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Nintendo's Kensa X Resurfaces With Google Support and New Mini Games

We'll finally get to experience the fun of predicting search hit counts.


We last heard about Nintendo and Shift's unique Wii title "Kensa X" in February of last year via an update in Famitsu. You can read a summary I wrote for that over at IGN Wii.

A little over a year has passed, and the game has resurfaced, once again in Famitsu. Based off the information in the magazine, Nintendo and Shift seem to have made some changes in the year time. Most importantly, these are likely final changes, as the game now has a solid release date.

As previously detailed, Kensa X is a mini-game collection whose games are played by predicting the number of search results that appear for certain search terms. For instance, which of "Cute Teacher" or "Strict Teacher" returns a greater hit count? Your ability to guess which is the more popular term is key to success.

Older screens of Kensa X.

The game includes 14 mini games. Of these, eight are playable by four players simultaneously.

Here are five examples, which hopefully help to show how the game works.

Line Up: Search List
Single player. A simple game where you predict the number of hits for various words and line the words up in order of hits. Make a mistake, and your life depletes.
Climb! Search Stairs
Single player. Perform "and" searches on a given word and a word that you select from your set of word cards. The more hits you get with your combinations, the greater your stairs grow. Your stairs gradually collapse with time, so you need to act quick.
Bomb Survival
1 to 4 players. In multiplayer, players take turns selecting words. The person who selects the word with the fewest hits gets bombed.
And Search! Panel 9
1 to 4 players. Combine words that appear on panels with words on your cards while stealing panels from your friends. The winner is determined by the number of panels you have and the total hit count.
Which Has More
1 to 4 players. A simple two answer multiple choice question that asks you to select which of two phrases is more frequently searched.
This old shot of the stair game looks similar to what's shown in the new Famitsu. That's your helper robot climbing the stairs.

Outside of the quiz mini games, there is a learning component to Kensa X. A cute little robot named "Kensaku Robot" teaches you the basics of how searches work and some of the terminology like "hit count." Even experienced web surfers will be able to learn what types of words and phrases are trendy.

Nintendo appears to have some major technological backing for Kensa X. The new Famitsu article states that search data for the game has been provided by Google.

You'll find search data for 10,000 words built into the disc. The game can also connect online to download additional words as well as problems.

We're still probably going to have to play Kensa X in order to understand it. Which brings us to that release date. Now over one and a half years after its October 2008 announcement, we'll get to play Kensa X on April 29. The game is priced at ¥4,800.

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