Arielle Cifuentes

It’s probably more fun than tapping the spacebar.

June 28, 2017

A watermelon may seem like an odd protagonist for a video game. But over the weekend, the team behind a strange little game called The Revolutionary Watermelon introduced an even more bizarre twist: Not only do players take on the role of a watermelon, but the controller is also an actual, grown-on-a-farm watermelon.

A little backstory: This watermelon-controlled game – full title: The Story of the Revolutionary Watermelon That Wanted to Live Free as a Bird and Learned How to Escape – was created earlier this year at a melon-themed “game jam” – essentially an event where designers get together and create new games over a limited time frame. This “Melon Game Jam” was built around a running joke (watermelon-themed games aren’t some sort of secret genre you don’t know about) but the games it spawned are actually playable – like The Revolutionary Watermelon, designed by a duo called SpaceBackyard.

This past week, SpaceBackyard was demoing the game at a festival called GameHappens in Italy when they decided to take the watermelon madness to another level. In the game, players control the watermelon with one simple button – the spacebar – which causes the watermelon to jump.

SpaceBackyard wondered, what if instead of pressing a button, players got to slap an actual watermelon? You can see the results here:

“Just some days ago we tried to put up something from scratch with the components found at home,” SpaceBackyard explained to gaming site Kotaku. “Technically speaking, it’s a really simple Arduino custom circuit and code based on a vibration sensor attached to a 100% real watermelon.” In less technical terms, a sensor on the fruit detects when people slap it. The only other step: Choosing the perfect melon. “That road test was very useful to understand how people interact with a watermelon and how long it lasts,” the duo said.

If all this talk of living the life of a sentient watermelon intrigues you, the good news is that you can actually download and play The Revolutionary Watermelon for free online. The even better news is that Kotaku reports that “once Space Backyard releases their diagram and code, you can even play it using your very own watermelon.” Though needless to say, doing so will probably take a lot more technical knowhow.

At the very least, you probably know how to use Youtube. There, you can watch other people try out the game. And in the end, videos like this one that label it the “Hardest Game Ever” might actually leave you thankful you’re not as technically savvy as your average game developer.