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.
Ah come on, this game looks fun. You guys gotta get in the Christmas spirit.
It sounds nice enough...
Let's hope that gung-ho sounding attitude produces some good results.
I'm not sure about single player only, being a puzzle game and all, I like playing these types of games against people.
But we'll see how it turns out
I have no faith whatsoever in this game. I wish all developers success but after their previous games, I find myself thinking of them as the DDI of WiiWare. I really hope that their first games were a misleading impression of JV Games and that this turns out alright but I just don't see it happening
For something that has "family game" written all over it, lack of multi-player seems like an odd choice. Seems charming enough though. Hopefully it'll be a good one for the kids.
1000 points? What a joke.
Single player? What do they think people do around Christmas, barricade themselves in their room?
It seems very odd to base the game around the holiday where folks are least likely to want something they can only play alone.
We'll see. The $10 price tag isn't doing it any favors, either. In fact, I just bought the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Christmas album today for that price, and I think my holiday will be richer for it.
Santa has found a replacement for coal to give to bad kids on his list.
Good luck making any sales after next month.
Im not the kind of guy to complain about wii point prices but didn't expect this game to be 1000pts, looked like it would be 700pts before. If the review of this is atleast 6 Im getting this for sure!
@Chicken: There's an Aqua Teen Christmas album!?
(Chunky immediately rushes out the house to find said album)
Give them 1/10 already.
you forgot to ask the important question and that is why do jv games do not make any thing good besides cheap shovel ware
hmm, as i said i need a review to consider this on my list
Wow, tough crowd.
Seriously, JV Games is actually going to be charging 1000 points for this game?! You gotta be freaking kidding me!
Yes, it’ll be available for 1000 wii points.
spits out coffee
WAY TOO EXPENSIVE. I thought it would be 800pts AT MOST.
Enjoy! I thought it was an internet only thing, but I found it in a record shop today and had to pick it up. It's really funny!
Might not be too bad. I like Christmas and I like puzzle games. Maybe it will work
I wouldn't pin the "Christmas Spirit" thing on anyone, since not all of us are Christians. But then most of us are in the spirit of making a profit from cheap junk made to earn a quick buck in one of the few times when people are willing to let go of some hard earned dollars on anything that has red and white on it.
Besides, single player only? come on. Can't we push ourselves just a little on new puzzlers on Wiiware? There are some amazing puzzlers on wiiware for well under 1000 points, this is just absurd. This is where Nintendo should be exerting some of that 'Big Brother' quality control. We're not a tough crowd we just have common sense.
The DDI of WiiWare? Ouch, dude, that's harsh. I think somebody at JV Games is crying right now.
1000 WII POINTS FOR A PUZZLE GAME THAT DOES NOT HAVE NETWORKING OR EVEN LOCAL MULTIPLAYER! I got to agree with Chicken Brutus on this one. These types of puzzle games are more fun when you can play against your friends through local play or other people through online connection. Sorry, but I think I'll stick with Dr. Mario on Wiiware than this. Also, there are plenty of games like this that you can play for free (Bejeweled on Facebook) or that have online connection such as Dr. Mario. The fact that this is a Christmas game does not help either since you only want to play it during Christmas time or July and once Christmas is over, people are not going to want to buy this. Then you also got their track record to look at which is quite bad. I don't get why you have hope for this one Corbie and Ezekiel (especially you Corbie since you gave their game Pong Toss a 1/10). Still, there is that saying that 3rd time's the charm. Maybe, JV games will get it right this time, however I highly doubt it. One question though, who is reviewing this? You Corbie or Chicken Brutus?
@viper6391: This game looks graphicly good and considering there is 100 levels plus 10 minigames will make this have lots of replay vaule even after Christmas. Also why would people only play this during christmas or july (in the summer)? You know Water Warfare wiiware? Thats a game that takes place in the summer and I know alot of people who still play it now.
JJ: You match 2 or more gifs
Might wanna fix that Corbs.
I'm reviewing Christmas Clix. And fix what?
Oh, I thought it was only 500 Points. Wonder how it'll do sales-wise being the first holiday-based WiiWare game in our catalog.
Tough crowd indeed, Corbie...
The price point is my main concern. For 500 points I might download a game for a little holiday cheer, but for 1000 I expect a high-quality experience. I don't think this price can be justified.
$10? For 800pts I could get Dr.Mario with local and online multiplayer. It looks and sounds fun, but at a price like that, I just can't buy.
Speaking of that Halloween-card-crafting game, aren't they **shudders** making a Christmas version of that game.
He means in that sentence in your review where you have for JJ "You match 2 or more gifs" Gifts is spelled wrong. It's under JJ's response to your 4th question about the game play.
I guess your right, but I'm still doubtful about how this will turn out giving JV's track record and the amount of effort they put into their last two games. Although, I will admit that it does look a lot better than their previous titles. However, I can't see paying $10 on this where there are better puzzle games out there that offer multiplayer and online support. Also, I'm not quite sure if the sales are that great for holiday games. The reason Water Warfare did so well is that it's a good shooter for the Wii and there aren't that many good shooter games for Wii and Wiiware compared to the Xbox360 and PS3. Besides Water Warfare,the Wii's got the Metroid Prime Series, Call of Duty WAW + Reflex, Conduit (personally I don't think Conduit is all that great,but it's an OK game) and Onslaught. People love shooters and apparently shooters sell money as proven by the sales of Modern Warfare 2.
I have to say, it was a well-conducted interview but the price point and the lack of any multiplayer for a game like this is going to massively hurt it, even if the mechanics and gameplay is solid. JV Games doesn't have a good track history either, so it's my opinion that they're going to need a lot of Christmas spirit to make this a winner.
I'm not going to buy this quick cash in for the holidays game.Wiiware has enough puzzlers and this one isn't going to suck any less than most of them. If they wanted to bring happiness for Christmas why not actually make a good game not this rubbish. Pass.
Jeez some of you guys are harsh. lol Give em a change, just don't download it at all if you really don't like it.
lol Kids and their feeling of annonymos presence on the Internet that gives them the NEED to come on here and express to strangers how much they randomly or justifiably hate something as if it's some sort of plague.
wow this would be great...once a year
this is the perfect game [i should tell sony they would make it 60$]
You should consider yourself lucky.
We get Happy Holidays Christmas next week.
I'll be frank: 1000pts for a single player puzzle game on a service already full of puzzle games is very steep. I can't see it getting more than a 5, but we'll see.
It's not a comparison I want to make but their last two releases were pretty shoddy games and this one looks like it'll be the same imo. The 1000 point price tag doesn't help either for what should've been a 600 point game at the most. At least they aren't fully priced retail releases like DDI's games are, they're better in that respect. I really hope they can turn my impressions of them around.
Corbie, I'm totally with you. Bunch of Grinches here. I'm decorating the house today and getting in the spirit.
Personally, I've liked every game they've come out with.
I too am a little disappointed in the no multiplayer but it's not a big deal. There are plenty of games we take turnes on.
1000 points, 1 player only. Does not compute.
I really don't get the people who are like "ooh, holiday spirit, buy everything you can no matter what cheap junk it is". There's not even a religious excuse for poor design. To call us a tough crowd would mean we're tough on things that look like they might be ok or at least reasonably priced.
This here is not the case. I'm going to dive in and pre-judge it as an already done puzzle game that is holiday themed, over-priced, and coming from a developer who's last Wiiware game was the cheapest cash-in trash in recent memory.
And I've been positive about games like Shootanto and Copter Crisis. we're not a tough crowd, we're just intelligent consumers like most people at N-life.
"already done puzzle game" - I keep seeing that, but I can't find any other game like the screenshots I've seen so far. I really hope it's not some kind bejeweled clone wrapped up in a Christmas theme. Single player is ok as long as it saves scores for multiple players.
1000 points is a lot to ask for a game that would get boring for a while, or that it would last only christmas. THEY ARE CRAZY
@Ren I wouldn't necisarraly call this "religious" in any way. I am a Christian, and I've met one person in my life who doesn't celebrate christmas. I've even met athiests that celebrate christmas! Some people just celebrate it as a day for giving and spending time with family. Not everyone celebrates it as the day Jesus was born. I myself will not get this- it's exspensive [for wiiware anyways] first of all, and there is no multiplayer. During the Christmas series, I like to spend time with my family, not play a video game by myself. Besides, my family always have the rule during this time that you can't watch the TV or play it unless you are watching it with other people or playing with other people.
@Ren - Have you played any of those games you hate? Have you played anything from JV? or are you basing your expertise on someone else's review.
@WiiCool - My niece is currently playing it, I too thought it would be like bejeweled but it really isn't. You can create and save individual players with their own score.
@Dony13 - I can understand were your coming from but with stores putting out Christmas stuff in September and every year it seems to be earlier, I think Christmas is going to be a year round thing
Also saying a game for 10 bucks will get boring really isn't fair. How many 30-60 dollar games do you have laying around that isn't being played anymore.
@bigby I have a lot of games that are lying around, but those are the ones my dad chose. He was going to get Boom Blox for 30$, but he decided on Big Brain Academy for 50$... Waste.
You know that's one of the things I love about WiiWare, everyone is always crying ohh its 8 dollars or 10 dollars is too expensive but even at 10 dollars you can get 3 to 5 games compared.
I've bought probably 90% of everything that's come out on WiiWare and never once did I go.. ohhhh that was too expensive.
Sure some games weren't great but did anyone besides me buy Game party.... Please share my pain...
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