Mole money, mole problems

Agenda's WiiWare bash 'em up Happy Hammerin' has been out in Europe for a month or so now, bringing joy to anyone who enjoys smacking moles with hammers. One such bash-fan is the game's director, Akimoto-san, who very kindly answered our questions.

Nintendo Life: First of all, can you give us a quick introduction to your company and what you've produced?
Akimoto-san: We’re a development team based in Sapporo, Japan. We are perhaps most famous for creating 42 All-Time Classics (aka Clubhouse Games in the US) for the Nintendo DS.

How long was Happy Hammerin' in development for?
Akimoto-san: The game took about five months to develop and about another two months to localise for Europe.

What was the most difficult part of the game to get right?
Akimoto-san: When we were designing the levels we realised that if we had more than one horizontal row of moles it was impossible to hit the moles underneath. The player would always hit the mole higher up the screen so the mole lower down the screen got away. This gave us some headaches as we needed to design the whole game always ensuring that one mole was never underneath another.

What's the reaction to the game been like so far?
Akimoto-san: The response has been really good. We’ve heard that players that are not used to playing games have liked the game too so we’re pretty pleased. We also heard that before buying the game some players doubted the feeling of hitting the moles with the Wiimote would be any good, but I’m glad to say that players say the effect is really good.

Are you pleased with it?
Akimoto-san: Yes, we’re happy with the way it turned out. As with any game there were a number of ideas that didn’t make it into the final game which is a bit disappointing, but the game still turned out well so I guess they’re not missed too much.

Do you have any information about the game's US release?
Akimoto-san: We are planning to release this during Q1 of this year. An announcement will be made very soon.

Happy Hammerin' seems a perfect fit for DSiWare. Have you got any plans for a translation?
Akimoto-san: It’s a good idea, but no, sorry.

Do you have anything else in development you could tell us about? Or any hints at all?
Akimoto-san: In Japan we have two other WiiWare games available but we don’t have any plans to release them outside of Japan at the moment.

Our thanks go to Akimoto-san for answering our questions and to Gamebridge for organising this interview. European owners can check out Happy Hammerin' on WiiWare now, but North American gamers shouldn't have too long to wait.