👑 Pickup! Unity1Week: Re

2023年 1月 01日
Indie Tsushin 2023 January issueThis article was featured in our 2023 January issue. Check out more articles and interviews in the full issue.

Happy New Year! We're kicking off 2023 with a huge list of awesome Japanese indie games that you can check out right now in your browser!

The Unity1Week: Re game jam wrapped up today, and the results have been announced! We played and rated all of the entries and have our own list of 40 games that delighted and surprised us. It was hard putting this list together because there were over 300 entries total, and there were tons that we unfortunately could not include but which were still highly creative and very cool. If you can, we encourage you to play as many of them as you can! And if you like a game, be sure to check the developer pages to see what else they've worked on!

We broke down our list into three categories: three-minute games that are short and snappy, ten-minute games for a chunkier experience, and thirty-minute games for a good long simmer. We also made a note if a game requires Japanese reading to play. Please note that this is the absolute bare minimum to experience the game's mechanics and general play, and does not account for flavor text or story, both of which are important elements for a complete experience.

If you want to see these games in action, Daikon and I streamed all forty of these games and made this playlist of videos!

Three-minute games

🎯 READY GO by まっともぉん

READY GO by まっともぉん

Listen to the beat, line up your shot, and collect as many points as you can! A simple idea executed well, and feels so satisfying lining up a perfect shot of 5x5 orbs.

  • Controls: Mouse
  • J reading req: None

🌠 REFLECT THE STAR by 順風満帆, アビー, and なつる

REFLECT THE STAR by 順風満帆, アビー, and なつる

Catch falling stars and reflect them back into the sky to complete the constellations! A relaxing game with a charming stargazing theme.

  • Controls: Arrow keys to move, Space key to slow down time
  • J reading req: None

🦵 氷上のボールプール (Ball Pool On Ice) by わたたか

氷上のボールプール by わたたか

You are trapped in a frozen ball pit and have a mission to kick out a given color. But you can't touch that color, and must use other balls to knock them out instead! Silly and chaotic.

  • Controls: WASD to move, left-click to spin-kick
  • J reading req: Read the name of the color to knock out of the ring, which changes each round. It is color-coded so Japanese reading not required.

⌨️ Request by くまー( ˘ω˘)スヤァ

Request by くまー( ˘ω˘)スヤァ

Twister for your keyboard! Push and hold the key if it has +, release if it has -, and watch out for the time limit! How long can you go without making a mistake?

  • Controls: Keyboard
  • J reading req: None

🦐 えびせんぶれいかー (Shrimp Cracker Breaker) by Liku

えびせんぶれいかー by Liku

Mash the Space key to break up a shrimp cracker and uhh... re-shrimp it. The less explained the better. Just play it, it's about 10 seconds long and it cracked me up.

  • Controls: Space key
  • J reading req: None

💥 Extreme Reversi by シジマ

Extreme Reversi by シジマ

Slam down your reversi tile so hard that you immediately win, but take too long and your opponent will get in their move first!! Silly and simple and it made me laugh.

  • Controls: Left-click to place tiles, long-press to charge your power
  • J reading req: None to play, but it helps to be able to read the game over screen to learn why you lost.

↗️ さっきの僕は今の敵 (My Previous Self is Now My Enemy) by SAVATORAさん

さっきの僕は今の敵 by SAVATORAさん

A Flappy Bird-like where your past self acts as a saboteur on your present self. The opening caught me off guard and made me laugh.

  • Controls: Left-click to "flap"
  • J reading req: None

🍞 マダムがカートを押してパンを焼きながら走るゲーム (Madam Pushing a Cart While Baking Bread Running Game) by 低いカバン

マダムがカートを押してパンを焼きながら走るゲーム by 低いカバン

An auto-runner where you play a madam pushing a cart while also baking a loaf of bread. You need to manage your hunger meter in the top left by occasionally eating bread while also avoiding spikes and other hazards. Everything about this game is just perfection.

  • Controls: Space key to start, and to jump. (Note that you can double-jump.) S key to duck, A key to eat bread.
  • J reading req: None

♻️ Reサイクルダストシュート! (Recycle Dust Shoot!) by たびびとA

Reサイクルダストシュート! by たびびとA

Wait for the recycle bins to open their lids and then shoot cans and bottles in! After a while, gorgeous gold bins will appear in the background, so try to shoot in there to get even more points!

  • Controls: Hold down left-mouse button to charge, release to throw the can or bottle. Right-click to reset the camera. Q button to access the settings menu.
  • J reading req: プラ (right bins) is for plastic bottles (blue). スチール (center bins) is for steel cans (brown). アルミ (left bins) is for aluminum cans (green).

😽 Re:猫 (Re:Cat) by drfters

Re:猫 by drfters

Collect coins and avoid spiky balls in this auto-running cat game. Get 250 coins and... something AMAZING might happen?!

  • Controls: Click or Ctrl key to jump
  • J reading req: None

🚀 UntaRunRe by うん太

UntaRunRe by うん太

Pilot Unta-kun through all the rings and avoid asteroids! I cannot get over how much I love Unta-kun?!

  • Controls: WASD to move
  • J reading req: None

🧍 Reverse Man by D

Reverse Man by D

Switch between black and white to cross over or fall through B&W spaces and reach the goal! Simple but puzzling little game.

  • Controls: A/D or left/right arrow keys to move, Space to change colors.
  • J reading req: None

🧶 Re: WIRE by たなかゆう

Re: WIRE by たなかゆう

Stylish and soothing puzzler where you control a swinging pendulum ball and change anchors at the correct distance to gather stars. (It makes sense if you play!)

  • Controls: Mouse
  • J reading req: None

🛡️ Death Breath by えむてぃ(VanityGames)

Death Breath by えむてぃ(VanityGames)

Frantic beat-em-up where you have to carefully time your shield blocks to reflect enemy projectiles and slash them with your sword!

  • Controls:
    • Arrow keys to move
    • Z key to attack
    • X key to jump
    • C key to guard. While guarding, use arrow keys to change the angle of your shield
    • Down arrow key + Z key to unleash your Level 1 special attack
    • Up arrow key + Z key to unleash your Level 2 special attack
    • Note that you can change these default controls in the Option menu (click キーコンフィグ)
  • J reading req: None

Ten-minute games

🤝 ReRe by k_mossan

ReRe by k_mossan

Overcome one-screen obstacle courses to reunite R with E! Time your jumps carefully to have them meet in the middle! Super cute and lovely puzzle game.

  • Controls: F key to make the "R" character jump, J key to make the "e" character jump. (It makes sense once you play!)
  • J reading req: None

🍎 REMEMBER REMAKE -おぼえて つくりなおして- by 山々田

REMEMBER REMAKE -おぼえて つくりなおして- by 山々田

Remember the layout, then drag the objects back into position and remake the scene before time runs out! Simple premise with great tempo and presentation.

  • Controls: Mouse (click+drag objects)
  • J reading req: On the title screen, click ノーマル for Normal, ハード for Hard, エキスパート for Expert. After that, everything else is in both Japanese and English.

👑 Rewardキング! (RewardKing!) by のすけ

Rewardキング! by のすけ

Reward your loyal knights with gold after they defend the kingdom by killing monsters. Pay too little and their morale drops, pay too much and you'll go bankrupt! And don't take too long deciding how much to pay out or the kingdom will be overrun with monsters!

  • Controls: Keyboard (type numbers)
  • J reading req: A little high, must be able to read monster names quickly

🪞 ReEnergy by tttako

ReEnergy by tttako

Click and drag to use your energy shield to reflect back the enemy attacks! Simple and cute. My favorite part is that every time you die and respawn you get another halo, which is a nice touch.

  • Controls: WASD or arrow keys to move, left-click to guard. While guarding, move the mouse around to change your shield's angle.
  • J reading req: None

🎣 VacationReels by 新井一惠

VacationReels by 新井一惠

Chill fishing game with beautiful pixel art. Choose your bait, reel in fish, and decide whether to keep your catch and get points, or release it and maybe get something better instead. You can aim for a high score, or stay a while and fill out your fish encyclopedia. How will you spend your fishing vacation?

  • Controls: Mouse (left-click)
  • J reading req: Click 釣る to fish, 図鑑 to look at your fish encyclopedia, and 音量 to adjust the sound. When you catch a fish, click リリース to release your catch or キープ to keep it.

🎩 カタムケ怪盗 (Tilted Master Thief) by 超OK and クルステ

カタムケ怪盗 by 超OK and クルステ

Oh no, you are totally surrounded by enemies and there isn't enough time to shoot your way out! Luckily, you can literally tilt the playing field and drop them all off the edge! Interesting idea that feels like a motion-controlled physics game combined with a bullet hell, if that makes sense.

  • Controls: Mouse. Move your cursor around to auto-shoot. From 2-1 onwards, click and drag the field to tilt it.
  • J reading req: None

🥐 氷結スライディング (Ice Sliding) by 絡繰くろあ

氷結スライディング by 絡繰くろあ

The return of the "I don't wanna wake up" series!! Slide across the ice and collect croissants, but don't fall off the edge!

  • Controls: Hold Space to "charge" your shot, release to slide forward. WASD or arrow keys to rotate, mouse wheel to zoom in/out, and Tab or Backspace to open the menu.
  • J reading req: On the title screen, click ゲーム開始 to start the game, then choose which mode you want to play:
    • タイムアタック (Time Attack, clear as quickly as you can)
    • テクニカル (Technical, get to the goal in as few "shots" as possible)
    • スコアアタック (Score Attack, collect as many croissants as possible)
    • After choosing your mode, choose a コース (Course) 1-3

🚀 ReflectShooting by レイルク

ReflectShooting by レイルク

Simple shmup where you don't actually shoot, instead you reflect the enemy's shots back at them. Simple premise executed well.

  • Controls: WASD or arrow keys to move, Left Shift key to dash.
  • J reading req: None

👯 Re:13秒チャレンジ (Re: 13 Seconds Challenge) by UniUni

Re:13秒チャレンジ by UniUni

Run to the right side of the room: easy. Next stage: run to the right and avoid the shadow of your former self running to the left. Next stage: avoid your previous two shadow selves, etc. Really interesting how you essentially set the difficulty of your future runs in this way.

  • Controls: Arrow keys to move. Press Start at the beginning of each level to see a preview of where your past selves will move.
  • J reading req: None

☄️ 絶対生還!光速リターナー (Return Home Safely! Lightspeed Returner) by Pico Games

絶対生還!光速リターナー by Pico Games

You are on an important mission to bring medicine back from a distant planet! Destroy space junk to collect resources to power up your ship, place turrets, and get back to Earth in only three minutes! Can you save all of humanity?

  • Controls: Mouse controls. Left-click on + spots to place turrets, click empty areas to place temporary auto-shooting units. Click your ship to buy upgrades.
  • J reading req:
    • When placing turrets, 射撃型 (marked with arrow) places an auto-aiming turret and 範囲型 (marked with circle) places an AOE type turret.
    • When upgrading your ship, 船体補強 (left option) increases your ship's HP, 視界拡張 (center option) increases your field of view, and ブースター (right option) increases your ship's speed.
    • At the top of the screen is 人類滅亡 which is your time limit (in seconds) and 地球まで which is your distance back to Earth (in km).

🔫 REFLECTION by メカラビ


Top-down shooting game where your bullets bounce around and break walls like Arkanoids! Fun and simple game with a neat setup and lots of future potential.

  • Controls: WASD to move, mouse to aim, left-click to shoot
  • J reading req: None

🏭 ましゅまろのりさいくるやさん (Marshmallow Recycler) by ましゅまろのゆめ

ましゅまろのりさいくるやさん by ましゅまろのゆめ

Recycle marshmallows into uh, cooler marshmallows for your marshmallow encyclopedia! Separate them into four bins (good, dirty, tired, and dead) to recycle them into cooler marshmallows and get coins based on their rarity.

  • Controls: Click and drag marshmallows into the bins. From left to right, the bins are for: Good, Dirty, Tired, and Dead marshmallows.
  • J reading req: Click ずかん to open your marshmallow encyclopedia and せつび to open the shop.


私はRGB REPAINTER by ごはんたべ夫

Repaint statues using RGB sliders and earn money. Collect enough money to open more of the mysterious diary entries and rescue your kidnapped sister. Amazing atmosphere and intriguing story.

  • Controls: Mouse (click and drag the RGB sliders)
  • J reading req: None for the RGB painting part, but required for the diary entries. (私の日記)

🔁 Re:wind/peat by NobleNomad

Re:wind/peat by NobleNomad

Interesting shooting game where you can go back in time by four seconds and have your "ghost" act as a temporary 2P to do your previous actions. Cool mix of puzzle and action for a very fun arcade experience.

  • Controls: WASD or arrow keys to move, stop to auto-shoot the nearest enemy. Left-click to use a bomb, right-click to go back in time four seconds. At the title screen, right-click to start the game.
  • J reading req: None

🔢 Chain Count Up (Remake Flower Love) by 影絵の人

Chain Count Up (Remake Flower Love) by 影絵の人

Daikon played this for like two hours straight because it was so soothing. Connect numbers going up (e.g. 1-2-3-4) to clear from board. The final number in the sequence will increase in value by 1. Connect chains of four or more to push the meter towards the left and unlock Hammers, which you can use to destroy a single tile on the board. If you can only connect three numbers, the meter will move further to the right. If it reaches the far right, it's game over! How long can you go?

  • Controls: Mouse. Click and drag to connect number tiles, click the Hammer icon if it's available to destroy a tile on the board
  • J reading req: None

🚀 リトライシューター (Retry Shooter) by はやと

リトライシューター by はやと

Get to 10,000pts as quickly as you can in this twin-stick roguelite! Defeat enemies to get points, spend them on upgrades when you die, and keep going!!

  • Controls: WASD or arrow keys to move, mouse to aim (auto-shooting) and select upgrades
  • J reading req: Upgrade page (between levels):
    • Left side: 最大HP (max HP), ショット数 (number of shots).
    • Right side: ショットスピード強化 (shot speed), ショット間隔短縮 (shot recharge speed), 自機スピード強化 (movement speed).
    • Bottom: ゲーム開始 (start game)

🎱 数球クエスト! (Number Ball Quest!) by 四次元ベクトル

数球クエスト! by 四次元ベクトル

Imagine TsumTsum if it was also a turn-based RPG. Connect numbers going up (e.g. 1-2-3-4) to attack, same numbers (e.g. 2-2-2) to heal. Use 2x Attack, 2x Heal, and Defense boosts when available! How far can you go?

  • Controls: Click and drag to connect numbers together.
  • J reading req:
    • Click はじめる to start
    • At the top of the screen are your three boosts: 攻撃2倍 (2x attack, red), 回復2倍 (2x healing, green), and ダメージ軽減 (reduce damage, blue)
    • At the top right is あと(number) which tells you how many turns before the enemy will attack

🖥️ Neon Blocks with RESIZING Display by アキオ

Neon Blocks with RESIZING Display by アキオ

Simple block-breaking game but with a twist: the screen fits your screen resolution, so if you are playing in HD you'll have some blocks but in 4K, you'll have TONS!

  • Controls: Mouse to move your paddle around
  • J reading req: Click the フルスクリーン表示(β) under the game window to start the game, then click the ball to launch

🐦 Resonance Realm (共鳴領域) by ZeF

Resonance Realm (共鳴領域) by ZeF

Puzzle game where you place birds in trees and have them sing to cause flowers to bloom. Great atmosphere and beautiful presentation, looking forward to more levels!

  • Controls: Click
  • J reading req: A bit high, all of the levels explain what you should do in Japanese. However, the images are pretty clear and it might be self-explanatory if you want to do trial-and-error.

🍠 もしも シナリオ (What If Scenario) by tnk / ティーエヌケー

もしも シナリオ by tnk / ティーエヌケー

Super cute game where you drag and drop the order of scenes to change the outcome of the narrative! Very sweet art and story.

  • Controls: Mouse (click and drag icons to rearrange the story sequence)
  • J reading req: A bit high, as you need to read the story and figure out the correct sequence of events to progress. However, the images are quite expressive and your choices are limited, so if you want to play with trial-and-error, you might be able to follow along without reading.

Thirty-minute games

🐱 ヌコろがし (Kitty Rolling) by つばさ

ヌコろがし by つばさ

Help these round cats eat all the fish and reach the goal by rewinding time and placing special items to help them bend time and reality. RIDICULOUSLY CUTE and very fun!

  • Controls: Enter key to start. Hold left-click to rewind time, right-click to place special fish to boost your cat (e.g. flying fish to jump, portal fish to warp, etc.)
  • J reading req: None

🦊 キュウビのしっぽ - ボードゲーム (The Nine Tails of Kyuubi - Board Game) by マゲちゃん and ICHI

キュウビのしっぽ - ボードゲーム by マゲちゃん and ICHI

Board game where you defeat fox minions and circle the board nine times to cut off all the tails of the Kyuubi! Super cute art and presentation.

  • Controls: Click
  • J reading req:
    • At the bottom of the screen: ダイス to use one of your rolling dice (99x for Normal, 9x for Hard and Hell Gate modes). To reroll, click リダイス
    • Click any dice in the アイテム (item) panel on the right instead of using a dice roll.
    • Click 進む to move the number of spaces

🤖 Maze Seeker by WpigSoft

Maze Seeker by WpigSoft

You have a limited amount of ammunition, and you must navigate a maze to find and destroy the boss! The colors and robot design makes for a trippy and atmospheric game.

  • Controls: WASD or arrow keys to move, hold Space to fly, Z key to shoot
  • J reading req: None

🔧 REDECK by ゆーじ

REDECK by ゆーじ

Simple deckbuilder with Yuji-san's signature charming UI. Draw and place cards to take out enemy cards. Every turn, the board rotates. After each battle, Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle your cards to build an even stronger deck!

  • Controls: Enter your name and then click 決定 to start. Mouse controls after that.
  • J reading req: At the title screen, click 対人戦 to battle other people, or click one of the numbered cards at the bottom to start the Stage battles. After placing your cards, click 配置完了 to end your turn. Between matches, you will start the Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle stages.
    • Reduce: Choose up to two cards to strengthen. Click 強化する to finish.
    • Reuse: Select up to three cards that were taken out during the previous match and return them to your deck. Click デッキにもどす to finish.
    • Recycle: Create a new card based on your previous opponent's deck. In the top row, choose a type of card (the direction of their attack and their icon). In the middle row, choose an attack power. In the bottom row, choose an HP value. You can preview your new card on the right. Click 合成する to finish.

👻 なぞって生き返らせて!! (Trace To Revive!!) by ぶったに Buttani

なぞって生き返らせて!! by ぶったに Buttani

Draw lines to connect souls with their physical bodies in order to revive them, but don't let them collide or touch any obstacles or they will perish!

  • Controls: Click and drag to draw lines from the souls to their bodies.
  • J reading req: Click 始 to start. During the game, click 再 to restart and 次へ to move to the next stage.

💭 Recollect Your... by AZ.

Recollect Your... by AZ.

Remember who you were when you were alive by piecing together clues and keywords. Can you figure out how you died and what you should do about it? Very cool storytelling method.

  • Controls: Keyboard (typing keywords) and mouse (select)
  • J reading req: Very high, as it is text-heavy with no images.