It’s another Mahjong game, the second one so far. Minasan No Okage Sama Desu – Dai Suguroku Taikai, which I guess (with a bit of Google translating and Wikipedia reading) translates to Thank God Everyone – Big Dice Game Tournament, at least from what I could gather as a non-Japanese speaker.
So, who are these weird guys on the start screen? Well, they are Takaaki Ishibashi and Noritake Kinashi of the Japanese Comedy duo, Tunnels. These comedians have had a long career, starting off and gaining popularity in the ‘80s with their TV show The Tunnels Thanks Everyone, or Tonneruzu No Minasan No Okage Desu (without the Sama part). The show had a slight name change in the ‘90s to Minasan No Okage Deshita (Deshita = Was, Desu = is) and is still on air today. In recent years, with the advent of YouTube and other video streaming services, the show became renowned for inventing The Human Tetris game (called in the show Nokabe which means Brain Wall). The Human Tetris game has since been adapted worldwide as segments in a variety of shows, or even as a whole competitive game show.
Minasan No Okage Sama Desu was made by Monolith (No, not that Monolith. No, not this Monolith either). I couldn’t find information about them but it seems Monolith only released one more Mahjong game besides Minasan and didn’t make much else (not even on other consoles). Although they were making a fantasy-themed pinball game on the Neo Geo called Last Odyssey: Pinball Fantasia (Not to be confused with LOST Odyssey, the Xbox 360 RPG by Mistwalker). The only evidence of Last Odyssey’s existence seems to be this footage.
Now that we are past the more interesting parts of Minasan, let’s see the game itself. As with other Mahjong games, Monolith added a layer of features over the simple Mahjong game in order to make a compelling case to play this video version of Mahjong instead of just playing regular real life Mahjong. Usually, developers add a story mode (with or without adult-material) or an RPG mode, or a Manga tie-in, or, as is the case here, base it off famous celebrities.
In addition to that, they also based the progression around a board game. After choosing one of the Tunnels duo as your opponent, you get to play on a board game and try to move from the start position to the finish line. And in between movement, you play a Mahjong match. I never managed to win any matches since I can’t understand either Mahjong or Japanese. I can only assume that the score you win with determines the number of moves on the board.
And well I can’t say much else about the game. It has recorded voice samples from the duo themselves probably. And if you wait for some time while playing your turn, your opponent does a silly animation. The music is weird & wacky, oddly remisicent of WarioWare. And that’s it. Moving on.