LONDON: US technology giant Google LLC has launched a free Japanese-themed browser game in commemoration of the Tokyo Olympics, offering an opportunity to learn about Japanese culture.
In the Doodle Champion Island Games, offered at the Google search engine’s top page from Friday, the day of the Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony, an athlete calico cat named Lucky tries various sports, such as table tennis, archery and marathon, on an island created in the motif of Japan.
The game uses characters such as mythical creatures called “kappa” and “tengu” from old Japanese tales including “Momotaro” and “Urashima Taro.”
Also, the game adopts Japanese-style animation and graphics reminding people of classic 16-bit video games from Japan that became a global hit in the 1990s.
Studio4C Co., a Tokyo-based animation house, joined the game’s production.
The game is designed to “create an opportunity for the world to compete globally together and to learn about Japanese culture at the same time,” Nate Swinehart, art lead of the Google Doodle team, said.
Eurogamer, a European game information website, said in an article about the Google Doodle game, “The whole thing is beautifully designed and smartly controlled with just your arrow keys and space bar.”
The Verge, a U.S. game information website, said that the game “definitely seems to capture” some of the 16-bit game spirit.