Tanaka’s Friendly Adventure

By: Xander

On: July 19th, 2009


Tanaka’s Friendly Adventure is a sweet game from ‘bento_smile’. The basic premise is that you have four directions to travel in, and any combination of directions will cause friends to appear on the grasslands around Tanaka. At the end of each play, Tanaka takes these characters to a Party Room, where you can see which ones you’ve met and some extra information about them. Paulo for instance is a dog who enjoys both laundry and that most delectable of snacks; The Eccles Cake.

There isn’t much more to it than that, and there really doesn’t need to be. The friends are reason enough to search for them, each one being an eccentric character filled with a suprising amount of charm for such minor development. Think of it as a petting zoo for pixels, perhaps..

An interesting, and especially brave, first game. I’m sure it’ll meet some criticism for being very simplistic, but I think it’s a solid foundation for some great things.

  • Mischief Maker

    A videogame where you do absolutely nothing?

    Sounds like…


  • Jamey

    I really liked this. Even though it may not be a hard and true game, I think interactive experiences like these can be fun. In effect, it builds a little world to participate in, however, superficially, and the presentation is tight. Even though I deleted it after playing for about 10 minutes, I still enjoyed it, and it was probably fun to make.

  • Allen

    I loved this game. I kept trying to find Mr. V (VVVVV) but couldn’t. The best part of the game is the little stories that go along with the characters.

  • Epitaph64

    Sounds like something a programmer would make because he has difficulty with real world friends… *Adds to list of things to program*

  • Epitaph64

    I meant “Adds to list of things to play” haha

  • undertech

    I love this. I hope to have absorbed some of its goodness by the time I have found all of my (MY) friends.

  • Nicholas Lee

    Now I wish I knew how to pronounce “eccles.” Is it “eh-kless” or “eckles” or what?

  • Fail


  • Win


  • Jamal

    Minimalistic, cute, and surreal. Features touching character profiles such as: “These guys love tug of war. They hate their parents and society. Girls like them.”

    Also this is probably a good game for picking up chicks. =D

  • http://dock.livejournal.com Dock

    “Also this is probably a good game for picking up chicks. =D”

    It’s also a good game for picking up ducks!

  • Dusty Spur

    The little stories were amusing. My favorite was Carlo or Parlo or something like that? He ripped out all his hair because he loves you.

  • superflat

    I love this game.

  • Jamal

    lol @ Dock!

  • dillomatic

    this is basically my favourite part of katamari damacy, condensed.

  • O

    All this game does is remind me that I have no friends.
    The fact that I’m willing to walk around aimlessly in an un-fun game for ten minutes collecting virtual “friends” is salt in the wound.
    I’m fighting back tears. Fuck. Here it comes.

  • Nicholas Lee


    That’s funny. The game does demonstrate an interesting social whatsit. You really can collect friends by simply walking around in circles. That’s a good way to build relationships. We do it automatically, assuming we’re not of the sedentary variety. Of course, the game does not represent any other factors, such as obstacles, dangerous areas, and such, but the principle holds.

  • bento smile

    Waah, thanks for posting about my game. :) So happy!

    @ Nicholas Lee: ‘Eccles’ rhymes with ‘freckles’ :D

  • Nicholas Lee

    Thanks, bento. Nifty game, btw. I didn’t have a big party, but I enjoyed the guests I had!

  • Vanguard

    Charming game. The writing is pretty clever.

  • Dusty Spur

    dillomatic: Great way to put it. Never thought of it that way till now, but that’s definitely what it feels like.

    bento smile: I was wondering about “eccles” too. I was pronouncing it uh-klees. :<

  • farik

    the writing and characters are great, really charming. good job!

  • Ezuku

    Very nice and cute. But…

    … looking at this with a cynical mind, I can’t help but think that Tanaka is some sort of psychopath. He goes around, appearing innocent and friendly, and invites strangers he sees to his “party”. When they get there, they instead find themselves numbered and imprisoned, like some sort of trophy in Tanaka’s zoo of “friends”.

  • cm

    … Hahahaha.

  • q

    how do I find them all?

  • Dusty Spur

    Ezuku: Tanaka’s Holocauster Tycoon?

  • Gainsworthy

    Remember that party? He could be your kid.

  • Briker Ed

    Lovely game, enjoyed it for a while. The friends’ bios were what kept me playing.

    Wish the people I met irl were as docile…. /cue_disturbing_flashbacks

  • my god

    my penis is covered in strange bumps

  • undertech

    Tanaka knows everyone but nobody knows who Tanaka is.

    Just like Death!

  • Bob

    Kind of interesting I guess.

    Also, Nigoro is making a new…something (there’s a future page for a video).

  • Bob

    Not interesting, this is actually pretty cool (and funny).

  • Badger

    Love it, excellent cuteness. Keep up the good work!!

  • Jamal

    bento rules.

  • SirNiko

    Everything about the game is fantastic. Simple, elegant execution. The graphics are consistent and simple, yet cool, and the writing for the ‘friends’ is amusing.

    I just wish I understood what I’m doing to unlock them. A few of them seem to be revealed by taking specific paths, but other than that, I’m clueless. I wish I understood how the game actually works, aside from trying every possible combination of directions (which is a LOT).


  • Camdog

    I found it really addictive. A fantastic, quirky time waster. I had fun trying to figure out which paths to follow to get all the buddies. Profiles weren’t bad, but I liked their little graphics and two frame animation.