Indie developers drawing inspiration from retro games is extremely common, but not many eShop releases pre-date the era that brought us the Donkey Kong arcade, for example. Dot Arcade is doing just that, as it'll recreate the light-based games of generations long since gone on the Wii U.
Taking us back to the era of electronic games, players take control of dots on the screen - there are three separate games here but the only characterisation to distinguish them (aside from the rules, of course) are stylish illustrations either side of the playing area.
It's the work of James Montagna (who worked on Adventure Time: Hey Ice King Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!!) and colleague Andrew Lim, and began life as a physical product, a small piece of hardware that office workers would play over a lunch hour. Each game, like the real box unit, is comprised of an 8x8 screen of - virtual - flashing lights. The physical unit proved a hit with those that played it, and as Montagna explained to Destructoid the Wii U was a natural fit.
We wanted to find some way we could share the dot games with the rest of the world, and Wii U seemed like the right fit. It was important that the experience emphasize the more intimate GamePad screen, but also beneficial to broadcast gameplay to others in the room on T... and taking it a step further, share scores with friends anywhere through Miiverse! So we started development on the collection of games, Dot Arcade.
This is described as the most "raw" form of video game - "There's no story other than what's implied by the cabinet art, and there's no real game graphics to speak of, just a focus on having fun manipulating an object on the screen. They're entertaining in a way that's shared only with the most vintage of video games."
It's an intriguing project that's not far away - it already has an ESRB rating in North America and has passed Nintendo's lot-check, so it may arrive in March. If it's successful there are plans for further collections of these 'vintage' games.
We're intrigued to see how this turns out, and it's certainly a unique release. Let us know what you think of it in the comments below.