Chambara (video game)
|Publisher(s)||USC Games Publishing|
|Release||July 26, 2016 (PS4)|
December 12, 2017 (PC, MacOS)
It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the art style and gameplay, but criticized its lack of features. The game was nominated for an IGF Award, and won a BAFTA Ones to Watch Award in 2015. It was also an official selection at Indiecade.
The game is entirely local multiplayer and each player controls their own anthropomorphic bird samurai character. The world is purely made of black and white parts, allowing characters to hide in plain sight due to their solid black and white colors. Players can also throw a single throwing star (which colors the enemy and makes them visible), and also air dash. One hit by the player's kendo stick results in the enemy character's death, similar to Bushido Blade. By pressing L2, the character's eyes can be squinted or closed to prevent screen-watching.
The game was developed by students at USC Interactive Media & Games Division. It was created to be played in a college dorm, leading to its couch-based multiplayer focus. The game's art style was inspired by Samurai Jack, Akira Kurosawa films, as well as 20th century Japanese art and Mono-Ha and Metabolism architecture.
The game's characters were changed from humans to birds and blood to feathers because of fears that it would be too violent to be shown in festivals with young children. Having the player easily navigate the world and see the UI was a challenge due to the black and white nature of the art style.
Awards and Reception
Chambara received the 2015 BAFTA Ones to Watch Award, which celebrates new talent and innovation in the video games industry,  and was chosen by IndieCade as a festival select in fall 2015.  In 2016, it received the IGF nomination for Best Student Game at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. 
Chris Carter of Destructoid rated the game 75/100, saying that "it does one thing, and it does it pretty well". He said that "there's enough here to keep most people interested, so long as they have a steady stream of friends (or a roommate/significant other) to play with".
Chad Sapieha of the Financial Post rated the game 70/100, saying that while the idea of the game was "fantastic", the idea was "underdeveloped" and would only deliver a "few hours" of fun before "growing stale".
- "'Chambara,' the split-screen samurai game born in a dorm". Engadget. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- "Chambara". Metacritic. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- Baker, Chris. "Road to the Student IGF: Chambara by Team OK Games". Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- "Review: Chambara". Destructoid. Retrieved 2017-08-07.
- "BAFTA Ones to Watch Award Winner in 2015: Chambara". 2015-03-12. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- "Chambara". Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- "Chambara: Student Entrant 2016". Retrieved 2017-08-28.
- "Chambara review: Stealthy arena fighter delivers innovative action, but too few ways to play". Financial Post. 2016-08-15. Retrieved 2017-08-07.