Game review: Suika Game (for browsers)

I know what you’re thinking. A browser game? Really? Yes, but what got me looking at it was a review for a Nintendo Switch game of the same name Suika Game, or Watermelon Game. The review said, “There’s also a browser game, but it isn’t as good.” And then I said, “Well that may be so, but I don’t own a Nintendo Switch, so let’s try this bad boy out.”

That was around 2 PM on Monday of last week. I looked up at what I thought was a moment later to see it was 6 PM, and I’d yet to go out to get the shopping done for dinner. So I said, “All right, one more game, and then I’ll quit.”

That should be all you need to know to understand this is going to be a glowing endorsement from me, but I’ll go ahead and do the full review.

Before I get to that, those of you who do own the Switch, be aware the game is in Japan only, meaning to play it, you need to make a different account for that region to get it. Or, you know, play the inferior version that can be played in any browser, including all the Android and Apple browsers. I used Chrome on my phone for the first time to test this, and I played in the bathroom until my ass fell asleep. Not me, just my ass. Walking back to my desk with a sleeping ass was really difficult.

The game is easy at first. Match two cherries and you get a strawberry, and two strawberries makes a grape. The first goal, and the real win of the game is getting a watermelon out of all these matching pairs. You know it’s the win condition because there’s confetti and a round of applause for getting that sweet melon. But for a lot of folks, the real goal is reaching a score of 3,000. Speaking as someone who got 2,700 ONCE, all I can say is, good luck, suckers.

Why? Because each merged fruit is larger than the last, and once you’ve got a couple really large fruits in the game, physics stop making sense. What might have worked in the early game is now more likely to fail, as small fruits bounce far from where you wanted them, and large fruits act like they’re filled with helium. It is entirely possible to collapse a huge stack of fruit on the right side of the level, only to have the larger resulting fruit push the stack on the left over the limit. So you can be winning, and still lose.

Also, the oranges are traitorous bastards who will fuck up every carefully constructed plan every single time. They don’t just bounce away from where you want them. No, they can also start spinning for no reason whatsoever, and that rotation will churn all the fruit around them, altering the field and screwing your plans in real slow time.

But, I’m not playing this for realistic physics. I’m playing this because I got close to 3,000 points once, and I know if those oranges will behave just once, I’m going to reach Fruit Nirvana. Because of that steadfast faith, I’ve already played around thirty hours in one week. I’ve played on my computer and on my phone, and every time I lose, I hit replay, ready to keep going even if I’m supposed to be cooking dinner already.

It’s addicting, and for all the best reasons. Winning and getting that applause for the watermelon feels real good, and losing doesn’t hurt so bad because it’s not my fault. It’s that godforsaken orange’s fault.

I’m giving Suika Game 5 stars. It’s free, and it’s at this link. Go now. Play it, love it, hate that rat bastard betrayer, the orange.