A Samurai Game With A Sharp Learning Curve

A dangerous bird-man stands before you. Music beats rhythmically and and chimes down, each second signaling your impending demise. You only have one shot at this. You scramble to line up your attack and slice, cutting him in half. This is Sinewave Samurai and it’s this week’s Indie Pick.


Sinewave Samurai is a game jam title made by Kai Clavier. It is a wonderful marriage of eye catching aesthetics and simple design. Crafted for the Global Game Jam, Sinewave Samurai almost feels like an extended WarioWare minigame. As foes appear, you line up a colorful sinusoid to cover dots on the screen. Once covered, you can attack and slice your enemy to little bits.

The thing I like about Sinewave Samurai is that it reminds me of one of my favorite things that games do: abstraction. Rather than find a way to simulate a sword swing, the game opts for a fun and quirky way to capture the intense feeling of a sword duel. As you progress, the time you have to line up your strike gets shorter and shorter.

You’ll only last a couple dozen rounds at best in Sinewave Samurai and each play session last no more than ten minutes. It’s a cute distraction. Bright and wonderful bit gone in a flash. Super cool and super cute, Sinewave Samurai is one of my favorite game jam titles in a long time.

Each week, I show off a new, affordable indie game using the tag “Heather’s Indie Pick.”


If you’ve found a cool game or made something you’re proud of, reach out to me at heather.alexandra@kotaku.com or on Twitter @transgamerthink.

Former Senior Writer and Critic at Kotaku.



Oh Jesus. I thought I couldn’t hate sinewaves any more than I already did (I’ll never forgive those medusa heads).

This is a fantastic little game. Delightfully simplistic and, as sinewaves often are, frustratingly complex! As the old Atari saying goes: “Easy to learn, difficult to master”.