The New Stuff

Japanese Kendama game gets a digital upgrade and a Kickstarter campaign


Like all good games, Kendama is easy-ish to learn and frustrating as all ever-loving £%&*@£^% to master. What’s a poor entrepreneur to do when a game hasn’t changed for 400 years? Rename it Dendama, add a boat-load of electronics, invent a slew of multiplayer games and launch a Kickstarter campaign, of course.

Watching someone who knows what to do with a Kendama is mesmerizing; it’s much like a yo-yo, except with a number of additional dimensions added. For the digital Dendama edition, the company adds a huge amount of additional features to the device. Dendama connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth, and uses a giant stack of sensors to understand exactly what you’re doing. This is fed back to the phone, and it scores your efforts.

The company has created a number of new ways of playing, including a battle mode, quest mode, a training mode to perfect tricks and a co-op mode. It sounds a little bit as if the team just brainstormed a load of new games that could be done by digitally enhancing an old-fashioned toy, but the important thing is that this is hella fun.

I tried Dendama at TechCrunch Tokyo at the tail-end of last year, and I’ve got to say: This is about as much fun as you can have without wearing Speedos. Although, come to think of it, there’s literally nothing stopping you from playing Dendama in a Speedo. I expect one of you to rise to the challenge and post a video in the comments below. (Actually, maybe not.) In any case — as a rank beginner, I enjoyed being shown the ropes of how to wave the stick, rope and balls in the air to perform tricks. The digital integration is much more than a gimmick; the team has done a fantastic job adding a layer of interactivity to an established juggling toy.

Famous last words perhaps… but this Kickstarter campaign looks like it might be lower risk than most. The company already completed a small $10,000 crowdfunding campaign on the Japanese Makuake site, and the main purpose of the Kickstarter campaign appears to be to take on the not insignificant number of Kendama players internationally.

Don’t miss the company’s Kickstarter campaign to see how “You can take the safe route of doing rapid easy tricks or live on the edge and go for that one trick that will make it rain down like a storm on your opponent.” Legendary.

Recently Published

»

Facebook launches Stories in the main Facebook app

...

»

Tinder Online is a new web version of the dating app

Tinder is today introducing a new way for users to access the ...

»

Wrench raises $4 million to bring auto repairs to your door

A Seattle startup called Wrench has raised $4 million in ...

»

Canon acquires London-based printing tech startup Kite

Canon Europe seems to be developing a penchant for buying up ...

»

Didi Chuxing is reportedly considering a $6 billion investment backed by SoftBank Group

Didi Chuxing, the largest ride sharing app in China, is ...

article image
»

Crunch Report | Creator of Android Teases Bezel-less Smartphone

Hi! You are about to activate our Facebook Messenger news bot. Once ...

article image
»

Crunch Report | Creator of Android Teases Bezel-less Smartphone

...

»

Airobotics scores authorization to fly autonomous drones in Israel

A startup based in Petah Tikva, Isreal, Airobotics,has scored the ...

»

Facebook hires Apple veteran to lead virtual reality hardware efforts at Oculus

...