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Monday, January 11, 2016

Nameko Saibai Kit Mushroom Smartphone Game

In the world of smartphones, this slimy mushroom (forest nameko)—often found in miso soups and soba noodles—is an unlikely video game star.

There are three video games essentially called Nameko Saibai Kit. Nameko means mushroom and Sabai means cultivation, so the direct translation is "the kit for cultivating nameko" and since it debuted in June of 2011, it has had 32-million-plus downloads.

It's not in the Angry Birds territory of over 1-billion downloads, but at one time it was twice that of the closest Japanese game.

the real deal nameko mushroom...

The game sounds boring, but it is addictive and easy to play - I mean... you collect and grow different types of made-up mushrooms.

The player harvests with a finger swipe of the screen. The more mushrooms you have, the better the chance to gain cultivation equipment like heat lamps and humidifiers. As well, better equipment gins the player the chance to get rarer types of mushrooms.

The game is created by Beeworks, who had initially created the mushroom character in the 2006 Nintendo DS game Touch Detective, where a young female private eye keeps the mushroom as a pet while solving mysteries.

Then when Beeworks decided to make Touch Detective into an iPhone game, it promoted the game with a free app featuring the mushroom 'pet'.

Three weeks later - Nameko Saibai Kit was created with the 'pet' now becoming the master of the iPhone apps.

Of course... this was written by myself in 2013 and kept in this blog's draft folder as a scrap of an idea ... and I still don't have an iPhone with any game apps, so I can't tell you if this is a fun game or not.

Somewhere being a fun guy,
Andrew Joseph


  1. I'll have to check for an android version. The current household obsession is Neko Atsume - not surprisingly from the name, a cat collecting game.

    1. Oh yeah, Fred or Freddie (I call him Frederick when he starts clawing) does love to sleep in his aerie nest of a scratching post.

  2. A cat collecting game? Ya want mine? Fred, formerly Dante, is clawing the heck outta my couch. I bought him a nice scratch post with a nest on top... and despite placing it where he likes to claw, he continues to ignore it... I've never had a clawing (Claude) cat before. Suggestions?