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Tanaka's Friendly Adventure


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GrimmrookTanaka's Friendly AdventureHas this ever happened to you? You want to throw a great party, so you invite everyone. You invite everybody that you know, and everybody that they know. You invite the guy from across the street with the really white teeth, and the girl with the shampoo commercial hair. Everyone. Then, on the day of the party, the only person who actually shows up is the weird kid from down the street with the strange skin condition(s) and chronic halitosis. Don't worry, we've all been there before, and we've gone through that post-party depression stage of playing The Cure and crying all night. But thanks to bentosmile's simple little flash game called Tanaka's Friendly Adventure, tear-filled party failures are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

We can just live vicariously through little pixelated Tanaka. You see, Tanaka is also throwing a party, and it's your job to help him invite his friends. Using the [arrow] keys or the [WASD] keys guide Tanaka from one screen to the next. In each screen you will come across a friend, who is then invited. After you've located a few friends, the game ends automatically.

Once Tanaka has invited someone, they stay invited. After each game you can click on the Party button from the main menu to see all the friends you have collected, view their stats (among which are vital attributes such as Longness, Opacity, and Wattage), and read up a little bit on their backgrounds. There are 72 party guests in total.

Tanaka's Friendly Adventure was offered first as a windows-only download where it raised a few eyebrows, but now that it's been translated into Flash, just about anyone can experience bentosmile's strange little first foray into game making.

Tanaka's Friendly AdventureAnalysis: To be fair, there's not a whole lot of gameplay in this game. Without it seeming to incorporate any rhyme or reason, you negotiate an area reminiscent of the Lost Woods from the first Legend of Zelda for a while, collect a few friends, and bam! That's it, game over, please play again.

But that's when Tanaka's Friendly Adventure starts to rope you in. Each party guest you find has its own animation, stats and description, and each description is very well written, with dashes of humor, absurdity, and a little social commentary if you are looking at it in just the right way. Indeed, Tanaka is quite deceptive in this regard, showing you something that at first seems amusing in an almost trivial way, until you come across that one guest whose flaws resonates with you.

The other area in which Tanaka's Friendly Adventure can be a little deceptive is in the gameplay. It may seem that all you do is walk around until the game declares itself over, but as you collect more and more friends it becomes clear that there is a methodology attached to their locations. You will need to engage with this puzzle aspect of the game if you hope to invite all 72 guests to your party.

Sure, Tanaka's Friendly Adventure is simple and silly, the effect finished off with big blocky pixels and a repetitive chiptune soundtrack. But what has earned bentosmile's freshman attempt so much interest is the way this very simple game unfolds into something greater and more meaningful. It holds up a mirror to society and slyly asks it to take a good long look. Before you know it, everything in Tanaka's Friendly Adventure takes on meaning, even Tanaka himself, a stylized paragon who respects authority and always tries his hardest. The success of this game is that we even begin to question the sanctity of the main character's status as archetypical hero.

Either that or we simply can't resist, you know, trying to catch 'em all.

Play Tanaka's Friendly Adventure

44 Comments

SteelPenguin August 24, 2009 3:51 PM

I tried to play this. I worked out some patterns from the Zelda inspiration (thus if you do this pattern you trigger these friends, etc..) but then just got bored. :-) I like original concepts though and this was definitely that.

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Gryphon78 Author Profile Page August 24, 2009 4:00 PM

I tried some linear patterns to try and explore the forest like a grid, but you get to spots where you can't travel in a certain deirection because it just loops around without gaining a new friend, which means either I hit the edge of the rectangle or the forest is non-rectangular.

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CatalystParadox Author Profile Page August 24, 2009 4:03 PM

Interesting concept, but not really my type of game. My collecting-urges don't run quite so strong. I seem to only get enthused about it when the things you collect have some other function in the game than just being there to accumulate.

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I've passed this one over a few times because I thought it was silly. Now that I've played it, it IS silly. In a very good way. It put a smile on my face, anyway. I just wish there was a quicker way to view your guests than tottering around that big party room.

Also, I am very glad these haven't been made into merchandise yet or they would have all my money right now.

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Anonymous August 24, 2009 4:51 PM

I still need friends #: 27,37,53,59,62,65,&70.

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The whimsical, charming and sometimes biting descriptions of the friends are the most charming thing about this game - but the gameplay is maybe a little too sparse. I am, unfortunately, an obsessive completionist, so I've been messing around with the paths to try and find all the friends, but as yet I haven't quite managed to form a clear picture of the forest, and my interest is starting to wane.

When it gets to the point that the only thing keeping me playing is a mild case of OCD, I'm not sure a game can really be called fun.

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omgitsgir August 24, 2009 5:44 PM

I'm still confused as to how the game determines which friends you get. I've gone two very different routes and gotten the exact same sequence of friends.

On a completely unrelated note, I love the description of the friend Toro. If you know enough about sushi, it's quite funny.

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Will you put a link to it on another site, Kongregate is glitchy, for me.

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I'm missing numbers 61, 70, and 72 (or whatever the last and second to last are.)
My method was to go to each starting like N, then alternate with another. N,E,N,E,N,E etc. It also works with N&S and E&W combination. You'll still get new characters and such.
Any info on the ones I'm missing?

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Leadthumb August 24, 2009 8:11 PM

For #72 just go east, always into the east...

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To get the last on just go east the entire time.

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some paths for 61 and 70

61 RLRLRRLRL

70 RLUUDDDDRR

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I still do not have: 26, 59, 65, 66

When you get 70 above it also gives you 62

A strategy I used other than N&E ect.:

Pick a direction go 1 then go one different direction for the rest of the way unless it stops giving you characters, then when you start over go two and then one different direction for the rest of the way. Tedious but it got most of them.

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humanconditioned Author Profile Page August 25, 2009 12:38 AM

Got 'em All. 72 and 2 are probably my favorites. Although, I swear 66 appeared in my "party" screen without it ever appearing in the "regular" game. Can anyone else confirm this?

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Anonymous August 25, 2009 9:23 AM

Only need 59 and 65! Any help?

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Would it be bad to ask if someone can printscreen all the friends? D:
Some of the descriptions are quite depressing, especially that little heart one.

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Just a side note:
There are 40,320 possible combinations of directions.
Good luck with all of those combinations guys ;D

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For #27: keep going up until it doesn't give you anymore characters, then go left. :)

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For #59: go DRLRLDRLR, that was my last one so now im finally done!

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I'm only missing #65.

I can confirm that you see #66 before he joins the party. I've seen him two or three times, actually. So no, he's not a secret character (any more than any other character_, although I can see why you'd think he would be.

-SirNiko

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this chicken August 25, 2009 4:52 PM

It's too bad there's no actual party.
A super cute game nonetheless.

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How do you get 67? Its the only one I'm missing =[

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When I played this at first, and it said I beat it, I was just left with one thought: "Oh." That was it. But then I tried again, and then I decided to look at the party of friends I'd obtained. And it really is here that the game brought a smile to my face! Some of the descriptions had me laughing aloud, especially friend number 17, Viktor. Just the sheer randomness, and the way it's written so matter-of-factly make it so charming and funny. I wouldn't call it a game, but then I dunno what I would call it. Definitely brought a smile to my face after a long, hard day at work!

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To get #65

LRLUDUDLRU

still missing #66

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Huh, if you click outside of it, it gives a control list. And it seems you can do the konami code. Oh, and it has console access.

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Someone actually mapped it out, Not sure if I can link it, but it's in the tigsource topic.

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66:

If you follow how to get 59 and then after right go left you get 66

26:
Also comes up when you follow 59's solution

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In case you didn't find the map yet:

http://nickretallack.com/tanaka-map.jpg

Thanks to the author of this.

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Grr Only missing 45...

Any help?

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I love it so much! I'm going to type up some of my favourite descriptions:
29. Carlo. Carlo is angry because he loves you. He tore all his hair out in frustration.
12. Toro. Toro got a complex because everyone called him "fatty". Now he is thin and happy.
37. Nick. Nick stuck a horn to his head and called himself a unicorn. He met other unicorns over the internet.
49. Gojira. Gojira is a devoted Godzilla fan. He loves his Godzilla hat, has no shame and wears it all day.
56. Kubo. Kubo hates tofu. Looking like tofu on legs has given him a complex. He never orders miso soup.
34. Bunbun. Bunbun has fluff for brains as all bunnies do. She would like to visit the moon one day.
58. Mr V. He cannot jump, so he cleverly manipulates gravity so he falls up and then falls down.

Classic!

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Also:
69. Mr C. He would give his life for his king, and frequently does. Secretly, he likes knitting.

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Oh, and why is everyone annoyed about #66? He's no secret character; just a monkey called Alec.

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Mauricio Martinis August 26, 2009 10:19 AM

Well, then, Holly, his description suits him pretty well.

No. 66 Alec. Alec plays the banjo. He is cunning but only uses it for good. He is popular without effort.

:)

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Katherine August 29, 2009 4:33 PM

Anyone find 67 on that map? I'm struggling.

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I need help on 29 39 56 and 71!

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Some Weird Girl September 15, 2009 10:46 PM

I need help on 16,24,29,39,46,51,58,64, and 71!!!!!

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need #68

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Hello, all. :-)
I decided to try this game, and... wow. At first, I played once and was "Umm... that's it?" Then I looked at the party page and, because I am the obsessive compulsive game finisher I am, I decided to get them all. There's just so many! Now I'm going to be playing this game forever... Anyone posting a walkthrough will be much loved. They can have cookies and cake! :-D

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Woo! I got them all! That was hard.

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im missing 45 and 70!plz plz help ive spent 3 hours lookin 4 these!!!!!!

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going ><^<><v< gets 2, 4, 7, 13, 20, 25, 45, and 56

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I used the map and a lot of the comments here, but the map gave me a serious headache. So, I figured I'd go back and make a walkthrough. I tested each route and tried to use ones that were simple to follow. Hope this helps those who get OCD over this stuff like I do sometimes.

#1:

U/D

#2:

R

#3:

UU

#4:

RU

#5:

RRD

#6:

UUD

#7:

DDD

#8:

RUD

#9:

UUUR

#10:

UUUU

#11:

LLUU

#12:

UUDD

#13:

LLUL

#14:

RRRL

#15:

RRDD

#16:

RRDR

#17:

UUUUD

#18:

UUURD

#19:

LLUUU

#20:

UUDDD

#21:

RRRLD

#22:

RRDDD

#23:

DDRRR

#24:

DDRDD

#25:

DDRRRU

#26:

UUURDD

#27:

UUUULL

#28:

RRRLDD

#29:

RDDDDU

#30:

RDDDDD

#31:

RRDDDU

#32:

RRDDDD

#33:

LLUUUU

#34:

RUUUUD

#35:

DDRRRUU

#36:

UUURDDD

#37:

UUUULLL

#38:

DDRDDRR

#39:

RRDDDUU

#40:

RDDDDDD

#41:

RDDLLLL

#42:

RDDLLRR

#43:

LLUUUUU

#44:

RUUUUDD

#45:

DDDDDLL

#46:

DDDDDRR

#47:

UUURRUUU

#48:

UUURDDDD

#49:

RRRRRLLL

#50:

RDDDDUUU

#51:

RRDDDUUU

#52:

RDDLLLLL

#53:

RDDLLRRR

#54:

LLUUUUUU

#55:

RUUUUDDD

#56:

RUULLLLL

#57:

DDDDDLLL

#58:

DDRRRUUU

#59:

DDRDDRRRR

#60:

UUUUURRRR

#61:

RDDLLRRRR

#62:

RUUUUDDDR

#63:

RUURRRRRR

#64:

DDDDDRRRR

#65:

RRDDDDDDR

#66:

UUURRDDDRR

#67:

DDRDDRRRRD

#68:

UUDRRDDDRR

#69:

RDDLLRRRRD

#70:

RUUUUDDDRR

#71:

DDDDDRRRRR

#72:

RRRRRRRRRR

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Peaceful Thunder July 15, 2010 7:41 PM

I finished it! it was really easy and it didnt take me that long!!! i think it is a really cool cute game. :) ;)

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I can't find #51! i have all of them except that one, any help?

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