In a new interview, SteamWorld Dig developer Brjann Sigurgeirsson of Image & Form discusses the company’s development of a new installment in the series. Sigurgeirsson stated that Image & Form has “come quite far developing the next game”, but he was hesitant to reveal any more information, saying that they are “waiting for the right moment to announce more details”. The first SteamWorld Dig game has quickly become one of the most loved and respected games in the 3DS eShop. No word on a release time frame for the new game, but in the meantime, check out MNN’s recent review of the first SteamWorld Dig.
The 3DS eShop, which is already bursting at the seams, will be getting even more support in early 2014, as Circle Entertainment has announced on Twitter that they have more than 5 games coming to the handheld console. Circle’s brand of small-but-engaging puzzle and strategy titles are a welcome addition to the 3DS eShop, and the news comes just days after they announced they would be bringing two former DSiWare titles to 3DS. With more and more games being announced for Nintendo’s 3D handheld every week, its dominance of the charts can only be expected to continue.
The word “addicting” only begins to characterize the gameplay in Image & Form’s SteamWorld Dig. As a steambot (a steam-powered robot) with no prior mining experience in an Old West town named Tumbleton, Rusty sets out on an adventure to uncover the secrets of a mystery bestowed upon him by his rusted out and now dead uncle. Beginning his quest with only a basic pickax left to him by his uncle, Rusty must dig his way through an array of perils that await him, including dynamite-wielding skeletons, life-threatening falling rocks, and steambot-seeking lasers. Along the way, precious stones lay hidden and buried in the dirt.
Trading valuable stones and gems for cold hard cash in the town above allows items and power-ups to be purchased from the local merchants. But buying items from the shops is only one way for Rusty to bolster his arsenal of weapons and tools, as he must also traverse caves hidden within the large levels of the game, seeking electrical stations that instill him with new, often steam-powered abilities.
What makes Steamworld Dig so unique and engrossing is the way it employs those power-ups to engage players in new and ever more challenging levels and puzzles. The game achieves a near-perfect balance of level design, difficulty, incentive-based item acquisition, and plain old thrill-a-minute digging, that not only gives every other platformer out there a run for its money, but causes players to perpetually feel like they are just one pickax swing away from a game-altering discovery.
Steamworld Dig is also noteworthy for its utterly efficient narrative and gameplay. Rather than embroil gamers in dialogue or flashy graphics, the game moves along at a brisk pace, and somehow a gaming experience founded on an incredibly repetitive activity like digging, manages to remain fresh and never boring. With fun Western music, a quirky story, and surprises waiting under every speck of gravel, SteamWorld Dig may be the best indie platformer on Nintendo 3DS.
Although there are no official plans to bring the popular 3DS eShop title Gunman Clive to the Wii U, Bertil Horberg, the game’s creator, has rendered the software on the Wii U gamepad as a trial run for porting games to the console, raising speculation that a Wii U version may be arriving in the near future. The popular Western-themed platformer has found new life on 3DS after starting out on mobile devices, with 3DS downloads far surpassing the game’s sales on any other format. Gunman Clive, which is currently available for only $2 on the 3DS eShop, was recently selected as one of IGN’s Top 25 3DS games.
The Office of Film and Literature Classification has rated Contra 3: The Alien Wars for release on the Nintendo eShop. The game was previously released on the Wii Virtual Console in 2007, and Super Contra was released on the Nintendo 3DS. It hasn’t been confirmed whether Contra 3 will be a Virtual Console release for Wii U or the Nintendo 3DS.
Two Tribes, the development team behind Toki Tori, has announced via Twitter that sales of the game have risen by an impressive 8027% following the new Toki Tori 2+ update and the eShop sale. The game has received a huge sales spike after releasing the big update for the game and discounting the game’s price. You can view the changes that the new update brings in the video above.
QubicGames has announced that AiRace Speed, the newest precision-based flying game in the AiRace series, will be coming to 3DS on September 19th. Along with this announcement, the company has also released a new trailer for the game, featuring a futuristic-looking female pilot calling up video footage of the game on a large touch screen that looks like something out of Minority Report. The trailer features the most up-to-date footage of the game, which is fast-paced and extremely detailed, especially for an indie eShop title that will be priced at only 4.99. AiRace speed features five high-speed space jets to pilot, and 18 tracks to conquer. Will you be downloading the game when it is released on the 19th? Let us know in the comments.
Wii Karaoke U by JOYSOUND will be released in Europe as a software download from the Wii U eShop beginning October 4th. The download will be free, and after a free one-hour trial, players will need to purchase hourly “Tickets” that allow them to compete for either one hour, 24 hours, or 30 hours at a time. Wii Karaoke U participants will have the ability to connect a Wii U Microphone (sold separately) to the console via a USB connection, or players can simply use the microphone built into the Wii U gamepad.
Wii Karaoke U by JOYSOUND was announced for European release back in July, but gamers have not been provided with an official release date until now. The game will have 1500 songs available at launch, with more arriving later through regular software updates.
Ed Valiente, Business Development Manager at Nintendo of Europe, has been making more waves at the Indie Games Collective event in London. In addition to the announcement of Miiverse on 3DS, Valiente has taken the time to outline several of the benefits of publishing on Nintendo eShops. Foremost on the list is Nintendo’s policy that publishers cannot pay for featured placement in their eShops, meaning that a small indie game will appear featured right next to more mainstream first-party titles like Mario or Zelda. Additionally, Valiente revealed that Nintendo is developing special promo codes that publishers can give to help distribute their games to the media before actually being launched.
These new announcements come at a time when Nintendo is working hard to bolster its appeal to indie developers. The company has caught flak in the past for having policies in place that were not conducive to small developers looking to bring their games to Nintendo consoles. With Wii U desperately in need of a boost in sales, equal feature placement in the eShop and promo codes that facilitate the ease of distribution should be two factors that help attract more developers to the system, and hopefully, more buyers as well.
In a new interview with Polygon, Nintendo’s manager of business development licensing, Dan Adelman, as well senior manager of licensing marketing, Damon Baker, discuss the company’s policies for finding and cultivating independent developers for Nintendo consoles. Adelman admits that certain policies from the WiiWare days, like the requirement to work out of an office rather than from home, stifled Nintendo’s ability to entice indies to bring games to Nintendo. Despite the company’s struggles on this front, he goes on to reveal that those old policies have been eradicated, and that being one of Nintendo’s indie developers now comes with “…a really low cost of entry and a really smooth process.”
One highlight of the interview is when Adelman discusses the fact that Nintendo’s restrictions blocked The Blinding of Isaac from release on Nintendo platforms, saying “…it kills me a little bit, because I love the game.”
Baker, who is responsible for the presence of Nintendo’s eShop titles at major gaming events, had this to say: “We need to be more proactive with … having presence at all the digital developer events, spreading the good word of Nintendo eShop and how to develop on our platforms.” He also revealed that Nintendo’s strong showcase at PAX Prime will be followed by an exhibit at Indiecade, the L.A.-based indie festival taking place next month.
The indie-focused interview comes shortly after Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime made some strong comments in support of indie developers. In addition to Nintendo’s business and marketing improvements on the indie front, the company has been making technological strides with its new web framework. As a slew of indie titles are scheduled to arrive for its low-selling Wii U console in late 2013/early 2014, Nintendo’s new indie focus leaves them poised to capitalize on this market in lieu of the current dearth of strong first-party material.