anthology. Similar to WarioWare, gameplay consists of being shown a situation and having a few seconds to figure out what’s going on and react correctly using limited controls. However, in KUUKIYOMI the theme is politeness: the situations are social in nature and the “correct” reaction is the one that maximizes social harmony.

It’s amusing to see the situations and intuit what you need to do, especially when the game combines banal social expectations with absurd scenarios or video game logic (like avoiding a Super Mushroom so that a starving family can eat it). However, this isn’t always a smooth process. The scenarios range from being obvious and universal (such as moving to let people exit a crowded train before boarding it yourself) to requiring Japan-specific cultural knowledge (such as which side of the escalator to stand on to let people pass you in Tokyo versus in Osaka). On top of that, it’s sometimes difficult to guess how to perform the required action due to the limited and inconsistent controls (sometimes you jump by pressing up, while sometimes you do it by hitting a face button). And in some scenarios, it’s difficult to actually perform the required action for timing or dexterity-based reasons.

Only sometimes do you see the consequences of your actions and you don’t get told whether you succeeded or failed individual scenarios - you instead get a set of cumulative scores after completing all one hundred scenarios. As a result, there were plenty of scenarios where I still don’t know what the correct action was or why - these may as well have been random and I couldn’t learn anything from them.

I still mostly enjoyed going through the game’s hundred scenarios and seeing what came up. Choosing to go with the flow or be the biggest asshole possible was respectively soothing and cathartic. But once I’d seen them all, I felt no draw to keep playing aside from possibly showing the game to Japanophile friends.

I Stopped Playing When: I played through the hundred-scenario normal mode and also tried the shorter “Inconsiderate Mode” where you try to be as disruptive as possible.

Docprof's Rating:

Three Stars: Good. I liked the game enough to finish it (or just play it a bunch, for games that don't end). I recommend it to most genre fans.

You can get it or learn more here.