For a good amount of time the Shantae franchise was exclusive to Nintendo hardware, though in relatively recent times we've seen Shantae: Risky's Revenge - Director's Cut on PC (also coming to Wii U), and the crowdfunded Shantae: Half-Genie Hero will be coming to a host of platforms. This is wise from WayForward, from a business perspective, and Nintendo gamers are still being treated rather well, with the excellent Shantae and the Pirate's Curse being a recent arrival on the 3DS.

With Nintendo stepping into smart device territory in 2015 it's interesting to follow trends in that world, and WayForward is actually going to be - pretty much - first out of the gate with gaming on the Apple Watch. It's releasing Watch Quest! Heroes of Time, which will work on an iPhone and then throughout the day on the watch.

Shantae Apple Watch

As you can see in the art, characters such as Bolo and Shantae (we think, in the latter case) will feature in the quest.

The phone part of the game is described as the 'kingdom', with gameplay on the phone representing the 'journey'. Due on 24th April - the same day as the device range launches - it'll be free-to-play with paid DLC, as you can see from the announcement excerpt below.

Gameplay revolves around choosing a hero and equipping them on the iPhone, and then guiding the Hero via the Apple Watch as he or she travels lands, battles monsters, solves puzzles, and searches for treasures. Players are invited to play passively by selecting longer, easier quests and outfitting the hero up front – or by taking on more difficult quests which require foraging for items as you go.

The game comes free with one training quest, and follows a DLC model with additional characters and campaigns purchasable from within the iPhone app as Quest Packs.

It's a quirky new direction, and perhaps inevitable. Do you think gaming on the Apple Watch and other wearable tech will take off, and can you envisage Nintendo experimenting with this in the future?

[via wayforward.com, eurogamer.net]