Game (capitalized as GAME) is the debut studio album by Japanese girl group Perfume. It was released on April 16, 2008 by Tokuma Japan Communications. Game marks Perfume's first studio album to be fully produced by Japanese producer and Capsule member Yasutaka Nakata, while Perfume contributes to the album as the lead and background vocalists.
Game was recorded and mixed by Nakata in Shibuya, Tokyo. Four different formats were released to promote the album; a standalone CD, a limited CD and DVD bundle, and a digital release. It was re-released in February 2016 as a 12-inch LP, featured in both Perfume's 2016 box set Perfume Complete LP Box and a limited singular release. Two different artworks were issued for the album's cover sleeve; one has Perfume inside a small room with synthetic grass, while the second has Perfume holding LED lamps in a dark room.
Upon the album's release, it was met with mixed to favorable reviews from music critics. Several critics highlighted the commercial appeal, composition, and noted it as a resurgence of the techno-pop genre. However, some critics were ambivalent towards the album's lack of personality and polished production. Game has been listed on several publication lists as their best albums of 2008 and the J-pop genre. Commercially, Game was a success. It became Perfume's debut studio album to reach the top spot on Japan's Oricon Albums Chart and was certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for shipments of 500,000 units.
Three singles were released from Game, including one promotional, one a-side single, and extended play. Its lead single and EP Fan Service (Sweet) reached number 31 on Japan's Oricon Singles Chart, while its spawning promotional single "Chocolate Disco" reached number 24 on Japan's Hot 100 chart. The second single "Polyrhythm" reached number seven on the Oricon Singles Chart, and was one of the theme songs for the Pixar film Cars 2. The album's third and final single, the a-side release "Baby Cruising Love/Macaroni" reached number three on the Oricon Singles Chart. Perfume promoted the album on their 2009 Game Tour.
After signing to Tokuma Japan Communications in September 2005, Perfume and Tokuma enlisted long-term collaborator, Japanese producer and Capsule member Yasutaka Nakata, to produce their work; this marks Perfume's first collaboration with Nakata. The collaboration spawned a series of singles including "Linear Motor Girl", "Computer City", and "Electro World". These singles were included on Perfume's compilation album Perfume: Complete Best in 2006. In December 2006, Perfume and Nakata released the Game album track "Twinkle Snow Powder Snow" as a digital download single, the group's first. The following month, Game album track "Chocolate Disco" was released in January 2007 and confirmed to be included on the then-upcoming album's lead A-side single. Then, in late January and early February 2008, Perfume confirmed the release of a new studio album in April that same year.
Perfume and Tokuma hired Nakata to produce the album; this marks Perfume's debut studio album to be fully produced by Nakata. Perfume began recording the remaining tracks in Shibuya, Tokyo at Contemode Studios between 2007–2008 with Nakata. Nakata mastered and recorded the album with Perfume, and finished overall at the end of March 2008. The material from Game took nearly two-and-a-half years to produce and record, making it Perfume's longest spanning project to date. The material marks Perfume's first out of five studio albums to be fully composed, written, and arranged by Nakata. Perfume member A-Chan viewed Game as a concept album, stating "We see each album as being like a concept album...".Perfume member Nocchi expressed her delight of the finishing, stating "This is our first original album. It turned out so good that in every interview I have to say we are confident. It is cool! So I really want people to listen to it."
III. Release and packaging
Game was released in three different formats on April 16, 2008 by Tokuma Japan Communications. The standalone CD format features the fourteen tracks in a jewel case, with first press editions including an obi and a bonus poster. The CD and DVD format feature the fourteen tracks and a bonus DVD with the music videos to "Macaroni" and "Secret Secret". The DVD also included two live performances in Japan and three individual music videos to "Macaroni" recorded by the Perfume members separately. It was published in a jewel case with some editions with a cardboard sleeve; First press editions included an obi. The final format was a digital release that was released in Japan only that same release date. Two cover sleeves for Game were photographed by Japanese photographer and designer Mari Amita. The standalone CD artwork has Perfume inside a four-by-four room, floored with synthetic grass and powered by strong ceiling lighting. The album's title is superimposed on the ceiling. The standalone CD booklet features shots of Perfume inside that room, with no other picture otherwise. The CD and DVD artwork feature Perfume in a dark room, holding several LED lamps with the album's title superimposed them. The CD and DVD booklet features different shots of Perfume in the four-by-four room and shots of Perfume in the dark room. The digital release uses the standalone CD artwork. The booklet and photo shoot was designed by Mayuko Yuki. In February 2012, the group had signed a record contract with Universal Music Japan after leaving Tokuma Japan Communications to record their third album JPN. They signed a global record contract with Universal Music Group to release JPN globally but received rights by Tokuma Communications to release their discography globally, and Game was subsequently released worldwide in March 2012 digitally. In November 2015, Perfume and Universal (with publishing rights from Tokuma and Crown Tokuma) announced the re-release of all their studio albums, including Game, on 12-inch vinyl LPs in a collective vinyl box set. The vime waLP s released in two editions; part of the box set entitled Perfume Complete LP Box, and a limited edition singular release on February 17, 2016. The artwork for the viLPses the CD and DVD cover, with a slip-in case of the standalone CD artwork.
IVI. Audio CD
|4||Baby Cruising Love||4:41|
|5||チョコレイト・ディスコ (Chocolate Disco)||3:46|
|7||セラミックガール (Ceramic Girl)||4:34|
|8||Take Me Take Me||5:28|
|11||Twinkle Snow Powdery Snow||3:49|
1. "Polyrhythm (Live at Liquidroom Nov.8 '07)"
2. "Seventh Heaven (Live at Liquidroom Nov.8 '07)"
3. "Macaroni: Original Version"
4. "Ceramic Girl: Drama Another Version"
5. "Macaroni: A-chan Version"
6. "Macaroni: Kashiyuka Version"
7. "Macaroni: Nocchi Version"