You are Hitoshi Susumu, and you are late for an appointment. Luckily though Mr. Susumu is a good runner, and one hell of a dancer. Running past obstacles that he interacts with to gain time and momentum, you have to time his actions. This is done by simply tapping anywhere on the screen. Be it kicking a samurai, dunking a basketball or dancing with an alien timing is key. An action can get either good, great or miss. A miss most often inflicts damage to him, but most importantly it slows Mr. Susumu down. Great is what you are aiming for as it gets you more time to run. The large timer at the top of the screen is relentlessly ticking down, and you have to complete the level before it runs out. Once you reach the end of a level you get to dance for bonus points. This is done by tapping once a bar is in the right position. Standard rhythm gaming, but still hilarious to watch this businessman getting jiggy with it.
What sets Tomena Sanner apart from other running games such as Canabalt are the totally out there whacky animations, and the fact that the levels have limited length. The difficulty ramps up depending on your running speed as you get a shorter time to react the faster Mr. Susumu runs. It is fun to play Tomena Sanner just for looking at the vast amount of actions that Mr. Susumu performs at the various obstacles.
The presentation of Tomena Sanner is a combination of abstract representations of real objects and old school computer graphics. This gives the game a completely own look, and feel. It also limits the amount of information on the screen somewhat making it easier to focus on upcoming obstacles. The faceless Mr. Susumu is as mysterious as the runner in Canabalt. But where the Canabalt runner runs for his life, Mr. Susumu runs because it is his life.
The sound effects and music are whacky as well giving the game a definitely hypnotic feel to it. You can choose to either use the ordinary music or a beat induced version, and I definitely prefer the beat sounds. Other things such as vibration, zoom and visual commentaries can be turned on and off. I love the visual commentaries harassing me when I miss obstacles.
There are only 9 different levels to play, and it is quite easy to unlock them all. After that all you are left with is the endless mode letting you play the 9 levels in consecutive order. This limits the gamelife significantly, and I would have liked an open endless mode such as in Canabalt as well. There is no online functionality, no achievements or unlockables apart from the levels. Another weak point of Tomena Sanner are the quite long load times when starting the game, and loading a level. This hinders it from being a quick pick up and play game for those odd minutes here and there.
Tomena Sanner is a hilarious game that I wouldn’t want to have missed out on playing. Once the levels have been beaten once there isn’t that much content there to make me want to play it again. Perhaps this will be a great game to replay in a couple of months. At $1.99 I think it is decent value for your money but I would rather get it for WiiWare(500 points) to be able to beat my friends on a bigger screen with up to four players instead.
Tomena Sanner $1.99
Seller: Konami Digital Entertainment