Back in early June, the Japanese LDP political party released a small, free iPhone game called Abe-Pyon (あべぴょん). In this game you play as Shinzo Abe, the current Prime Minister of Japan, and your job is to jump from platform to platform and climb as high as you can. It’s as fun as it is simple.
You’ve heard of “endless runners”? Well Abe-Pyon is an “endless jumper” that plays almost exactly like Doodle Jump. As Abe is constantly auto-jumping, all you have to do is tilt your iOS/Android device to the left or right to control his path in mid-air.
Along the way you encounter breakable platforms that can only be jumped on once before they disappear and various types of springs that boost you up far higher than a normal jump. And as you climb the increasingly more difficult path of platforms, you collect several famous Japanese landmarks as you surpass their heights.
Interestingly, while this is really just a piece of political propaganda, the only thing remotely political about it is the biography of Abe that you unlock as you climb higher and higher. Moreover, there are no pop-up ads or micro transactions (though there is a small banner for a news app that appears while in the game’s menus but not while playing the game itself).
Since its release last month, it’s even proven popular enough to show up on Japanese political TV talk shows like Sokomade Itte Inkai (そこまで言って委員会).
Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.