Toilet Paper Man
Once upon a time in Czech Republic, the heat was beating down in an exceptionally warm European summer. We’d frequently take shelter where possible to cool down and rehydrate. One of us would take these pit stops as a chance to devour yet another pint of Sprite, the sugar-infused carbonated soft drink. How he managed to sleep at all those nights is beyond me. This continued through the holiday to the point where someone quipped, “I don’t even like Sprite”.
There’s a sense of humour that develops between closely knit groups of friends that allows abstract concepts and nonsensical comments to be both understood and adored. The table laughed. One of us ordered another pint of Sprite. Even now, six years later, the immortal line will be confidently spoken at a restaurant table or social gathering, with or without the understanding of the audience. When processing what Toilet Paper Man reminded me of most this came to mind. It being any good or having relevance is secondary to it simply being.
“No reason to exist”Toilet Paper Man, spelt “Toliet Paper Man” in-game, and winner of ‘The Best Top Ten Game Award’ in the 2012 ‘Hong Kong Game Development Award’, is split into two separate tasks that evolve around toilet paper. During Time Mode, the goal is to enter the top ten fastest in the world at unrolling. Furiously swiping the finger down the screen pulls the sheets as the timer counts down and the bog roll’s face morphs from peaceful to quiet reddening discomfort. At the time of writing the world record was just over nine seconds; my own score not far behind.
The second task – Score Mode – is to perfectly pull each sheet away from the roll as it unravels. This is done by swiping left to right as indicated on the screen to tear at the right moment. Tear left when it signals right and you’ll lose one of three chances as a wet fart sings. As the Sheets of Pampering are carefully torn from the Roll of Bum-Savoury the speed increases, ramping up the difficulty. Again, it’s about being nimble enough to enter the ranks of the top ten worldwide toilet paper fanatics. Both of these competitive races feel plucked from some long lost Wario Ware blueprint.
“I salute it”The bathroom is well presented with a main musical theme that plays throughout. It’s a looped tune that’ll bore down into the cerebral core and sit there, playing itself like a wind-up box as you lay in bed, cackling its warped Japanese ice cream truck music over and over as you begin to count sheets of tissue instead of sheep. Toilet Paper Man is sat there in the cortex, playing his blasted xylophone tune over and over, ringing that chirpy bell to his heart’s content.
Toilet Paper Man makes his appearance within the menus; but then he could be the roll you’re pulling apart, in which case you’re tasked with skinning the main character alive for fun. Poor chap. There’s little more to say about Toilet Paper Man. It comes without recommendation, and yet there’s persistence from within to keep this installed. Toilet paper has never been so charming, though it remains anything but a source of necessary entertainment. It has absolutely no reason to exist and for that I salute it.