With the upcoming release of their WiiWare holiday puzzler Christmas Clix this coming Monday in North America, we thought now would be a good time to get in touch with JV Games in order to find out a bit more information about the game.
Jag Jaeger, CEO of JV Games, was kind enough to take time out of his busy schedule to sit down with us for an interview. You can find out what he had to tell us in the exclusive Nintendo Life interview below. Enjoy!
Nintendo Life: How long has Christmas Clix been in development?
Jag Jaeger: Christmas Clix has been in development for 6 months.
NL: How did you come up with the idea for Christmas Clix and why a holiday-themed title?
JJ: It’s been a tough year the world round and with Christmas being a great time to turn around attitudes, we wanted a happy and super cheery game to help. We wanted a game that younger kids and adults could share. The light heartedness of Christmas Clix just makes you smile.
NL: Was there any particular puzzler out there that inspired you to create Christmas Clix?
JJ: The lead designer of the game (Dave Munsie) was inspired by several match 3 type games but wanted a more arcade approach to the game. So with Christmas Clix it's actually a blend of several design elements. You can match 2 or more Gifts in pretty much any direction, plus you also match the Ornaments in pairs. Combine that with the addition of real time game characters that interact with the player to help them clear a level.
We love watching the reaction of players the first time they drive the car around or throw snowballs at the screen to help clear a level. So if you had to place Christmas Clix in any category, it would probably be "Arcade Puzzler".
NL: Can you tell us a little bit about the gameplay in Christmas Clix?
JJ: You match 2 or more gifts. Matches for presents can be made diagonal, horizontal, vertical, and square (open and closed). Ornaments can only be matched in pairs but they don’t have to be together. Every time a match is made, coins and candy canes fall. You should quickly grab them before they disappear.
When you collect enough candy canes, Santa will send you a special power up to help you clear the level. When you collect enough coins, Santa will send you a toy soldier that leads to a mini-game. If you perfectly clear a level, Santa will give you some bonus loot. Since Santa is such a good guy, he’ll randomly send you a gingerbread man that will also help clear the level.
NL: What about the mini-games? Why the decision to toss in some mini-games and can you tell us a little bit about some of them?
JJ: Our idea of using the mini-games was to create a sort of achievement system.
Instead of earning stars, you get to unlock and play a mini-game. We felt that the mini-games would give a better feeling of being rewarded.
The un-lockable mini-games follow the idea of do your best in 60 seconds for bonus points.
We have 10 mini-games in all and they range from hitting snow men with snowballs to a breakout style.
NL: What makes Christmas Clix stand out from the many other puzzlers available on the WiiWare service?
JJ: I think the different style of play stands out by itself and then throw in the mini games and the arcade interaction. I don’t think there is anything on WiiWare like it.
NL: What controllers will be supported in the game?
JJ: Christmas Clix is played with the Wii Remote.
NL: Will there be any type of online play or leader boards?
JJ: No, there is no networking. It’s a single player game only.
NL: Has a price point been set for Christmas Clix?
JJ: Yes, it’ll be available for 1000 wii points.
NL: Are you finding it easier to develop games now that you have a couple of WiiWare titles under your belt?
JJ: Absolutely, with every game we’ve done, we are becoming more intimate with the hardware and are constantly finding more efficient and cool ways of doing things.
We’ve found great new ways to just hammer the Wii with effects and explosions while keeping speeds at 60fps.
NL: Do you have any other WiiWare titles under development?
JJ: Yes, we are currently going through lot check with our next title. We expect it to be released toward the end of January. Unfortunately at this time we can’t release any more information on it. We are also ramping up to get started on 2 more games.
NL: Any chance you guys might try the DSiWare service at some point?
JJ: We are considering it but at this time we have no plans. All of our resources are focused on Wii and Wiiware.
NL: Is there anything you'd like to tell our readers in closing?
JJ: I would like to personally thank not only Nintendo Life but your readers. WiiWare is a fantastic system that wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for your continued support.
WiiWare is great opportunity for developers to take a chance at coming out with something unique, please support their efforts and courage.
We'd like to thank Jag for taking time out to take part in this interview with Nintendo Life. We very much appreciate it. We'll also have a review for Christmas Clix up shortly after its release next week.