News Article

Artex Studios Developing for WiiWare

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Hungary-based Artex Studios, the company that owns Casual Game Store, today announced that it's bringing two games to WiiWare (And iPhone) later this year.

The first, Mahjong Zodiac, is a game available on said site. While Japan loves its mahjong (And already has multiple on VC and WiiWare), the rest of the world doesn't really seem to see many videogames based on it - Thankfully this will change now, because Mahjong Zodiac will be released in the first quarter of the year. It's quite a complicated game - Read Wikipedia if you don't know anything about it.

The second game is a new one - Str33t Racing will be the third racing game on WiiWare. We can only hope it'll be better than the dreadful SPOGS Racing, anything more is a bonus! The game's release is much farther off than Mahjong Zodiac - Str33t Racing is planned for a third quarter release.

Here's Artex Studios's full press release announcing the two games:

Budapest, Hungary, January 29, 2009 - Artex Studios, Inc., the owner of CasualGameStore.com is scheduled to release the iPhone and WiiWare version of Mahjong Zodiac and Str33t Racing.

Mahjong Zodiac

Mahjong Zodiac is a unique combination of the classic mahjong and the three matching games. The classic mahjong gameplay with the intriguing twist, guaranteed to challenge anyone looking for a brain workout. Embark on a journey through ancient China and Buddha's life in this story-filled mahjong game. As you progress from level to level, a beautifully

An illustrated story is revealed, immersing you in a great gaming experience.

  • 96 well balanced level
  • unique hand drawn graphics
  • particular mahjong tile set
  • beautiful particle system
  • authentic background music and sound effects

Release date: Q1 2009

Str33t Racing

Str33t Racing is a classic top-down racing title that has a unique power-ups system which requires players to achieve the best position. The game has been using the company's proprietary technology, which provides stunning graphical quality.

  • 10 different dream cars
  • 8 high quality racing tracks
  • unique power-ups system
  • car damage system
  • glow, real-time shadow and particle effects
  • multitouch and tilt control (iPhone version)
  • remote and nunchuck control (WiiWare version)

Release date: Q3 2009

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User Comments (64)

Cthuloops

#4

Cthuloops said:

Strangely for hating puzzle games I do actually like Mahjong. And the top down racer looks somewhat unique compared to the rest of the WiiWare games.

themortalangel

#6

themortalangel said:

Bet this is the only time you'll hear someone say this, but Mahjong brinks back bad memories. So no go on that, the street racing game looks promising graphically, but a top down?? I guess since it's for iPhone too....still odd choice. Looks like a decent company, dunno if i'll get anything this time around though from them.

jtrencsenyi

#7

jtrencsenyi said:

Hi guys!
My name is Jozsef Trencsenyi and I'm the CEO and lead programmer of Artex Studios. Thanks for your critics. We would like to listen to your perceptions.

Doogle

#8

Doogle said:

OK Jozsef, here are my perceptions. The racing game looks horrible, what is with those nasty graphics? Also the title "Str33t" really is pretty lame, is that supposed to appeal to 11 year olds?

On the other hand the Mahjong game looks pretty neat. It's a niche that no one has covered yet on WiiWare, so why not?

Nintendork

#9

Nintendork said:

@#7 Okay...... well, for 1 thing I don't think an overhead racing game is the way to go. However, having online multiplayer might change my mind. So, are you gonna put it in the game?

Stratos

#10

Stratos said:

Online would sell me on the racer.
I've been waiting for a Mahjong game for some time since I enjoy those games.

blockhead

#12

blockhead said:

I would also buy an online racer. I also like the top down view reminds me of GTA when it was good

jtrencsenyi

#13

jtrencsenyi said:

Doogle: Str33t Racing is a working title. I will post an early video in the next month. I hope you will suggest a good name for our game! ;)
We develop casual games since 2005. Mahjong Zodiac is our best casual PC game. It's a mix of 3-matching and mahjong games with a storyline.

Nintendork: We are big top-down racer fans here in Artex. Our personal favorits are the Super Cars II, Skidmarks and Roadkill on Amiga. We would like to make an uniqe 2D racing game. We will release a single player version at Q3 2009 and an enchanced multiplayer version Q4 2009 or Q1 2010.

Nintendork

#15

Nintendork said:

Also, please please please don't add motion controls to the racer. I can guarantee that will make this game suck horribly.

jtrencsenyi

#17

jtrencsenyi said:

Nintendork: I think the best control system for this game is the classic controller based. But we would like to make a game for "everybody". The default control will the classic nunchuck based (without motion) but you can change it on the settings.

jtrencsenyi

#19

jtrencsenyi said:

longtimegamer: yes, of course. We would like to make different car categories, difficulty levels and car tuning/settings features in the game.

longtimegamer

#20

longtimegamer said:

@Jtrencsenyi-Cool.I read that the last wiiware race game that came out was fun. The problem for me was that the vehicles supposedly drove the same and all difficulty levels could apparently easly be beaten. Didn't seem like enough in it or enough variety.

If this racer is good I'll probably get it but, I'm worried that the enhanced version will be too similar to the first one. I don't think I'd want both if they are too similar unless maybe the other was an add on or something.

I don't want it to be like the early Streetfighter IIs, you know basically just little changes in each game (Feel like you were wasting your money if you got them all.) Hopefully this info will be helpfull.

jtrencsenyi

#21

jtrencsenyi said:

longtimegamer: We will release the multiplayer version as a free update and not as a new game!

Tides_of_Chaos

#25

Tides_of_Chaos said:

It's nice to know that a CEO of a game company is actually listening to people's criticism and responding to it all. I personally don't have anything to add that anyone else hasn't already but it's still nice.

AlexSays

#26

AlexSays said:

How big is the block size? and how many wii points will it be?

Let me apologize in advance...

These are absolutely terrible questions.
The game isn't finished, how would anyone know the block size?
And the game isn't finished, why would the developers and Nintendo discuss the pricing yet?

Please refrain from asking any more questions.

WarioFan63

#28

WarioFan63 said:

Im with you Tides of Chaos (or is there a nickname you prefer?) Its stuff like this that makes me glad to be part of this community.

Virus

#30

Virus said:

Well, I really hope your guys' racing game is of good quality. I've been looking forward to a good racing game on the WiiWare for the longest time and I haven't been satisfied yet.

AlexSays

#31

AlexSays said:

You don't plan block size.
Developers don't sit at a round-table and think "Hmm, I'm thinking 157 blocks sounds good, let's design the game around that!"
Besides, knowing block size is irrelevant since every Wii comes with more than enough memory.

Pricing is completely up to Nintendo.
They decide the price when the game is finished. We've seen that through countless developer interviews, so you have an excuse for not knowing that if you just started viewing the site.

And it's okay, don't change your password to something you'll never remember and run off because of me!

jtrencsenyi

#33

jtrencsenyi said:

Tornado Man: we are in the early stage of development. I can not answer your questions now. We would like to sell our games from 400 to 800 Wii points. But you know, Nintendo has the last word.

jtrencsenyi

#34

jtrencsenyi said:

Tides of Chaos: thanks but I think it's natural. We make games for our customers (for you) and not only for ourselves. If We would like to make good games We need listen to your feedback! ...and we want. :)

Airola

#38

Airola said:

That Street Racer looks great! I don't understand people who are critisizing the graphics. To me it looks great!

I like these top-down racing games. I prefer 2D to 3D. It's just like with some shooting games. I just can't enjoy FPS games but I love 2D shooting games.

GeneRally is my favourite top-down racing game ever. It has a great track editor (it would be great to have something like that in Street Racer too :) )

jtrencsenyi

#39

jtrencsenyi said:

The graphics is not everything. A good example is Defend Your Castle for WiiWare. It has stylish but not so detailed 2D graphics, top notch game play and sell more than 250,000.
Much more important is spirit of the game play in my humble opinion.

Bass_X0

#40

Bass_X0 said:

They both look interesting. I enjoy playing Mah Jong on the DS. And we've seen how some ambitious racing games on the WiiWare already don't manage to reach their aspirations. They tried to give us full 3D racing but end up failing. A nice overhead 2D game like this could be quite fun. It looks like a retro game with modern graphics. I can see this being more playable than any of the 3D racing games on the WiiWare. I'll be keeping an eye on this.

Oh... on the DS version of Mah Jong that I play (the one on Clubhouse Games), the pieces that can be removed are highlighted. I remember thinking how much more frustrating the game would be if I didn't have a visual indicator to what pieces can be removed and which ones cannot.

jtrencsenyi

#41

jtrencsenyi said:

Bass X0: our game play a little bit different. We haven't got any locked tile on the board.

ness

#42

ness said:

"A good example is Defend Your Castle for WiiWare. It has stylish but not so detailed 2D graphics, top notch game play and sell more than 250,000."

Wow, nice to hear some insider information concerning sales figures =).

@ Str33t Racing:

Looks interesting =).

Sean_Aaron

#45

Sean_Aaron said:

I'm a bit disappointed at the quality of some of the comments here. Honestly guys, let's not get rude with a participating developer even if it is the internet.

The racing game does look nice to me; reminds me of Super Sprint which I quite enjoyed in the arcade.

The Mahjong one, well, it's not really Mahjong is it? Looks more like Shanghai ("mahjong solitaire"), the tile matching game, which has nothing to do with Mahjong outside of using the same tiles. I'm prepared to give it chance, though I have Shanghai Wii already which is a massive feast of Shanghai/mahjong solitaire.

What I would like to see is a proper mahjong game with online multiplayer. I've got a Japanese and a PAL Wii and I have Nintendo's excellent Yakuman Wii (I have a review up on my blog at http://seanraaron.blogspot.com ) which has online and offline modes as well as a full tutorial on how to play. It's cool to play against people in Japan, but there is the language barrier so I cannot easily use all the features.

If you guys were to do one for Europe that would be awesome!

MadMartigan

#47

MadMartigan said:

@ jtrencsenyi -
Whats the word on weapons in Str33t? Yay or nay? Love the top down aspect but without missiles, land mines and the classic oil slick I can unleash on my friends it could be a deal breaker for me. IMO a game like Hot Rod Racing could have been much improved with some tweaks, ie a few more tracks, car attributes and ditching the trick system for weapons. I know 2 of the items listed for Str33t were "power ups" and "car damage" Its just a little vague as to what those mean and how it would translate into the game.

Terra

#48

Terra said:

Artex certainly look like a studio to watch out for. The Mahjong game, while i'm not a fan, looks excellent from the screenshots. As for Str33t Racing, i have to say that it does look good but i NEVER thought i'd see another top down racer again, at least, one that isn't a little minigame in a much larger game Like with The Simpsons Hit & Run

Kaeobais

#49

Kaeobais said:

The top down racer looks like it could be excellent ... or horrid. It all comes down to the controls.

It actually reminds me ff GTA 2 a little.

Wiiloveit

#50

Wiiloveit said:

Str33t Racing is planned for a third quarter release
Talk about thinking ahead - although a top-down racer is different nowadays - but by no means un-welcomed.

Nice to see a Mahjong game as well - here's hoping it doesn't cost much more than 500 points, because this could be a good little budget game.

CanisWolfred

#51

CanisWolfred said:

It's a top-down racer? Now I'm really not interested in it, I can't stand those! Almost as bad as an open-world racer.

Pablo17

#52

Pablo17 said:

I am actually interested in a top-down racer but I question how well it will sell. I owned a few on the Neo Geo and they can be fun if made well. I owned a couple on the PC Engine that were horrible.

As already mentioned, I would suggest a name change for the racing game.

Sean_Aaron

#53

Sean_Aaron said:

Oh, suggestion for an alternate name for the racing game (though frankly I don't care what a game is called really), how about Hyper Sprint? Or, what was that game on the TG16 I used to think was fun...Moto Roader? Super Moto Roader!

Twilight_Crow

#55

Twilight_Crow said:

I don't care for Mahjong but the racer seems pretty neat to me, you people at Artex should focus on the gameplay, the track design and the controls before ths graphics and the name (it will come out by itself, you'll see), and a good online multiplayer would be nice too.

jtrencsenyi

#56

jtrencsenyi said:

OK! Let's summarize your needs and ideas for Str33t Racing!

  • control system w/o (default) and w/ (optional) motion sensitivity
  • decent weapons and damage system
  • multiplayer (split screen or even more online)
  • a good name without l33t words ;)
chiefeagle02

#57

chiefeagle02 said:

A Mahjong game with a story doesn't sound too bad and it's good to see it available on American and European shop channels. Best of luck Artex. Welcome to the jungle.

PALgamer

#59

PALgamer said:

You forgot to add a track editor, few people have suggested it.
What about destructible tracks? Maybe too hazardous!

Ricardo91

#60

Ricardo91 said:

A developer that actually listens to people's suggestions? Wow. You don't see that everyday.

Hope you take those suggestions into consideration, jtrencsenyi! Looking forward to the Mahjong game, as I love virtual Mahjong, and that racing game looks like it has potential.

Cthuloops

#61

Cthuloops said:

I'm with PALgamer on the addition of a track editor. That would fit right into the top-down racer style.
Weapons a-la Spyhunter would be nice too.

jtrencsenyi

#62

jtrencsenyi said:

PALgamer: you're right. But our tracks are bitmaps based and not tile layers, so we can't make a classic track editor. Sorry!

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