Stepping into the Patapon enclosure a Sony booth attendee talked us through the gist of the game. We couldn't understand some of the Japanese, though we did enjoy it whenever she sang instructions to us. "Pon pon pata pon ... pata pata pata pon." Lovely.
Your tribe of one-eyed worshippers are required to go from one end of the level to the other (with two levels in the demo on the show floor). The only method of getting them there is to command them to act by performing different beats with the circle and square buttons, which correspond to the sounds "pata" and "pon", respectively. By stringing combinations of these two sounds together your minions will perform different actions.