Here’s a task for you. Think of your favourite game. Now, imagine you only had one button to play it. We’re not even letting you include the d-pad or analogue stick here: the only input that we will allow you is the A button. How would the game have to change? Could you make it happen?
Depending on the game, there’s a very good chance you would have given up and said ‘hell no’ (if you chose Super Mario then well done, Super Mario Run has done it for you). But developers Onion Soup Interactive have thumbed a nose at the thought, buckled in, and turned not one game into a one-button masterclass, but fifty-six of them. Karting games, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Punchout! and more – they all get translated to a single button input.
Cocky scumbags. To add to the cockiness, Onion Soup Interactive have filtered the results through their perverted, weirdo sensibilities. Have you played Angry Birds with yoga instructors? Or experienced a fishing minigame where there are men on the end of the line? Thanks to SUPER 56, you might get the chance.
We tinkered with an early build of SUPER 56 for the purposes of a preview, and our brain is baked. Scheduled for launch on PC soon, it already looks finished, albeit with some of those 56 games yet to be included.
The obvious starting point for SUPER 56 is the WarioWare series. Much like that loved compendium of minigames, you are spending very little time with each of the 56 games. Some will turn up for a few seconds, others will linger for a lengthier minute. Most of the time, though, they will be somewhere inbetween.
Like WarioWare, the initial fun of SUPER 56 is working out what the hell the games want. They don’t often give you much of a clue. ‘Get Poing!’ is written on an unhelpful intro card for a weird Pong knock-off. But SUPER 56 has an advantage over WarioWare in this regard, since you do have one clue what to do: press the A button.
The next part of the preview creates a bit of a risk, since describing the games removes that initial fun. If you know what the minigames want you to do, then you’re going to have less fun and probably succeed more – and we certainly don’t want you to succeed more.
But wait: SUPER 56 is going to launch soon. Perhaps we can bank on you forgetting in the meantime.
Take a Street-Fighter II scene. You’re the Chun-Li on the left, and there’s a Ken on the right. He’s hadouken-ing at you, so you start mashing the A button to see what happens. The A button makes you jump, so things come into focus. It’s your task to survive in the time limit, jumping over the hadoukens that reach you. Well done, you’re onto the next game.
Let’s dial up the weirdness now. The music starts pumping faster, the speed increases. You see an Easter Island head, and a frisbee vomits out of its mouth. That frisbee is quickly lowering into the water. What do you do? Well, tapping A causes the frisbee to skim off the water, so you’re hitting A when the disc nears the surface, so that it skim-hops further into the air. If you’ve got skills, then the frisbee will last the twelve bounces that is needed to succeed.
Faster, faster now. You’re playing Pokemon, and the enemy is a swimming-certificate. Tapping A moves the cursor down the menu, but holding A selects the option. You attack but the certificate is strong against the element of your attack. You move through the options, desperate to find something that will work, before the certificate attacks and kills you. Game over man. What did it want from you? What was the path to success in this weird, alternate dimension Pokemon? You’ll have to find out on the next run.
Now, wipe what we told you from your mind. We want you to flounder like we did when SUPER 56 launches, tapping A as you crash into walls, get punched in the face, and have naked yoga players fart at you. Failure is expected in SUPER 56, but it’s all about the naked fish you catch on the way.
As with WarioWare, we’re eager to know if the hilarity lasts. Once the games become familiar and – we hesitate to say – we get good at them, will they still hold the same appeal? That’s something that Onion Soup Interactive (they previously behind Nippon Marathon) has to answer. But they’re already making headway. A hilarious campaign has you hobnobbing with zombies and skeletons in hell, while leaderboards and daily challenges offer incentive to get even better. Perhaps we shouldn’t be worried about it after all.
Our final wish? (Press A to wish.) We’re crossing our fingers for multiplayer. We didn’t see an option in the menus, but SUPER 56 absolutely demands to be played in a party situation. We want to share the surrealism, not keep it to ourselves. It’s not just about fishing for men: it’s about being the best at fishing for men.
Huge thanks go out to Onion Soup Interactive for giving us access to SUPER 56 on Steam. You’ll find it due for release on PC via Steam soon.