Nintendo At IndieCade East 2015: Hands-On With Upcoming Wii U And New 3DS Titles Including Affordable Space Adventures
Nintendo had its very own room at this year’s IndieCade East, showcasing the company’s commitment to independent developers on the Wii U and 3DS. We played through each and every one of them and are here to give you impressions of each!
Affordable Space Adventures (KnapNok Games): The most incredible title of Nintendo’s IndieCade lineup. In it you control a spaceship that’s descending through a dark, mysterious cavern. Ostensibly a puzzle title, it’s incredibly atmospheric and uses the Wii U Gamepad in the way you wish more titles would. While the triggers and analog sticks controls your ship’s movement, lights and scanners, the vast majority of the ship’s systems are controlled via the touchscreen of the Gamepad. You’ll have to fire up the engines on there, decide on how fast you want the throttle to be. Want to dive underwater? Increase the ship’s mass with a touch of the gamepad. It didn’t hurt that the lighting is absolutely phenomenal, constantly giving you the impression that you’re not seeing all of the dangers around you.
It was soon obvious how well it worked as it attracted a crowd of players all offering their advice on how to advance in the game and remarking at how . I don’t remember many demos where after handing over the controller the player would stay and chat with the next person in line, but that’s just what happened. Absolutely can’t wait to see more of this one, as it’s exactly the kind of game the Wii U needs.
Swords & Soldiers II (Ronimo Games): The sequel to the 2009 WiiWare title Swords & Soldiers unfairly drew comparisons to Zen Studios' Castlestorm (this game came first), this sequels offers more of the same side-scrolling strategy gameplay. The game offers new factions like Demons, but the Vikings are still the posterboys and girls here. It offers local multiplayer using the gamepad, which is a neat way of utilizing it.
Elliot Quest (PlayEveryWare): A very retro 8-bit game that’s got a bit of a Kid Icarus feel to it, that has you exploring an island as the titular character, who’s trying to cure his horrible, awful curse of immortality. Yeah, you read that right. It’s a very simple game but it’s obvious that there’s a whole ton to do and find here (I found two secret rooms with my short playtime), and admirers of old-school games will certainly appreciate it. The game is already out on Steam but it hits Wii U exclusively in March.
Blek (Broken Rules & kunabi brother): With no instructions, it was up to us to figure out what to do with this one. It’s one of those simple puzzle games that soon gets really tricky. The basics are this- you draw a line with your finger on the Gamepad’s touchscreen and it will continue whatever motion you drew. You have to get the line to hit all of the dots on screen without falling into any black holes or any other traps that may come. The game starts off simple- connect these two dots- and soon descends into brain-twisting madness. You’ll have to draw zigzags, bounce the line off walls, and make swirls in order to hit all the dots in one move. Simple but obviously the kind of game you can lost in. It's available for mobile phones but will be a Wii U console exclusive.
First of all, these were all demoted on the New 3DS XLs and having not been able to get my hands on one before, the 3D head tracking benefit was immediately obvious, and the C stick (the litle second analog nubbin) was a huge boon to the shooters. On to the games-
IronFall: Invasion (VD-Dev): This New 3DS exclusive is a damn good-looking game, one of the few first-person shooters for the system. The C stick is certainly a requirement for FPS titles, although it’s sad to see the library start to splinter like this. The game itself hasn’t received a ton of praise but it’s obviously one of the few games to really take advantage of the new 3DS features. It’s free to download to try for yourself, so if you’ve got one, you might want to dive in.
Moon Chronicles (Renegade Kid): This is out already but it was being featured here to show off the update that allows the game to be controlled with the C stick and ZL ZR buttons. It works decently but don’t go upgrading just because of this title. The C stick didn’t really work as smoothly as you would have hoped- swiping left or right with it would spin the camer almost 90 degrees in that direction, and there doesn’t seem to be much precision to it. The ZL and ZR buttons are utilized but there's more than enough buttons to go around, and it doesn't need it. It does make it handier to use the dual analogs, however.
Gunman Clive 2 (Hörberg Productions): The sequel to the incredible original. I didn’t see much new here besides an expanded color palette but more of the same is good enough. It’s a mere three bucks in the eShop- you know what to do.