The art of sumo, according to Wikipedia, is ‘a competitive full-contact sport where a wrestler (rikishi) attempts to force another wrestler out of a circular ring (dohyÅ) or to touch the ground with anything other than the soles of the feet.’ One means to this end involves a wrestler using his ample size to move his opponent accordingly. To gain that size requires a regimen involving no breakfast and a large lunch, followed by a form of siesta.
With that said, one may not be sure what to expect from a game called Hungry Sumo. But as it turns out, all it really involves is eating a lot and getting bigger.
Warning: Partial nudity.
Described as a ‘physics-based arcade game’ (which is a term becoming so broadly used as to virtually lose all meaning), Hungry Sumo’s premise is ridiculously simple: sumo wrestlers float around the screen like balloons. Your sumo wrestlers are in pink, and the opponents in blue. Touch and hold your finger on your sumo as he drifts to make him eat, and thus grow. Bumping into an enemy will shrink him; once your opponent is at his smallest, bumping him again turns him to your color. Turn all enemy sumo to your color to beat the stage.
So, there you have it: the whole ‘sumo’ thing is more a form of dressing than an integral part of the game. Those hoping to pit HakuhÅ ShÅ against AsashÅryÅ« Akinori to determine who is the mightier yokozuna will need to look elsewhere.
That said, it’s a fun game on its own merits, and features a simple, cartoony style across 100 stages. There are also various little tricks to deal with along the way– if you bump into an opponent while you’re eating, for example, you turn to their color– as well as obstacles and power-ups. Four different mini-games pop up every now and again, featuring different goals, including smashing enemy sumo (while avoiding your own colors) and swiping your finger across the screen to ‘slice’ corpulent ninja down to size.
And really, there isn’t much more to the game than that. It’s fun, it’s charming, and it’s incredibly easy to pick up and learn, but a bit trickier to master.
Of course, it’s possible that the above is not new info to some of you reading; developer Ninja Kiwi has already released the game online for free, making ‘try before you buy’ quite easy. So check it out there if you’re not sure whether it’s worth $0.99.