Pinch yourselves: L.O.B.S.T.E.R Mode arrives in Nippon Marathon – out now on Early Access
hink you’ve wrapped your head around the craziness of Nippon Marathon? Think again: PQube and Onion Soup Interactive have released the first major update to the Steam Early Access version of the multiplayer racing game, which adds authentic Japanese commentary, introduces full Japanese, Korean and Chinese text localization, and unleashes L.O.B.S.T.E.R Mode onto unsuspecting contestants.
“Wait a sec, what the flipper is L.O.B.S.T.E.R Mode?” asks in-game Nippon News Broadcast correspondent Wedy Jones. For the answer we turned to L.O.B.S.T.E.R gameshow host himself Surfin’ Jack Cactus, who mostly flapped his arms and blew a slide whistle at us.
Thankfully the developers at Onion Soup Interactive quickly stepped in to fill the awkward void, pointing out that L.O.B.S.T.E.R Mode is the first of three planned Party Games for Nippon Marathon, and that it’s a pass-the-pad test of skill and endurance for 2-8 players.
After every player picks and names their own contestant, they must run Surfin’ Jack Cactus’ gauntlet: a precariously narrow, randomly generated assault course filled with swinging hammers, pneumatic boxing gloves, basketball cannons and irate American footballers, as well as paper targets that grant bonus time when hit. There may be some beached fish flopping around, too…
The player who records the longest distance before the timer expires wins the round, while all others shellfishly grab a letter. Between each round Surfin’ Jack Cactus spins his bonus wheel to see whether more time’s added to the clock or the course is re-rolled, and the sole winner is the player who manages to avoid being dubbed the LOBSTER, PRAWN or EBI (depending on the chosen length of the game).
In addition to the four key Nippon Marathon contestants, LOBSTER Mode also introduces a selection of playable spectators to ensure everybody has a unique avatar during eight-player parties.
And like the full Nippon Marathon itself, L.O.B.S.T.E.R Mode will evolve during the game’s Early Access period, with additional course elements and contestants planned for future updates. Onion Soup Interactive will be listening to suggestions made by the Nippon Marathon fans on the game’s Steam Community boards during the creation of these new course features.
Nippon Marathon is out now on Steam Early Access, and is coming to Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One in Autumn/Fall 2018.