After a degree of speculation, it was confirmed last week that Stick It To The Man is coming to the Wii U eShop, targeting a Spring release. Currently available on PC, PS3 and PS Vita, it's a distinctive title from Zoink!, with UK publisher Ripstone stepping in to bring the title to market; as a hybrid adventure platformer with hints of old point-and-click ideas, combined with a paper-based visual style, it's certainly full of promise.
We caught up with Ripstone's co-founder Phil Gaskell and Zoink! founder Klaus Lyngeled to chat about the upcoming release just prior to its public announcement, taking the opportunity to learn more specifics about the title. In an interview to be published in full tomorrow, Lyngeled said that tweaks and lessons learned from previous iterations make this the "gold version", before explaining exactly how the GamePad mechanics will work.
Lyngeled: When we talked about doing a Wii U version we knew we'd have to use the GamePad, with the screen, and we thought it'd be cool to use it as a mind reading device. The way we've done it, which I think works really well and turned out good, much better than I expected, is that when you pick up the Wii U device it goes into mind-reading mode, so it feels when you pick it up or rest it down. So you can basically point around on the screen itself, pick characters, zoom in on their brains and pick which brain you want to read. So there's a specific mind-reading screen on the GamePad and the main screen on the TV.
This way it's much quicker to go from one brain to another if there are a lot of people around the same area. Then of course you have the mind-reading voice itself coming out of the GamePad, also, which I'm really happy with.
So is the GamePad screen permanently in a more zoomed in view?
Lyngeled: Yeah, it shows this weird mind-world background. Then every character that can be read appears on this little screen, you can target zoom on each of them at which point it also zooms in on the TV itself. Then of course you also have a map, so when you're not mind-reading there's always a map appearing on it, but that's simple stuff.
In terms of how that affects the experience, is it mainly streamlining or making sure you don't miss any mind-reading opportunities?
Lyngeled: Yeah, it makes it more streamlined and easier to pick brains. We always had that problem on PS3, if there were a lot of characters in the same place it was a little hard to pick the right one; we had some bad reviews about that. It was obviously easier on the PC when you had the mouse, just click on the brains, but here it's kind of the same in that you just point at which brain you want, it's actually easier that way. It just feels funnier, it fits together.
Gaskell: For me it separates the mind-reading element from the 'real world', or Ray's world, there's a really clear delineation between them. It feels good, it feels like you're more Ray, because the mind-reading noise is more local to you coming out of the GamePad speakers rather than the TV, so it's more intimate.
Lyngeled: And then you have this cool device that's just nice.
Is there off-TV play, and if so does the gameplay revert to the PS3 style?
Lyngeled: Yeah, off-TV is there. If you play on just the GamePad, you can use the pointer like on PS3 but you can also touch the screen itself for picking the brains.
For those that aren't necessarily the GamePad's biggest fans, are there other controllers supported?
Lyngeled: It supports the Wii U Pro Controller.
Gaskell: It doesn't support Wii Remotes.
In the full interview we'll discuss Zoink's previous work and go into greater details around Stick It To The Man's origins and route to Wii U, as well as gauging views on the Wii U eShop and the upcoming year for the system. Until then, are you intrigued by this game and looking forward to its GamePad features? Below is the launch trailer from last year to show you what it's all about.