Endorfun is a single-player puzzle computer game released in 1995 for Microsoft Windows and Macintosh. It was later released in Japan under the title Cu-On-Pa, appearing on the consoles Super Famicom and PlayStation. A Nintendo 64 version was announced (again under the title Cu-On-Pa) but never released. The game achieved notoriety for the extensive use of spoken "positive affirmations" on its soundtrack.
In this puzzle game players must move what is known as the light-bodied cube to pick life forces and progress to the next level. However it is not as easy as it sounds, as other squares on the board can light up, making it harder to move the cube around. On certain levels there also is a time limit and if the required number of life forces are not collected, it's game over.
The player controls a small cube, referred to as a light body, by using the keyboard or mouse. The light body rolls along a grid (the unified field) collecting life force tiles (colored tiles with a texture matching that of the cube) by rolling the cube over them such that the top face of the cube matches the color of the tile. Colored tiles of varying types appear randomly on the playing surface, but can be eliminated in the same manner as life force tiles.
Games are divided into multiple levels, each of which has a set time limit and a life force target. If a player collects the target amount of life force play proceeds to the next level. If the timer expires or the light body is unable to move (all adjacent grid spaces are blocked by coloured tiles) then the game is over.
There are three different modes of play in Endorfun, each with different goals:
- Longevity: play for the longest possible time
- Abundance: pass through a set number of levels before time runs out
- Quickening: as Abundance, but levels become progressively faster and more difficult
Endorfun's soundtrack is composed of a large number of short, looped song segments. Each segment is approximately 5 seconds long, with different segments strung together to provide longer, varied soundtracks for each level.
Each level's soundtrack contains messages oriented towards peace, well-being, love, and happiness.
Endorfun features phrases described by the press at the time of its release as "subliminal messages", which are audibly spoken through speakers or headphones to the player during gameplay. These messages, dubbed "positive affirmations" by the game's publisher, take the form of phrases intended to convey positive feelings and moods such as body positivity and optimism, such as "I am joyful", "I am powerful" and "I am at peace". They became immediately controversial due to their nature and were criticized by the press and a professor at the University of Michigan, who raised concerns that these messages, though ostensibly positive, could have certain unintended consequences.
Time Warner stated that all of the messages included in the game were only intended "to uplift the heart and mind of its users" and that an exhaustive list of all such phrases was printed on the game's retail box, so that consumers buying knew exactly what they would be exposed to. The "subliminal" phrases were also optional and can be disabled by the player through the game's sound menu, though doing so disables music (but not other sounds) as well. Instructions for doing so were included in the game's main help file.