September has already proven to be a good month for high quality Nindie downloads, and there are more to come. The 'Summer Jam' promotion has already delivered games like Axiom Verge and Jotun: Valhalla Edition, and we still have Noitu Love: Devolution, SEVERED (on Wii U, 3DS is coming later in Fall) and Azure Striker GUNVOLT 2 on the way. Outside of the promotion there are other gems due this month such as SteamWorld Heist on Wii U, FAST Racing NEO: NEO Future Pack DLC, Zarvot and DubWars.
A lot of those names are familiar, and have previews / reviews on this site or on the way soon. We thought we'd look beyond that to the line-up of games confirmed for October to December, namely those highlighted by Nintendo as titles to watch closely. Below you can learn a little about them and see some trailers, hopefully to help you decide which should be on your wishlist.
Actually, this one could arrive during September, but as it was given a vague 'Summer' window by Nintendo (a bit late for that, we think!) we're including it anyway. A 3D action platformer that had a spruced up 2015 release on PC through Steam, its 3DS version is going to feature stereoscopic 3D, c-stick camera controls on the New 3DS and additional outfits. Retro gamers should get a kick out of it, too, as this was originally a PSP game back in the day.
Ectoplaza - Wii U
Intriguingly, this one is - so far at least - a Wii U exclusive. It joins the fast-paced multiplayer category, with local support for 2-4 players. An emphasis is on flinging your character at speed into others, with the end result being a chaotic and colourful affair.
Key features (via press kit)
- Multi-Tiered Charge & Fling System
- Six Playable Characters & Special Abilities
- 5 Settings & Stage Hazards
- 15 Different Levels
- 3 Game Modes
Antipole DX - Wii U and 3DS
A gravity flipping action platformer that was originally on DSiWare, this is heading to the eShop on Wii U and 3DS in remastered form. Saturnine Games has confirmed that this remake will have additional levels, online leaderboards and even Miiverse stamps. There'll be off-TV GamePad play for Wii U and stereoscopic 3D on 3DS, and the visuals have clearly been cleaned up a fair amount. Definitely worth having on your radar.
Rocket Fist - Wii U
Another up-tempo local multiplayer arena game, in this case it's rather like futuristic Dodge Ball that's gone crazy. You have one shot to fire your fist at opponents, before trying to figure out a way to get your weapon back to fire again. Rather like Ectoplaza, this one is all about fast multiplayer action.
Key features (via press kit)
- Fast-paced twitch reaction arena battles.
- Single Player adventure with 6 sectors and 5 different bosses
- Easy to pick up and play.
- 1 to 4 players on the same screen.
- Both Free-for-all and Team-based modes.
- 4 different player AIs, from dumb to annoying.
- Several arenas with unique gameplay elements.
- Random powerups that can turn the tide of a fight.
- Unlockable costumes to customize the robots.
- 2 different game modes.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero - Wii U
Originally due later this month and covered a lot over the past year and more, WayForward recently delayed it by 'about six weeks'; Nintendo says October, though it could slip to November. We're still excited - even after all this time - about a new HD adventure with the mascot, as it's been a standout franchise on portable systems and could be terrific on a bigger screen.
Punch Club - 3DS
This title by Russian indie studio Lazy Bear Games has certainly grabbed attention on Steam, in addition to smart devices. With quirky humour and more pop culture references than any sane person can identify, it riffs on Rocky tropes and focuses on strategy and resource management. We're optimistic that tinyBuild will do a solid job porting this to Nintendo's handheld.
forma.8 - Wii U and New 3DS
This title by MixedBag has been in the works for quite some time, announced for Wii U back in 2014 before going back to the drawing board in order to overhaul the visuals. This one's all about atmospheric exploration, venturing through an alien planet with just a small ship and limited capabilities with which to protect yourself. A welcome upcoming addition on the New 3DS, too.
Hollow Knight - Wii U
When this one got funded on Kickstarter it was tempting to compare it to a certain other 2D action game starring a Knight, but that's certainly not fair now. It's evolved nicely, delivering a lovely art style and some promising action platforming gameplay. Team Cherry is bringing it to Wii U before any other home console - naturally it's also heading to PC - and is keen to highlight the features of the adventure that awaits us.
Key Features (via press kit)
- A beautiful, eerie world of insects and heroes.
- Traditional 2D animation brings creatures and characters to life.
- Challenging gameplay that can be difficult but always fair.
- Fluid and responsive action allows you to flow through combat like water.
- A collection of challenging "feats" the most skilled players can strive for.
- Find powerful new abilities and spells on your adventure to grow stronger and open new paths.
- Explore a vast, connected underground world.
- Scour the world for hidden secrets – powerful artefacts, piles of riches, and surprising encounters.
- Go Dream Diving! Venture into the minds of friends and enemies and discover the strange worlds that await within.
- Head to town to seek advice, purchase new items, and chat with quirky townsfolk.
- Hidden areas full of the toughest challenges and battles, for expert players.
Stardew Valley - Wii U
This has been critically acclaimed and also a major success on Steam for developer ConcernedApe. It's not hard to see why - a beautiful retro-style aesthetic with lovely music, it incorporates farm management, material gathering, relationship building and a broad range of tasks, activities and areas to explore. Its breadth seems to be matched by its charm, and we're also hopeful that the Wii U GamePad screen can be put to good use considering the PC-centric user interface that the game naturally favours.
The Steam Store page has a huge list of features, but the three minute video below does an excellent job of showing what this one is all about.
Runbow Pocket - New 3DS
The original Runbow on Wii U won over a lot of fans, and 13AM Games has kept busy in adding updates and DLC to the chaotic platformer. The Pocket version on New 3DS puts much more focus on the single-player experience, and is also coming to retail with all of the DLC and extras thrown in. Local multiplayer is still a feature, and this charming (and tricky) colour-based action platformer will have a chance to win over a new audience on the New 3DS. That's the goal, in any case, as the developer told us during E3.
Those are the games Nintendo focused on when announcing its Summer Jam promotion. Let us know which stand out to you, and those that are going on your wishlist.