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Graphics-free, hand-slapping indie game wins 2012 Extra Credits Innovation Award

Danish indie developer Die Gute Fabrik‘s graphics-free title, Johann Sebastian Joust, has won the second-annual Innovation Award from gaming-centric web series Extra Credits. The developer will receive the award at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) video game convention in Seattle at the end of the month.

“It’s worth celebrating games that take a risk,” said Extra Credits co-founder James Portnow in a press release. “These are the games that will make gaming tomorrow even more than it is today.”

If you’ve ever seen a bunch of grown people standing in a circle and taking turns trying to slap each other’s hands while everyone else stands perfectly still, you have just witnessed the Ninja game. Johann Sebastian Joust builds on that basic formula by introducing music and motion controllers like those from Sony’s PlayStation Move peripheral.

The aim of the game is to disturb your opponents’ controllers while protecting your own. The tempo of the game’s music determines how much a controller can move before its owner loses; the faster the beat, the more mobile players can be. Joust runs on Mac OSX, which means that you can play it anywhere you can take a laptop. One such example is in the middle of a crowded street, like the below video demonstrates.

PAX attendees will be able to try Johann Sebastian Joust for themselves at the show, where it will appear as part of this year’s PAX 10 indie game showcase. The developer is currently “working towards a commercial release on multiple platforms,” according to its website.


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