Sushi Ben VR is an upcoming slice of life anime sim game that uses 3D manga panels to enhance the story in a unique way.
Yo #PitchYaGame ever wanted to live in an anime?!
Well now you can, But your favorite Sushi Bar is about to run out of business and it’s up to you to save it
— Dmaw (@DmawXXX) June 1, 2021
It’s slated for release in 2022, according to a Twitter thread from one of the game’s developers, @DmawXXX. Despite the name, it’s actually not about making sushi. It is, however, about a sushi bar. Here’s a summary of what to expect, taken from the Twitter thread.
You play as a customer to a sushi bar that’s going out of business, and your goal is to convince people to come eat with you at the sushi bar in hopes that they will be repeat customers!
But it won’t be easy convincing them to eat with you. Players will have to do various tasks or go through various narrative encounters before an NPC will go eat with them. depending on who you’ve “collected” as customers will cause different narrative encounters to take place in the sushi bar between NPCs.
The game’s unique pull is the way it uses 3D manga panels, popping in and out of the environment popping to explain mechanics or further the story, which you can see in the embedded video above. According to Sushi Ben VR’s Itch.io page, the 3D manga panels “add back traditional film language to VR experiences” and “also solves the issue of players not standing in optimal viewing angles for various narrative encounters.”
The game will supposedly have an open-ended narrative with branching paths, as well characters and NPCs with unique routines for each day, who you can convince to come eat at the bar with you. You can read more about the game and see some additional footage in this Twitter thread.
According to @DmawXXX. the team is “just about finished” with a tech demo that shows off the 3D manga panel mechanic. The team is planning to send out the demo to people for playtesting in the near future.
Sushi Ben VR is scheduled to release in 2022.