Here are this week's releases on WiiWare, DSiWare, and Virtual Console!
Sneezies Publisher: Chillingo Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 500 Wii Points Description: Sneezies is an overload of cuteness! Grab a cup of coffee, sit back in your favorite plush chair and enjoy soothing, relaxed game play featuring fantastic graphics and sweet melodies. Use your Wii Remote™ controller to drop a burst of sneezing powder into the field of floating Sneezies and watch as they sneeze themselves out of their bubbles in a marvelous chain reaction. Try to rescue as many Sneezies as you can. Sneezies features beautiful graphics, varied backgrounds, hilarious sound effects and soothing background music. Play through 45 relaxing levels of Sneezies in the Classic Mode or unleash your skills in 15 Challenge Mode levels. Post your high scores online from within the game (broadband Internet access required) and see how you stack up against other Sneezies players around the world.
Ghost Mania Publisher: Legendo Entertainment Players: 1-2 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 500 Wii Points Description: Ghost Mania is an original puzzle game for players of all ages, offering a new twist on the falling-block genre. Build and expand colored stacks of ghosts and blocks in any direction and any number. The game features multiple single- and two-player modes, including a relaxed and thoughtful puzzle mode, an arcade mode and a variety of two-player modes such as Battle and Enduro. The game centers on the misadventures of Becky and Tim, a pair of ghost guardians who've just lost their jobs. Having fallen asleep on active duty, they accidentally let all the ghosts escape from the Spirit World. Help Becky and Tim get their jobs back so they can return to the Spirit World. Catch the runaway ghosts before it's too late.
Robox® (demo version) Publisher: DreamBox Games Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) - Fantasy Violence Price: 0 Wii Points; full version available for 1,000 Wii Points Description: Jump, explore and shoot as you discover a planet filled with strange and menacing creatures. Go through a beautiful and lethal forest, find your way out of a labyrinth cave, jump into jelly bubbles and go for a ride on a giant slug. Fight epic battles against giant final bosses. Regain the abilities you've lost with the help of tiny creatures. Move through walls, break the floor or get new gadgets such as drills and gigantic cannons. Discover one of the most beautiful, exciting and challenging games of the last few years.
Note: Some demo versions do not support all game features, and players cannot save their in-game progress in demo versions.
Alt-Play: Jason Rohrer Anthology Publisher: Sabarasa Players: 1-2 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 200 Nintendo DSi Points™ Description: Alt-Play brings the best of independent gaming to the Nintendo DSiWare service, introducing players to some of the most unique experiences this medium has to offer. In this compilation, award-winning game auteur Jason Rohrer's work comes to the Nintendo DSi system, including three of his best games to date: Passage, Gravitation and Between. The deep themes and distinctive presentation in Rohrer's work help to blur the line between visual art and video games, evoking thoughts and emotions rarely associated with gaming.
Word Searcher 2 Publisher: Digital Leisure Inc. Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points Description: You'll need a sharp eye and a quick mind to complete 100 themed word- search puzzles. Word Searcher 2 contains fun words from multiple categories including palindromes, pirates and painting. Packed with a huge assortment of subjects to choose from, there's sure to be a puzzle anyone can enjoy. Help improve your vocabulary, memory and problem-solving skills. Keep track of - and try to beat - your own play- through times again and again as words are scrambled each time you play. Put on your thinking cap and conquer all 100 puzzles today.
Music on: Drums Publisher: Abylight Players: 1 ESRB Rating: E (Everyone) Price: 500 Nintendo DSi Points Description: It's a beatbox full of features for creating songs and rhythms. With a library of 160 sounds, use your creative skills to assign them to eight available tracks per pattern. Activate or deactivate each of the 16 steps that make up a track using the buttons or the stylus and combine the eight patterns to compose up to 64 songs. If you want to produce a more complex tune, you can customize each step and set the volume, change the frequency and assign a panning. Like a professional DJ, you can create and play in real time. Once you've laid down your patterns, you can use them to create much more complicated rhythms in Song mode, where you can add them to a sequence of up to 32 parts and change their length, activate or deactivate tracks, add repeats and so on. Music on: Drums also includes a pre-recorded song.
You don't read gaming websites OR my posts anymore, it seems.
It's okay, that short post happened to be pretty dense with hyperlinks, I can understand why someone would gloss over it.
I also don't actually expect anyone to attentively read and remember my posts (that would be kind of horrifying/creepy, actually). But by golly, Simba gave me a reply search function and I'll be damned if I'm not gonna use it to rub "I told you so's" in people's faces and prove I was the first to mention a piece of info here whenever the occasion presents itself. It's my duty!
Hmm, well I certainly want to like the Robox demo more than I actually do.
It's got the Metroid structure going for it, and the game looks a bit more appealing than Frobot, that's for sure. It's not a looker by any means, but that area with the trees was pleasing enough.
But the level design wasn't that interesting, and the controls kind of sucks. The slowness of the character isn't winning the game any points with me either, even if the clunkiness makes sense for a robot box.
Having to solve puzzles in order to unlock abilities is a neat idea, I'll give it that.
There are some puzzling things in the demo that I have to wonder if they're there only for the demo, or if the actual game is like that.
For instance, abilities are unlocked as you walk into an area where you need it. You don't have a weapon, you get to a place where you see the first enemy, the game switches to the puzzle for unlocking your weapon, you're thrown back to the main game and you have the weapon.
Kind of weird. Though the way I described it makes it sound like Metroid: Other M.
WiiWare/DSiWare are still getting a deluge of titles. I am SO curious about the sales. Have we seen ANY indication, beyond rough World of Goo figures? Is it somehow profitable, or were all these titles in development since the beginning of the services?
(I can't imagine that DSiWare is successful, with that shopfront.)
In the link I posted in that Night Sky thread, read the comments section. Jonathan Holmes (who has better access to these Wiiware developers than we do) is really pessimistic about Wiiware's future. Several Wiiware titles have been quietly cancelled. For instance Puzzle Agent.
I mean, WTF?
So no, Wiiware developers aren't raking in the cash, save for 2D Boy whose game got special treatment from Nintendo (i.e. some actual promoting!).
I cross my fingers and hope demos can change their fortunes, but it may simply be too late. At this point the majority of people don't think about Wiiware at all and probably aren't even aware of the demos.
And the people who haven't forgotten about Wiiware most likely torrents the games.
Puzzle Agent is interesting, because didn't the first couple of Strongbad eps do better on WiiWare? But that was before the SD solution. And I can't imagine that the Telltale retail games did well. I was barely aware that they existed.
Demos really should help. For the good games, anyway. Except with the pirates. Which, I guess, ARE pretty numerous. Grim, indeed.
I know so many people who think I'm crazy for supporting industries and products that I enjoy. With MONEY. Who always ask me "... can't you just download it?" I kind of feel like humanity has no moral compass.