Giant Bomb Review

23 Comments

Tomena Sanner Review

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Tomena Sanner is a silly little game. You'll burn out on it quickly, but it's cheap enough that you might be totally OK with that.


Dances With Robots. 
Tomena Sanner is a "one-button wai wai action game" from Konami for WiiWare and iPhone. Not that it really matters, but my cursory (and probably incorrect) search engine work defines "wai wai" as something lively, like the sound of children playing. It's not an entirely bankrupt description, as the biggest thing this timing-based rhythmic-but-not-really platformer-type-thing has going for it is its lively and kind of crazy nature. But tapping a button (or your phone's screen) to make a guy jump over stuff isn't exactly rocket-science, and once you've seen all of the goofy animations that Tomena Sanner contains, you'll probably never play it again.

Of course, for a game that's five bucks on WiiWare and $1.99 on the iPhone app store, the 30-ish minutes you'll spend seeing all nine of its levels isn't the worst deal in the world. The game puts you in the role of a suited-up businessman who runs to the right. As he encounters obstacles, you need to act--by pressing the A button on a Wii Remote or simply tapping the screen on your phone--to get your guy to jump. You'll need to properly time your presses to get the jumps down right, and the timing varies depending on what you're attempting to get over. While music plays the entire time, the game only feels loosely rhythmic, and I oftentimes felt like I was looking for timing cues that don't exist. If you get the timing correct, it's "great." A looser press will net you a "good" while getting too far outside the timing window counts as a miss. A timer constantly ticks down as you play, and getting great timing gives you a bit of extra time, so you'll need to do well if you want to make it to the end of a level.

That sounds simple and, actually, it sounds pretty stupid. But the hook is in the animations that roll out as you deal with the obstacles. You'll head-butt monks, falling over if you miss or knocking him silly if you time it properly. You'll dance with schoolgirls in large, choreographed sequences. You'll launch robots into space, slide down staircase rails in a crane stance, and kick cowgirls in the face as you work your way through the game. It's extremely goofy, and it's all just weird enough to work, for a time.

Dances With Schoolgirls. 
The Wii version of the game goes the extra mile by putting more characters on screen in some spots. It also offers a splitscreen multiplayer mode for up to four players and online leaderboards, both of which add a bit more meaning to the experience, but neither aspects really changes the core of the game. You just keep tapping A.

Tomena Sanner is a ridiculous little package that you'll like if you're the sort of person that thrives on games with a decidedly Japanese design aesthetic. But even those of us with a soft spot for this sort of stuff will get bored with it pretty quickly. If you're the type of person that wants to buy something weird and force all your friends to see it, though, then by all means, do it. Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
23 Comments
Posted by MeetThePyro

Well this came out of nowhere.

Posted by DanielJW

Dances... with... wolves.

Posted by CharlesAlanRatliff

Third paragraph, fourth sentence, I think "You'll dance will schoolgirls" should be "You'll dance with schoolgirls". Not trying to be rude, I just thought you would like to know! 
 
But good review. I have never heard of this game, and it is nice that you guys covered it. Time to watch the Quick Look!

Posted by Fripplebubby

I... Am honestly surprised this even gets a review. Good job, I guess? 

Posted by MrJared

As a fan of the iPhone version I honestly had no idea this was on WiiWare. It seems like a better fit for the former device, but it's still pretty awesome.

Posted by radicalrobot

There should be more games that are played with just one button.

Posted by ArclightBorealis

I was unaware of this game, so much I did not notice there was a quicklook.  
 
Completely out of the blue.

Posted by erinfizz

Well, there went my remaining balance after purchasing Muscle March.

Posted by FunExplosions

Lol. Awesome. Jeff apparently made the quick look, kept playing it, finished it, then reviewed it. If I had a Wii I'd definitely end up pickin' this up. A couple hours of fun seems cost-worthy.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@DanielJW said:
" Dances... with... wolves. "
Dances...with....Smurfs. (Random South Park reference for those who don't watch it.)
 
@radicalrobot said:
" There should be more games that are played with just one button. "

Do they count if you use the D-pad, too? On the actual review, yes, it came out of nowhere, but this is one of the reviews on the site I can actually read. (Don't want to spoil all those big games, you know?) So hooray for a review of an obscure game! And such a short one! Party time!
Posted by Milkman

"This is easily the stupidest thing I've ever played" - Vinny 
 
3 stars.

Posted by MassiveDuck

i love how everything is cheaper on the iphone than elsewhere.   
but this looks very interesting, love that Giant Bomb covers stuff like this, no one else is. 

Posted by MrMiyagi

This game is so awesome on the iPhone.

Posted by MrGarcia

This game seems awesome!

Posted by zitosilva

 "If you're the type of person that wants to buy something weird and force all your friends to see it, though, then by all means, do it." - this pretty much defines it for me.

Posted by spilledmilkfactory

GotY :-P wish i could play this though

Posted by Atomasist

Ridiculously good game.

Posted by Kibblez

Jeff, I've noticed you've been saying 'silly' a lot of as late. I approve!

Posted by MrKlorox

You heard it here first. This game is on par with The Ballad of Gay Tony, according to Giant Bomb.

Posted by Smokefall

This game is ridiculous in so many ways.


... Hence, I'll probably pick it up from the App Store.

Edited by natetodamax

This got a higher score than Rogue Warrior?

Posted by Pronssi
@natetodamax: Do you honestly think that review scores can be validly compared between two games like Rogue Warrior and Tomera Sanner?
Posted by as

http://twitpic.com/20mzcg