Who needs buttons when you have sound? That's the approach that Capcom is taking with regards to its upcoming adventure game for the 3DS.
As detailed in the latest issue of Famitsu and translated by AndriaSang, Nazo Waku Yakata (Nazo Waku Mansion) is a game that has been loosely termed as a "sound adventure" because of its unique control scheme that omits the use of buttons. As players explore the mansion and its plentiful rooms which are occupied by strange residents, gamers will be able to speak into the 3DS's mic and see the in-game characters react in different ways.
The top screen will show what's happening in the game and the bottom touchscreen will house icons which can be used to investigate the rooms. Rooms can also be inspected over by using the 3DS's gyroscopic controls as players tilt and rotate the system to alter their viewpoint. The following are a few examples of locations players might come across and the tasks they'll be required to handle:
- Massage Room: where you touch a girl who's wearing a bathing suit.
- Fire Place Room: where you light a fireplace.
- Insect Room: a hornet (or possibly the sound from a hornet) will suddenly enter your ear.
- Fireworks Room: where you attempt to hold the system as steady as possible to keep the fireworks from lighting up.
With the majority of 3DS games focusing on providing players with a stimulating 3D visual experience, Nazo Waku Yakata will rely on audio technology, more specifically, Otophonics technology to provide 360 degree sound. A special Otophonics technician assisted the development team with the game's recording process.
Director Minoru Nakai spoke about how in-game occurrences will utilise this 3D use of sound, such as insects flying into the ear, being wrapped up in tape, and the sound of a maid blowing into the player's ear. Nakai suggests playing the game in a quiet room wearing headphones, even cheap ones will be able to carry the sound effects. Incidentally, the game's characters have been designed by Tadahiro Uesugi, who served as concept artist for the 2009 animation film Coraline.
Not necessarily action-packed, the game is designed to allow players to experience horror, suspense, and even a dose of comedy. Although the residents of the mansion might appear a bit odd, they're not bad people. Many rooms will provide short and sharp experiences, lasting from 3-5 minutes with the longer rooms stretching between 7-8 minutes. Once a room has been cleared, players will move on to the next.
Development is currently around the 60% mark and a Japanese release is scheduled for this summer.