Indie game news, reviews, previews and everything else concerning indie game development.


Nicalis to release ‘Cave Story’ 2D in 3D

Nicalis, the publisher responsible for porting Terry Cavanagh’s rage inducing VVVVVV to Nintendo’s three dimensional magic machine is busy making yet another port of the ever popular Cave Story. This time around the title will see itself realized in 3D using its original two dimensional engine (much akin to Mutant Mudds). Considering most of us have played Cave Story in one form or another, Nicalis has gone ahead and included several new features and game modes to hopefully breathe a bit of life into an otherwise old title, giving players a new reason to pick it up all over again.

The coolest of which is “Curly Story” in which I’d assume you get to play through the story from the perspective of Curly Brace as she tries to protect the Mimiga from the evil doctor. Other notably fresh additions include: Nemesis Challenge, Boss Rush, Hell Time Attack, and Wind Fortress challenge modes. Nicalis has also stated Cave Story for eShop will support a native 4:3 and “real” widescreen resolutions for the 3DS as well as two button configurations.

fyi: this is a normal cavestory screen

Expect to dive back in come October 4th for the rather fair price of $9.99, those of you without a nifty new 3DS can still get in on the Cave Story fun (if you have yet to experience it) by picking up one of the various other versions avaiable as DSiWare. Hopefully players won’t confuse this for NIS’ Cave Story 3D which runs on an entirely three-dimensional engine unique to that title.

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – Nicalis to release ‘Cave Story’ 2D in 3D


PAX Prime: Indie MegaBooth Announcement and Official Developer Lineup

The official line-up for the Indie Megabooth and PAX Prime 2012  just went live on their official website and they are officially the biggest independent booth ever in PAX’s history..  There are actually a lot of returning games and developers from PAX East such as Strange Loop, Gaijin Games, 17Bit, Ska Studios, Retro Affect, Capy, Firehose Games, Drinkbox, Dejobaan, Carbon Games, and 24 Caret Games.  Other indies like Klei Entertainment and Arcen Games were at PAX East but not part of the actual megabooth section of the show, but they’re joining in this time along with newcomers SpryFox, Young Horses, Blendo Games, Gaslamp, Broken Rules, Two Tribes, Muteki Corp, Nicalis, Pixelscopic, Data Realms, Card Hunter, Eyebrow Interactive, Radial Games and Antichamber.  Here’s a map of the Megabooth layout:

Source: The Indie Game Magazine – PAX Prime: Indie MegaBooth Announcement and Official Developer Lineup


Nicalis Cancels ‘La-Mulana’ EU/US WiiWare Release, PC Version On The Way


After several delays and months of silence regarding the European and North American release of platformer La-Mulana for WiiWare, Nicalis have come out and said that they have cancelled it entirely.

An upsetting day for many, especially after such hopes have been built, delays have been met and worries arisen; Nicalis announced the cancellation of the EU/US release of Nigoro’s action platformer with this tweet:

“Regarding La-Mulana, we have chosen to cancel publishing in North America and Europe for WiiWare.”

We and other publications have been bugging the publisher and developer recently for answers and now they come out with this. The reason for this retraction is that Nicalis seems to think they have been waiting on the developers for too long. Whatever the case, no one can change the facts – La-Mulana will not be released to the western side of the world through WiiWare.

UPDATE: Tyrone Rodriguez of Nicalis made a statement to GoNintendo in which he pointed to the decline of the WiiWare market since the initial contract and the development issues regarding the DLC for the game.

There is good news though! Someone asked Nicalis after the cancellation announcement whether there would still at least be a PC release to which they responded:

“Yes, and you can support @nigoro by purchasing the PC version.”

Obviously we have no idea of the timeframe on this or whether this will involve Nicalis, or any other details for that matter – at least there is some hope for the game though. We’ll be asking some more questions but until then, that’s all we have for you on this at the moment.

More information on La-Mulana can be found on the game’s official website.


‘VVVVVV’ Coming To European 3DS Owners On May 10th


Europeans hold off your jealousy from now and forever! Nicalis has announced that the platformer VVVVVV will be hitting the European 3DS eShop on May 10th.

Despite landing on the US 3DS eShop way back on December 29th, VVVVVV still isn’t available on the European version of the online store. However, with this simple tweet, cheers were ignited across Europe. Well, probably not.

But anyway, Nicalis has announced some good news for European 3DS owners, as you can see in that tweet, VVVVVV will be coming to the European 3DS eShop on May 10th. How do we know that’s what that tweet means? Well, apart from the obvious styling of thew tweet, it is a follow up to this one which said:

VVVVVV passed NOE’s submission process. We’re a couple of weeks out @terrycavanagh Congratulations!”

More information on VVVVVV can be found on the game’s official website.


La-Mulana Remake Still Headed For Wii in US/EU, Returning To PC

This year has been great for indie games, but it wasn’t without it’s disappointments. Nintendo’s handling of indie developers and their Wiiware store in general being two very low points. The remake of Nigoro‘s PC freeware classic puzzle/adventure/metroidvania La-Mulana was completed and promptly made it’s way onto the Japanese Wiiware store, but half a year later and the US and EU releases are still caught up in red tape. All hope is not lost, though. In this apologetic blog update, Nigoro tell us that the Wii version is due soon, but also something much more interesting: It’s coming back home.


Cave Story+ Out Now On Steam

Originally released all the way back in 2004, it was a different world back then. Danger Mouse was just some guy who did a Jay-Z/Beatles mashup, George W. Bush has just started his second term, and the indie scene was no way near as developed and established as the what we see around us today. But out of Japan came a fabulous freeware Metroidvania platformer called Cave Story. A five years in the making labour of love, the developer “Pixel” put his heart and soul into that game, and it slowly but surely built a rabid cult following. After getting ported to every platform imaginable, largely by it’s enthusiastic fanbase, it’s also had commercial releases via WiiWare, DSiWare, and most recently a 3DS remake. Now, it’s come back to the PC, as Cave Story+, courtesy of indie publishing powerhouse Nicalis. Cave Story+ could be considered to be the ultimate, definitive edition of the game, and it’s available to buy on Steam for $8.50/£5.94 right now (regular price $9.99/£6.99). Read on for more details.


Discussionware: What Is Your Favorite Indie Game? Which One Inspires You Most?

Last week I asked for your favorite developers and we got quite an eclectic mix of developers! It was really fascinating to see which developers were chosen and why. This week, however, I’m looking for your favorite indie game and which one inspires you most.


Trailer: Cave Story 3DS

The classic pixelated epic Metroidvania, Cave Story, is being tarted up in shiny 3D for Nintendo’s shiny new handheld console, and here’s our first up close look at the game in action. We get to see how the new graphical style looks in motion, and get a feel for how it might play on the 3DS. Here it goes:

What do you reckon? Looks rather lovely to me, and a perfect excuse to play an old classic again. The HUD, camera movement and animation all look great, and I’m sure it will really suit handheld play. 2D platformers with nice backgrounds tend to work pretty well with the 3DS’s 3D effect too.

They mention that a classic mode is included “For fans of the original game”, so it’s nice to have the choice if you find yourself more in the mode for the classic 2D look. They only show the characters swapping for their original sprites in the trailer though, so it’s not yet clear if it includes the entire original game. Watch this space for clarification on that.

It’s out in the States on November 8th, and on the 11th across Europe.


Transportable Viridian: Hands-On with VVVVVV 3DS [IndieCade 2011]

After waiting patiently for nearly two days, Terry Cavanagh was finally alone. A slight reprieve had finally occurred in the single-file onslaught of adoring fans, aspiring developers, and fascinated media (full disclosure: I am all three) that seemed to be perpetually conversing with the popular indie developer. I had a seam, and took it: “Hey Terry, I’m Erik Johnson from DIYGamer. We met basically one year ago. I heard there was going to be a preview build of VVVVVV on 3DS here.”

The energetic, yet soft-spoken Irishman recognized me after a moment, and produced a 3DS from his shirt pocket. I laughed at my presumptions of how the demo display of his port would be set-up, then focused-in to play one of my favorite (and most frustrating) PC titles on a handheld device.

Terry mentioned the build was close to finished, with just a few bugs to work out. I played for about 15 minutes, escaping out of the first puzzle area in the game to Captain Viridian’s ship. I then enjoyed a tour of the overworld, past a giant crying elephant, and eventually to another puzzle area. Everything looked and felt beautiful as far as I was concerned. The persistent map on the bottom screen is just a perfect match as well for exploring the world map area for teleporters and, of course, shiny things. Perhaps most important of all, the original soundtrack by Souleye is there in all of its glory.

Other than that, there’s really not much to say here. It’s all the greatness of PC/Mac/Linux VX6 right there on Nintendo’s latest handheld. It’s a spot-on port of the game from what I looked at, and once publisher Nicalis launches it on the 3DS eShop it’ll simply be a must have for anyone with access to the service. What of the post-launch content though?

That part appears a bit muddy at the moment. Terry was adamant that the 3DS version was entirely in Nicalis’ hands and out of his own, especially when it came to that topic when I pressed him about it. It looks like where it goes from release is anyone’s guess at this point it appears. We do know that the features list for the port includes “future content updates”, but what content that exactly will be is at the moment a mystery. One wonders if any of the player-created content content from the PC version could make it over the 3DS. Wait and see for now.

Here’s my thumbs running around old hunting grounds. The controls definitely feel just as tight as they are on the PC. (When I mess up, it’s definitely my fault):


VVVVVV 3D Coming to the 3DS eShop

This is exactly the sort of thing Nintendo’s fumbling stereoscopic handheld needs right now. Terry Cavanagh’s utterly delightful gravity-shifting platformer is heading to the 3DS eShop, and will be published by none of than indie superstars, Nicalis. Here’s the skinny:

Nicalis, Inc., developer and publisher of independently awesome video games is VVVVVVery excited to announce a publishing agreement with Terry Cavanagh for VVVVVV on the Nintendo 3DS eShop. VVVVVV features the same amazingly retro gameplay, aesthetic and chiptune music (by Swedish musician, Magnus Pålsson), but now in 3D and on the go with your 3DS. Attendees of Indiecade in Culver City, California can play a near-complete preview VVVVVVersion for the first time on 3DS! Just find Terry Cavanagh or Tyrone Rodriguez and ask them to play!

Released in late 2010 for PC, VVVVVV is a 2D action-platformer deeply rooted in the days of 8-bit gaming with incredibly challenging gameplay and secrets. In VVVVVV, you play as Captain Viridian, who must not only save a dimension on the brink of collapse, but also find your ship’s crew–all of whose names begin with the letter V.

Now 3DS owners can experience the critically acclaimed game in 3D, anywhere. When asked for an obligatory quote, Terry Cavanagh said, “I’m VVVVVVery excited about it! This is the first time anything I’ve made has been on a console.”

VVVVVV 3DS Features:
Open-world environment with six unique levels
20 Trinkets to locate and collect
Full 3D awesomeness integrated into the retro-looking art style
- Dual screen functionality with a real-time map!
- Music by Magnus Pålsson
- New Featured Levels
- Future content updates

VVVVVV continues Nicalis’ partnerships with highly talented and super-awesome independent developers. Previously Nicalis has teamed up with Studio Pixel (Cave Story, Ikachan), Nicklas Nygren (NightSky) and NIGORO (La-Mulana). Now Terry Cavanagh’s incredible VVVVVV, too, will make the jump–er, flip–to console.

Cannot wait. If you’ve never tried VVVVVV, it’s a must play. In 3D, and being playable on the loo is just icing on an already delicious cake.