Nintendo Game Seminar 2013: Four Games You Probably Haven’t Played!

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Only in Japan

A quick overview of the Wii U eShop release that is only available in Japan.

You may have heard about the Nintendo Game Seminar 2013 release on the Japanese eShop a few months ago. You may also have been curious as to what the titles created by some talented and lucky Japanese University students were like. I\’ve checked out all four of them and what follows is a quick run-down of the titles. Reading is optional though as pictures are included!

A little note on the Japanese – I have just translated the names as directly as possible. If the games are ever localised, the actual names may be quite different.

戦闘団地 Battle Apartments

Battle Apartments was the deepest and most addictive of all four games and certainly my favourite. If you can imagine a mixture of Pikmin, a tower defence game and a hint of FTL, then that will give you a bit of understanding of what is involved.\r\n\r\nThe game is played on the gamepad using the stylus. There are multiple modes including a tutorial, an arcade mode and multiple scenarios.

The game is divided into a day and night cycle. During the day pods will drop down around the rocket and the player can use blocks to build structures around the rocket to store the pods in. When a pod is safely enclosed in a structure, a spaceman will exit and begin collecting more blocks. There are different pods that drop which contain spacemen with different or more powerful skills. The night cycle is the defense portion of the game where the player has no control and is unable to add to structures or store any pods safely within them. Aliens will attack until the sun rises and any pods left outside will likely be destroyed. If a wall is breached on any structure then the spacemen within will die. The spacemen will stand with their pods and attack enemies. Even if all spacemen are killed the aliens will keep attacking but you will have a chance to rebuild the following day. If the rocket is destroyed, the game is over.

This simple concept is executed well and the game is challenging without being frustrating. Of all the games, this one definitely deserves a standalone release.


ポッポ ハンター Pigeon Hunter

From best to very much the worst. My bias here is disliking motion controls and given this is played entirely with either two remotes or with a nunchuck combination, this may be the reason I disliked it.\r\n

The game begins with a tutorial and is played in a park where the player moves a cursor along the ground and throws bird feed by depressing the a button while flicking their wrist. The object is to lure pigeons beneath your feet which are pictured on the Wii U gamepad. Once a pigeon is standing in between the feet on the gamepad, the pigeon is caught by swinging both arms in and depressing the trigger buttons. There are multiple levels, a time limit and the challenge is increased with smaller birds eating the feed that the player throws out. I didn’t find the game very compelling though and stopped playing after fifteen minutes or so.

While I didn\’t enjoy the title, I thought the concept was interesting and the art style was wonderful as you can see in the pictures.


しまながめ Island Watch

This is the “art game” of the group and although simple and short, it was my second favourite of the four. This game is played very much like the Game Boy Advance Island on the Nintendo GameCube version of Animal Crossing.

The player is tasked with guiding the character around by throwing items where the character is walking. The character will move towards apples to eat and slip on bananas. The object is simply to find all the stars in the game world and return them to the sky. This is very simple and easy to play and is over in about twenty minutes. It can be fun to torment the character a little but this is short lived and I actually felt bad about doing it.

As with Pigeon Hunter, the art design is wonderful and would be even better if the concept were expanded.


必撮 センターヒーローズ Certain Snapshot: Center Heroes

Lastly, the only multiplayer title of the group and certainly the one with the most hilarious concept.

Center Heroes involves a group of superheroes fighting amongst each other to pose for photographs. The winner is the superhero who is most successful at knocking other heroes out of the frame before posing for the photograph. One button is used to bump other heroes and the other to strike a pose. It can get a quite hectic but it is entertaining title and would certainly merit a digital release at a budget price.\r\n\r\nAs this was a free download, I wasn’t expecting much from these games but they were all at the very least, creative titles and I certainly hope the groups that made them go on to work in the industry. I really hope these titles are localised even if Nintendo ends up charging for them as at least two are well worth paying for.

August, 2014

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