Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to lathing.

…such read the subject line of the email advising us of the existence of Black Belt Sorvi Hero, and I see no reason at all not to use it again here. BBSH was the winner of the Assembly Summer 2011 computer festival in Finland, and it is indeed a game about woodcarving. It’s not your average game about wood carving, however. If you were fearing this was the lathe-based equivalent of Street Cleaning Simulator, you may be heartened by news that it features a lightsaber and an in-game toolshop run by a down and out version of the Linux Penguin. Also, the option to foolishly use a human hand. That doesn’t work out so well.

On top of that, it is indeed a fairly elaborate, physics-bestowed wood carving simulator, and with a techno soundtrack too. The game’s out now, but if you fear your wood-fu is not up to muster, you should definitely watch the video below. IF YOU KNOW WHAT’S GOOD FOR YOU.

You can play the game yourself here. We really wanna see those carvings.

Thanks, Morris.


  1. faelnor says:

    For a moment I thought this would pass under RPS’ radar. Ah well.

    A few nice demos at this year’s assembly. Check out this 64K one.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      A link to a 50mb video of a demo that takes up 64k? Are you trying to be ironic or something? How about linking to the demo?

    • faelnor says:

      How about having a PC that can run it correctly? It didn’t work properly on both my machines including my current gaming rig.

      If you know anything about demos you know already where to find it.
      Really, I shouldn’t have to justify myself.

    • BobsLawnService says:

      I think my tone came across as a little harsher than intended. I was trying to make a funny. Didn’t work. Sorry

  2. flashman says:

    Get it before Lucasarts issues a takedown notice!

  3. Corrupt_Tiki says:

    Could do without the sfx methinks :>

  4. Freud says:

    I don’t think the name is catchy enough.

    Xtreme Lathing 2011

  5. Armante says:

    but – what – wait. you what now?

    edit: ok.. how do you beat the first level? This is strangely addicting

  6. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    Assembly is a demo party, these scenesters are crazy, also listen to extremely weird music.

  7. The Colonel says:

    Use of the human hand seems to work out fine….. ??

    • Chaz says:

      I did a lathe course many years ago, and actually you do use your hands when it comes to rubbing it down and giving it a bit of shine. Grabbing a hand full of sawdust and shavings and pressing it into the wood fills all the little gaps giving it a nice finish.

    • Vague-rant says:

      Ah, good to know. I just assumed he was holding some sand paper that we couldn’t really see from this angle.

  8. The Army of None says:

    That mouseover pun. Ow.

    • Cable says:

      i think you mean bravo, oh alec meer you king of puns

    • Elmar Bijlsma says:

      I would also like to draw attention to the tags: ‘woodcarving’ and ‘yes, woodcarving’.
      The delightfully subtle baseball bat to the face that is repetition for emphasis.

    • Alec Meer says:

      You guys are a fun time.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Don’t listen to them Alec, that alt-text is RPS all-time top 5 material.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      And all my hate DOES lead to lathing!


    • Saldek says:

      Hence “Fear and lathing in Las Vegas” …

    • gwathdring says:

      The alt text wasn’t really a pun. Amusing certainly, but not a pun. The post above mine, now, that’s a pun. Damn good one too.

  9. MrFoo says:

    It coudl almost be interesting, if it wasn’t buggy :/

    Trying to carve the 2nd or 3rd thing in the first level gives me 0 score seemingly no matter how good/bad I do, and the score seems to randomly reset sometimes

  10. seventil says:

    I’ve got wood just watching the demo.

  11. Unaco says:

    Reminds me a little of Part Time Angle Grinder Hero.

    link to rockpapershotgun.com

  12. ChainsawCharlie says:

    Being not native English speaker I did not know what Lathing was before this article&comments. Thank you RPS

  13. Teddy Leach says:

    Why does this look so awesome?

  14. BobbleHat says:

    I lasted about 4 minutes before giving in and fashioning a big wooden phallus. DId anyone else fare any better?

  15. Nihil says:

    I think they missed a trick not calling it ‘World of Woodcraft’.

  16. shagen454 says:

    Sometimes I think RPS needs to have comment ratings. There’s always a lot of comments I’d upvote, or during that Vampire Bloodlines topic, downvote.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Maybe we could Metacritic RPS commenters themselves too, to really get people trying harder to be witty. They could have a pun rating. And maybe RPS should institute an achievement system too.

      All that aside, yeah, sometimes I’d like that too, but it’s not very RPS.

    • shagen454 says:

      Haha, it’s funny that you were the one to reply because your comment specifically is why I wrote that. I would have upvoted that comment, so bad!

      I think comment voting is great as long as it is not used like it is on Digg where if someone gets too many downvotes the comment magically disappears. A site where I think it works well is Videosift.

    • DeathHamsterDude says:

      Ha! Well thank you. ;)

      Upvoting would be kind of cool alright. Maybe without downvoting at all. Although I’d settle for the editing system being fixed to be honest!

      That and Quinns back!!! Shut Up And Sit Down, while being the only and best vidcast I watch about boardgames, just isn’t enough! Poor poor Quinns! And by that I mean poor poor me!

  17. Berzee says:

    See this is exactly how I always thought crafting should be in MMO’s — you actually get a chunk of material and do things to it.

    I hope they do blacksmithing someday. =P

    Excellent ^_^

    • faelnor says:

      Now here’s something. Starting from scratch, every object in the world would be unique. Crude at first, but as people become more used to it, skilled craftsmen would be paid what they deserve for prettier/more useful objects enabling new buildings, etc, etc. If you can make interesting games for each crafting technique, that is definitely an idea.
      It’s taking Minecraft’s idea and extending it to full 3D shapes and skill-crafting.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I would like this to be a thing right now.

    • Berzee says:

      Yep! And the physical balance of the object after you’ve created it — will affect the stats on it. So if you make a lopsided sword it might have poor speed or if you make a REALLY lopsided sword…it might use Axe skill ;)

      Lathing is a nice easy start, but imagine eventually heating and hammering metal (or you could even extend it to magical enchantments if you want to get crazy). Chemistry…poor slowly, lest you explode. :D

  18. Tony M says:

    Is there any crossover between the fans of techno and the fans of woodcarving?

    • Marcin says:

      That is no techno, sir! That is a fine cocktail of mellow IDM with a touch of ambient and a light, woody aftertaste.

  19. Bishop99999999 says:

    He he…”Lathe”

  20. tripwired says:

    A smoking penguin selling me lightsabers to a techno soundtrack in order to get my carve on? Did I accidentally take some LSD without realising before watching that video?!

  21. PJMendes says:

    This would be best played with a Wiimote or even a Novint Falcon!

    • gwathdring says:

      Playing flash games is the best use of a Novint Falcon. :)

      Anyone actually own one of those things? Does it work?

  22. ghiacciato says:

    I don’t get this game. I’ll be doing fine on the first piece, then stopping the machine to work on the second one. Shortly after I start, my score on the piece I’m just working on will drop down to zero, and I seem to be unable to get any points at all anymore.
    Am I missing something obvious here, or is this game just bugged and/or cruel?

  23. Saturn says:

    How the hell does this game not have a ‘free play’ mode that lets you use all the tools without time-limit to create your own designs!? That’s like the first thing anyone would want out a game like this and why i downloaded it.

    The wood carving is actually pretty nice, but i don’t want to deal with timed objectives as the only game mode.

    Will wait for an updated version with this mode (maybe RPS can contact the guy).

  24. Lantzalot says:

    This is a hard wood game. Jokingly and seriously.

  25. Japeq says:

    We have been getting lots of comments about the score system and decided to see if it could be improved. I just uploaded a new version of the game where sharp corners do not cause the score to drop to zero but instead the score changes more smoothly as the carved shape gets closer to the given shape.

    New version is available here: link to japeq.iki.fi

    • ghiacciato says:

      Yay, I thought that’s how it was supposed to work anyways! I hope I can get past the first level now.

      All that’s needed now is a free-play mode.

  26. kochanneo says:

    Man, I want a lathe…

  27. Quasar says:

    I’ve tried both the version in the post, and the one posted by Japeq, both give me an Assertion Failed error.

    Any help here? I’d love to give this a go.