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Japanese Map Game


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japanesemapgame.gifArtbegottiYou can't see it, but I'm holding a jar of jelly beans. When someone is sitting next to a jar of jelly beans with some slips of paper, you know what your task is... You want to get a running start and swipe the jar of jelly beans as fast as you can and hope you can get away with it. Because let's face it, actually guessing the number of jelly beans is pretty much impossible, unless you have the ability to freeze time and count the jelly beans one by one and then get them back in the jar before everything returns to normal speed.

For some, estimation of obscure objects is a pain. Nekogames, on the other hand, has come up with a little estimation game that brims with excitement. Due to my lack of ability to read Japanese, we'll call it the Japanese Map Game. (If anyone can offer a translation of the title, we'd be glad to hear it.)

You are presented with a pixel-art map of Japan on the left. Mousing over the map highlights the regions of Japan (with a cheery pronounciation of each). On the right is a grid of boxes, with some highlighted in blue. The object of each round is to pick a region on the map (or combination of regions) and try to fill in the blue boxes so that you land within the rainbow-bordered boxes. The size of the region that you select will determine how many boxes get filled. If your total lands in the green boxes, you move on to the next level, but landing in the yellow, orange, and red boxes also gets you some bonus points.

My strongest word of caution for this game: It is highly unlikely that you will win a round on your first attempt. Part of this game is experimenting with the sizes of the regions and how many boxes they fill in. Within your first few tries, you'll have a good idea what regions to pick to fill in the grid. Just remember, the regions you use become unavailable for the rest of the game.

Analysis: For such a simple concept, you'd be surprised how quickly you may be drawn into the game's happy and exciting atmosphere. As you mouse over the territories, you have all the time in the world to make your selection, but you still get a rush of nervous excitement when the blue blocks are filling up, not looking like they'll ever stop. Nekogames has taken such a simple concept as "come as close as you can without going over" and made a quirky little game out of it, and you might even learn something about Japan's geography from it too!

So if you're ready for a bit of jelly bean culture shock, hajime!

Play Japanese Map Game

35 Comments

"...actually guessing the number of jelly beans is pretty much impossible, unless you have the ability to freeze time..."

You could also be Rain Man. :-P

Protip: Click Hokkaido for massive damage!

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Whenever I try to play the game I get "error page not found".

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I can't get it to work... the website it goes to is "http://jayisgames.com/URL"

Is that correct?

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Stoned_Dragon Author Profile Page September 28, 2008 7:12 PM

Same as them! I wanted to try it.

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Grady The tablet guy September 28, 2008 7:14 PM

"Error, Page not Found"

Can I get some help here.

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works here...

oh, and it actually reads something like "pittashi! menseki", not that I know what it means.

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The link is fixed now, everyone. Enjoy!

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Well, the game (actually, quiz) is called, "Pittashi! Menseki"...

Though I have no idea what it means. o.o

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In case you'd like to make the review more precise in its terminology, the of "regions" of Japan are called "prefectures." just so's ya know.

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nihongowasha September 28, 2008 8:06 PM

The game's title, 'Pittashi menseki', means 'Precise area' (as in square meters).

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I'm not certain but I believe the name of the game translates to roughly Exact Area.

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Billy Nitro Author Profile Page September 28, 2008 8:18 PM

WELL.

"Menseki" means "area", as in surface area, and the closest word to "pittashi" I could find was "pittari," which means "snug" or "tight". According to Yoshio Ishii's Myspace, he's from Tokyo, and I think that in Kantou-ben, the dialect spoken in Tokyo, the "ri" and the "shi" sound are switched from standard Japanese.

That aside, I certainly wouldn't translate the title as "Tight! Area". Call it "Pittashi! Menseki" and be done with it.

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If the amount of dots you get from the areas stays the same from game to game, a guide could be made.

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You get bonuses for using all the prefectures in a region... unfortunately, it doesn't tell you which prefectures are contained in each region, so unless you know Japanese geography, you'll just have to try and group as many together as possible.

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The name of the game is "Todoufuken quiz - Pittashi! Menseki", which means 'Prefecture Quiz - The Precise Area'.

It is not regions of Japan that you pick, but prefectures. But the prefectures *form* regions, and when you have picked all the prefectures of a certain region you get a bonus score.

The regions are (from southwest to northeast):
Kyushu, Chugoku, Shikoku, Kinki, Chubu, Kanto, Tohoku and Hokkaido (it is both a region and a prefecture). You can look them up on Wikipedia to see which prefectures belong to which region.

The easiest region to start with is Shikoku - the little island with only four prefectures on it.

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Harold Krell Author Profile Page September 28, 2008 9:47 PM

Here's a guide to how many bars/dots each territory is worth (each horizontal bar contains 20 dots):

Guide: Territory bars,remaining dots

Iwate 4,2
Akita 3,2
Aomori 2,11
Yamagata 2,10
Miyagi 1,19
Niigata 3,7
Fukushima 3,13
Ibaraki 1,12
Toshigi 1,14
Gunma 1,14
Saitama 1,0
Chiba 1,7
Kanagawa 0,12
Tokyo 0,11
Yamanashi 1,3
Shizouka 2,1
Nagano 3,12
Aichi 1,7
Toyama 1,2
Ishikawa 1,2
Gifu 2,17
Fukui 1,2
Shiga 1,1
Mie 1,11
Nara 0,19
Wakayama 1,5
Kyoto 1,4
Hyogo 2,5
Tottori 0,18
Okayama 2,18
Shimane 1,16
Hiroshima 2,5
Yamaguchi 1,12
Osaka 0,10
Kagawa 0,10
Tokushima 1,2
Kouchi 1,18
Ehime 1,10
Fukuoka 1,6
Saga 0,13
Nagasaki 1,1
Oita 1,14
Kumamota 1,19
Miyazaki 2,1
Kagoshima 2,9
Okinawa 0,12
Hokkaido 22,8

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Here is a complete list of the prefecture areas, grouped after region, with total region area and region bonuses.

The Regions are sorted geographically from North to South, but the prefectures are sorted by area, to make it easier to find a prefecture of the right size.

---HOKKAIDO--- 448 (+1000)
Hokkaido 448

---TOHOKU--- 357 (+6000)
Iwate 82
Fukushima 73
Akita 62
Aomori 51
Yamagata 50
Miyagi 39

---KANTO--- 193 (+8000)
Tochigi 34
Gunma 34
Ibaraki 32
Chiba 27
Yamanashi 23
Saitama 20
Kanagawa 12
Tokyo 11

---CHUBU--- 330 (+5000)
Nagano 72
Niigata 67
Gifu 57
Shizuoka 41
Aichi 27
Fukui 22
Ishikawa 22
Toyama 22

---KINKI--- 175 (+6000)
Hyogo 45
Mie 31
Wakayama 25
Kyoto 24
Shiga 21
Nara 19
Osaka 10

---SHIKOKU--- 100 (+4000)
Kochi 38
Ehime 30
Tokushima 22
Kagawa 10

---CHUGOKU--- 169 (+5000)
Hiroshima 45
Okayama 38
Shimane 36
Yamaguchi 32
Tottori 18

---KYUSHU--- 235 (+8000)
Kagoshima 49
Miyazaki 41
Kumamoto 39
Oita 34
Fukuoka 26
Nagasaki 21
Saga 13
Okinawa 12

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Stoned_Dragon Author Profile Page September 28, 2008 10:22 PM

Wow, I just spent an hour writing all of this stuff down, and two people already have it... Good work anyway people!

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KojieroSaske Author Profile Page September 29, 2008 1:20 AM

Random FYI: The voice saying all the region names is that of Hatsune Miku, otherwise known as the Vocaloid synth program.

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Are you serious?! Leek spinning girl is the voice?! I didn't even notice! I need to tell my friend about this, he has a slight obsession with Miku.

But I thought the game could've been better if it didn't automatically restart you completely. Although I guess since it's random every time, it lends itself a lot more to the jelly bean counting example than it would otherwise. Still, though, you should be able to choose whether you want it random or not. Just my thoughts...

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The last level is a bit of a let down,

Hokkaido

and you've won!

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Scored 60350, not too bad. This game requires alot of memorization and trial/error, or using the charts above made it alot easier (basic arithmatic). Good way to waste some time.

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Leek-spin girl is Orihime Inoue from Bleach. Hatsune Miku is from the "Vocaloid2" synth software. They're unrelated, except that Hatsune Miku has covered the Levan Polka.

You can find plenty of songs sung by Hatsune Miku (both originals and covers) on Youtube and Nico Nico Douga. Just search for her name. (Good examples of original works are Miku Miku ni Shite Ageru, and Melt)

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High score so far: 17180 :D
Fun game! I got one perfect bonus once (+5000)
Spiffy-licious ;o

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Neat concept. Although I got bored pretty quick. The sound gets a bit annoying after a while too, though I'll never tire of moving the pointer on and off and on on Kyoto.

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So...hard...

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So. Very. Cute. Nice little game, limited replay but the cuteness wins.

Also, how awesome is the JIG community? I knew when I read this post that loads of knowledgeable and helpful people would've responded in the comments to help with translation. And they have! This is why I visit this site regularly. The community is ace. And no-one ever just says 'this game sux lol' or the like. (Also the reviews on the site are reliable and amusing, obv!) Thanks Jay and everyone!

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Transliteration:
Pittashi! Menseki

Literal Translation:
Exactly! Area

So it probably means something to the tune of "exact location". Note that "pittashi" is a childish/cuteish way of saying "pittari", which means the same thing.

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The translation of the name is:
Perfect fit! Surface area.

Yeah... not quite as cool as you might when translated, but there you go.

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More translation notes:

"Todoufuken quiz" (the white characters at the upper left of the title screen): Todoufuken is made up of 4 characters, and refers to the 4 official types of large geographic regions in Japan. "To" means "capital," and there's only one: Tokyo-to. "Dou" means "road," but it's also the designation for Hokkai-dou, which is special because it's a huge area (the northern-most large island) not divided up into prefectures. "Fu" refers to two cities which get special recognition for historical reasons, Kyoto-fu and Osaka-fu. All the rest are "ken," or prefectures. So todoufuken is a one-word way to refer to the various names for geographic divisions in Japan, although they all have the same amount of power governmentally.
(See, that's what you get into when you start to translate Japanese - one simple word that needs a page of explanation.)

Instructions page, green type at top: "Game Instructions"
White type: "The total area of the regions you choose from the map will be displayed in the gauge on the right. If the total area ends up in the Safe Zone, you clear the stage! If you go over, then Game Over!"
Red type: "Safe Zone"

During game play, green and yellow type at top of screen: "Choose a region from the map!"

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William McDuff Author Profile Page October 1, 2008 3:49 AM

Unfortunately, the number of dots differs from game to game, so you'll have to do the math every time.

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I thought there should be a game completion bonus. For the last level, although you could click Hokkaido and win the game, finishing up everything else and then clicking on Hokkaido will get you a higher score although you will game over.

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great game!

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Awesome game and very addicting!!
High score= 107,670

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Neat game. The cheery Japanese girl reading the city names makes it so much better. I will make her my bride.

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