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Curve Studios is currently the best 3rd party publisher / developer on the Wii U
Editorial by 
December 04, 2014, 04:15:11
It's a sad but true fact that 3rd party publishers and developers have all but abandoned the Wii U. Sure, we're getting a small handful of 3rd party games here and there, but nothing of note. It's a dry and barren wasteland and there is nothing to look forward to now or in the near future.

That was a damnable lie.

Sure, it is sort of true when applied to Wii U retail games. But the eShop is a different story. I really think that 2014 has been the best year for the Wii U eShop, with the release of several key titles like Shovel Knight, Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition, SteamWorld Dig, Child of Light and more. And many of the most exciting Wii U eShop games have been brought over by a single company, British publisher / developer Curve Studios.

Who is Curve Studios? I wish I didn't have to tell you, because Nintendo fans should already know them. They are the developer behind one of the best Wiiware titles there is, Fluidity, a game which we reviewed pretty highly, as well as the 3DS eShop sequel Fluidity: Spin Cycle, which we reviewed not quite as high but still pretty high.

But we're talking about the Wii U, right? What have they done for the Wii U? Let's take a look at what Curve has released just in the last few months, as well as some of their upcoming titles.

In mid October we saw Curve publish Lone Survivor: The Director's Cut, a 2D survival horror game influenced heavily by Silent Hill, which was pretty well reviewed. To be frank, this is one of my favorite indie games in recent years.

In late October Curve published a self-developed title Stealth Inc 2: A Game of Clones, which was also well received. This is a neat little 2D action / puzzle / stealth game that actually manages to do fast-paced stealth, a bit of a rarity in the stealth genre.

Next up in mid November was The Swapper, a moody 2D Metroid inspired action / adventure game. I haven't had a chance to play this one yet, but I hear it is great. No surprise, the reviewers liked it as well.

Finally, just about a week ago, Curve released indie darling Thomas Was Alone, a 2D puzzle platformer with a touching story and amazing soundtrack. Reviewers liked this game too.

So that is four pretty big indie games right there, all brought over to the Wii U by Curve Studios. What comes next? Well, just today Curve announced that they would be bringing the much loved 2D skateboarding game OlliOlli to the Wii U and 3DS in early 2015.

After that, who knows? After this literal barrage of big indie games over the last few months, I have to imagine that Curve Studios have even more planned for the near future.

The big 3rd parties may be failing the Wii U miserably, but hey, at least someone is publishing some great stuff. You just have to be willing to consider the eShop / indie games. And consider them you should, because a lot of them are pretty awesome!

Thanks Curve!

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Posted: 12/04/14, 04:15:11  - Edited by 
 on: 12/04/14, 04:15:02    
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Hmm, hard to argue with that! Wii U certainly is getting a lot of indie goodness!

Now, I wish that Nintendo would make it that some of these games are cross-buy for Wii U and 3DS, that would be sweet.

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 05:16:50
i need to check out their Wii U games. Still working on Fluidity Spin Cycle (3DS) though it is a bit of a chore.

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 06:12:21
Technically only Stealth Inc 2 is "their" game, the rest are other developers games which they have published / are going to publish. They're becoming a pretty prolific indie game publisher on the Wii U. I'm a bit curious as to whether it was their idea or Nintendo put them up to it in some fashion...

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 06:36:02
Do any of their games allow me to shoot an alien in the face?

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 07:39:49
All five of those games are rad as heck. Lone Survivor in particular really, really clicked with me.

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 08:46:30
@kriswright The Swapper might actually. Not sure exactly what it plays like but it is sci fi and Metroid is an influence so... maybe?

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 09:21:08
Love me some Curve. I'm a fan of the Fluidity games, and Stealth Inc. 2 might even be a game of the year contender for me. I just hope their efforts on the Wii U end up successful enough for them to keep it up.

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 12:07:32

Nah there's no enemies in The Swapper. You shoot things in the face all the time in Lone Survivor though.

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 15:18:57
I wouldn't say "all the time" since it is more about tension and survival horror and such. Ammo is limited.

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 15:40:05
I think I read in an interview somewhere that their next in-house game is some kind of 3D open world project. They kinda got tired of 2D after the first Stealth Bastard (or Inc. or whatever) and Fluidity. Looking forward to how that turns out.

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 15:55:33
And even more support!


They're on a roll.

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 16:07:02  - Edited by 
 on: 12/04/14, 16:07:35

But I really want to shoot an alien in the face.

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 18:08:32
@kriswright I dunno what to say. Get an Xbox?

Posted by 
 on: 12/04/14, 18:41:45
Yeah, they're good. Even though god(s) know(s) I don't need another game, I want to pick up Stealth Inc. 2 to reward them for their efforts.

Posted by 
 on: 12/06/14, 03:49:19
PSA: all of their games are available for 2-3 bucks on Wii U eShop right now. I think I'll grab them all. Lone Survivor comes highly recommended by none other than Secret_Tunnel, the indie game aficionado.

Posted by 
 on: 12/19/15, 21:45:47
I highly recommend Lone Survivor as well. #5 on my top 10 Wii U eShop list! Stealth Inc 2, The Swapper, and Thomas Was Alone also made the list.


Posted by 
 on: 12/20/15, 01:25:44
Curve Digital was acquired by the company that owns Kuju Entertainment (Battalion Wars series, Wii versions of Geometry Wars Galaxy and House of the Dead: Overkill, among others) and will be merged with Kuju to become Curve Digital Entertainment.

I'm optimistic that this will mean more good stuff coming to Nintendo consoles through Curve, and not less.

News article: link

Posted by 
 on: 01/07/16, 22:04:53
@chrisguy That's... interesting.

Has Kuju done much on Nintendo platforms lately though?

Posted by 
 on: 01/07/16, 22:18:16  - Edited by 
 on: 01/07/16, 22:19:49

Kuju hasn't done much of anything lately, period. Pokemon Art Academy was their last title.

Posted by 
 on: 01/07/16, 23:57:16
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