A game about dropping round objects onto the keyboard.
To create a game controlled by unorthodox means.
Boomshakalaka is a Global Game Jam 2011 entry, where the theme was “extinction.” The objective for this game is to force as many blocks off the island as possible, by dropping a bomb.
The game was created by Unity 3D, with a five-man team.
Boomshakalaka begins with a sky view of the map. One aims by physically dropping a ball on the keyboard. Any keys that the ball hits on initial impact is averaged and mapped to a similar location in the game.
After this, the player watches the bomb explode with neat camera effects.
While Boomshakalaka garnered a lot of interest, especially among non-gamers, many criticisms were pointed out. First, the practicality of the controls were frequently in question. Many players found the keyboard-to-game mapping algorithm vague and inaccurate. In addition, certain keyboards that only detect a small number of keys simultaneously tended to be unresponsive. Finally, the abusive nature of the controls made many reluctant to playing the game on their own keyboard.
The game itself was deemed shallow and lacking in variety. Many players commented the “neat camera effects” were distracting from the gameplay. Since no interaction is possible while the bomb is falling, the game essentially felt like a physics simulation than an interactive medium. The arbitrary scoring system was left unnoticed, implying a more clear goal has to be presented.
Overall, the lack of time and the ambitious camera effect left the game much to be desired.