Earlier this week Ripstone confirmed details of both Knytt Underground and Pure Chess coming to the Wii U eShop, with the latter also on its way to the 3DS eShop. Ripstone works with various small developers to bring their titles to multiple systems, and is one of a solid number of European and Australian developers recently confirmed to be publishing games on the eShop platforms.
We've been chatting to Ripstone's Co-Founder and Creative Director, Phil Gaskell, about both games and their journey to Nintendo's platforms, and he told us about an exciting feature for Pure Chess on both the Wii U and 3DS. The eShop versions will feature an improved — and quicker — "play by mail" multiplayer feature, but these versions will not only allow cross-platform play between the Wii U and 3DS, but also with players on smartphone / tablet versions.
Through the use of our own servers we've significantly enhanced the multiplayer since launching on PSN so it's a much slicker experience. Even though the play is asynchronous it works much more seamlessly now, more like live online. As soon as one of you leaves the game it doesn't matter, you can carry on over a longer period sending moves to each other like a true play-by-mail game. But it doesn't end there. I can exclusively reveal that the game supports cross-platform play. That means that not only can Wii U players play against 3DS players, but they will also be able to play against tablet and smartphone players too! All they will need to do is register in game for a Pure Chess account (a process we've made as simple, safe and easy as possible) and then start issuing challenges to their friends or even to strangers on the ranking boards! The beauty of registering for a Pure Chess account is if you own both the smartphone/tablet and console versions you can log in and continue your multiplayer game on any of those devices seamlessly.
This is similar, in principle, to the cross-platform play that Nnooo is implementing with Cubemen 2, and is further evidence of Nintendo being willing to open up Nintendo Network play with PC and iOS / Android platforms.
In addition, Gaskell revealed to us that the Wii U version of Knytt Underground will include the Infinity Hype update currently in development for the PC version; the Wii U will be the only home console with this content.
A major positive is that Ripstone, which has published a number of critically acclaimed titles on multiple platforms, is factoring the Wii U into plenty of future projects.
We've nothing specific to announce at this stage but I can tell you that we are working on several titles for 2014 and a Wii U version is in the plan for each of those games. Watch this space!!
Be sure to check back on Nintendo Life tomorrow for the full, in-depth interview. In the meantime, what do you think of the cross-platform play in Pure Chess and the extra DLC for Knytt Underground? Let us know in the comments below.