Gotta gather it all!

It’s an all-too-common scene, you sitting at a ramen restaurant and have just devoured a bowl. However, it was so delicious that you ate it too quickly and now have time as well as a bowl of oily broth on your hands. For some people, this is when inspiration strikes, and that bowl of soup becomes the ultimate in puzzle games as you attempt to unite all the globs of oil into one giant glob.

And now this joy can be felt 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with Ramen Oil Pecking Simulator.

▼ This is an early preview video from a while back, and improvements have since been made such as adding a receipt next to the bowl.

Developed by indie game-making group Penguin Gamers, Ramen Oil Pecking Simulator puts the player in the diner seat with an eaten bowl of ramen and dream of unification. With crisp graphics and solid physics you must use your chopsticks to manipulate surface tension into doing your bidding and bring harmony to your broth.

By now, you might be thinking: “This is ridiculous! Everyone knows there are already ramen oil gathering games on the market, idiot.”

Well, that last part was uncalled for but you are correct. Ramen Heaven (Ramen Tengoku) for the PSP was a trailblazer in ramen oil gaming and Always Ramen (Mugen Ramen) brought the concept to smartphones.

Ramen Heaven

However, Ramen Oil Pecking Simulator takes the art to the next level with a truly zen-like experience. Unlike its predecessors, this simulator captures every minute detail of the ramen-oil-pecking experience. Lifelike restaurant sounds stream through the background and you can even see the shadows or customers and staff pass by.

Also, unlike the other games, there appears to be no point system or objective to Ramen Oil Pecking Simulator. When taken into consideration alongside the Japanese-language version of the game’s name, Ramen Abura Atsume (Ramen Oil Gathering), the titles’ purposes are contradictory, suggesting you’re welcome to either bring together or smash apart your oil globules as you please – just like in real life.

Online comments about the game’s preview have been a little mixed, but do indicate that Ramen Oil Pecking Simulator is tapping into nostalgia for many people.

“This reminds me of my childhood.”
“When I got bored making circles, I’d try to make a donut pattern with the oil.”
“When I’m done eating before the others I try to connect the oil by the time they finish.”
“I’ve been embarrassed to do this in public since I became an adult, so this game is great.”
“I’d like a smartphone version.”
“The ambient sounds they’re using are really good.”
“The oil bubbles should have more of an outline to them.”
“I feel like this would be better as a smartphone game. I’m not sure I want to sit down at a computer to play it.”
“Did they properly take entropy into account?”
“The physics don’t look quite right to me.”

While Ramen Oil Pecking Simulator is easily leaps and bounds above other oil-gathering video games, perhaps there is something to the criticisms that the oil physics aren’t quite right. To find out, let’s take a look at some real ramen oil collecting.

It seems like they got the difficulty in making the separate bubbles unite pretty accurately, but I agree with the one comment that they should look more transparent with a more solidly defined outline. The graphical improvement would also help with gameplay to understand when a merge truly occurred.

Still, there’s a lot more to praise about Ramen Oil Pecking Simulator that there is to criticize, and improvements might even be ongoing between now and its official release date of 22 June on Steam for Windows PCs. It also seems like it would pair well with Yakiniku Simulator.

Source: Steam/Ramen Oil Pecking Simulator, Automaton, My Game News Flash
Top image: YouTube/Penguin Gamers
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