While Australian development studio Nnooo is fairly well known to Nintendo download gamers for Pop and escapeVektor: Chapter 1 on WiiWare — a new version of the latter is also on the way to the 3DS eShop — the developer has been quietly working on its ambitious DSiWare title, Spirit Hunters Inc, for quite some time. It's an RPG action title that makes extensive use of the DSi/3DS camera for AR — augmented reality — so that you'll be finding and battling creatures in the real world; it's now confirmed for both the North American and European DSi Shop/eShop on 22nd November.
It looks like a title that may be good value for money. There's an extensive levelling up system, 96 Spirits to capture — three variations of each — a broad range of abilities and elements to use in attacks, cross-system challenges, and ultimately the choice of the Light or Shadow version for download. An an indicator of how much time has gone into this one you can check our Spirit Hunters Inc. first impressions from E3 2011, during which we rather liked what we saw. Nnooo's press release with more details is below, and you can also check out the first trailer for a taster of what to expect.
Nnooo is pleased to announce that Spirit Hunters Inc™ for Nintendo DSiWare™ will be released in the US, Europe, Australia and New Zealand on November 22nd. The game will cost 800 Nintendo DSi Points™ on the Nintendo DSi™ Shop and US$7.99, €8 or AUS$12 on the Nintendo eShop™.
Spirit Hunters Inc is a role playing game in which the player hunts, battles and captures spirits which inhabit our physical world. The game uses the camera of the player's Nintendo DSi™ or Nintendo 3DS™ to create an augmented reality, merging computer generated spirits with the player's real environment where battles take place.
"We're really excited to launch this unique game," said Nic Watt, Creative Director at Nnooo. "Creating a game where players can explore all over the real world to battle and capture spirits utilising a real-time battle system is, as far as we are aware, a world first."
The player is part of an international task-force called Spirit Hunters Inc which is charged with capturing mischievous spirits and sending them back to the spirit world. Players will have to hunt down these spirits and coax them out of their hiding places before doing battle with them through their Nintendo DSi or Nintendo 3DS. On capturing or defeating spirits, players will be rewarded with either experience points or in-game currency (Ghoulders), with which they will be able to level up, replenish health, buy useful spirit hunting items and traps and learn new battling abilities.
Each spirit is aligned to a specific element: fire, light, water, ice, shadow or fungal. The player also chooses an element at the start of the game with which to battle spirits. Battle difficulty will depend on whether the player's element is strong, weak or neutral to the spirit's element. Players can also buy the other elements with their in-game currency as they increase their experience points, allowing them to experience all the elements and abilities. As the player levels up, they will need to think more tactically to win battles against higher level spirits.
"There are 96 different spirits to battle and capture, each with normal, rare and very rare versions, making a total of 288 spirits," said Watt. "With more than 90 abilities to learn over the 6 different elements and with 100 levels in the game, there is a huge amount of gameplay."
The game will be released in 2 versions - Spirit Hunters Inc: Light and Spirit Hunters Inc: Shadow. Each version of the game has some unique spirits and a different story ending. Players will be able to send defeated spirits to their friends via a challenge system which records spirit details through a 28 digit code.
Fans who are attending this weekend's EB Expo at Sydney's Olympic Park will be able to play Spirit Hunters Inc at Nnooo's booth in the Homegrown Gaming Pavilion. Also available to play will be Nnooo's upcoming game escapeVektor™ for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation®Vita.