Japan: Now in board videogame form

They all look really excited about a teapot

Gotouchi Tetsudou is a new Wii U and 3DS game about being so filled with Japan that your blood clots into a gelatinous mass of hiragana and Sanrio. It’s a virtual board game, a genre that usually needs to be dressed up a bit to pack much of a punch. This Gotouchi Tetsudou trailer seems to know this. It starts screaming at you immediately, then throws adorable, creepy cartoon characters at your face. There are over 120 to see! Sometimes they have soup bowls for heads.

The game is about traveling Japan and looking at Japanese things like teapots and tanooki statues. Then you dance. Also, there is a sort of realistic green bear guy with a giant head who probably wants to kill you. He doesn’t quite fit with the rest of the game’s aesthetic, which is part of why I love him. 

It’s a shame that games like this rarely make it out of Japan. Those that do make it to Europe and the United States are often quick to build up cult followings, in part because they rarely have any competition. I’m pretty sure Gotouchi Tetsudou has the “board videogame about traveling Japan by train with a conglomeration of surreal mascots” market cornered. 

Jonathan Holmes
"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Just like in a Gameboy game... a nice tight little world... and all its inhabitants... made out of little building blocks... Why can't these little pixels be the building blocks for love..? For loss... for understanding"- James Kochalka, Reinventing Everything part 1 "I wonder if James Kolchalka has played Mother 3 yet?" Jonathan Holmes