While some publishers go for the big games, it’s nice to see when some publishers bring us the smaller niche titles. This is why it’s good to see publishers like XSEED, who has announced today that they are publishing Ivy the Kiwi?
XSEED Games today announced it has secured publishing rights to Ivy the Kiwi?, an all-new IP created by legendary game talent Yuji Naka, best known for his development ties to Sonic the Hedgehog. Developed by PROPE, an independent studio led by Yuji Naka, Ivy the Kiwi? follows the storybook adventures of a lonely baby bird Ivy as she traverses beautiful 2-D landscapes and challenging obstacles in search of her mother.
“I am thrilled to work with XSEED Games on this special new game property,” said Yuji Naka, CEO and President of PROPE. “This game idea has been something that I’ve had in my mind so I’m really looking forward to entrusting Jun Iwasaki and his talented team to bring Ivy the Kiwi? to market so that fans can have an opportunity to engage with the endearing cast of characters and experience the magical world of Ivy.”
Under the terms, XSEED Games retains exclusive North American publishing and distribution rights to Ivy the Kiwi? for Nintendo DS™ and Wii™. The game is currently under development and is scheduled for release in North America in Summer 2010.
“We are honored to be working with Mr. Yuji Naka on Ivy the Kiwi?,” said Jun Iwasaki, President of XSEED Games. “He is a legend and one of the most well-respected game creators; his vision for Ivy the Kiwi? is one that we are deeply excited by and supportive of, so we look forward to collaborating on such an amazing game.”
Players of all ages are instantly drawn to the plight of Ivy, introduced to the charming bird through an unfolding storybook style, first seen as her orange head and beak break out of her shell and cries for her mother. Receiving no response, Ivy sets off through a dreamy forest, meeting many birds but none who share her resemblance. As she wanders, she stumbles upon a single glowing red feather and the first clue of her mother’s whereabouts.
Presented in a beguiling storybook-like art style, Ivy the Kiwi? utilizes a unique control scheme on both the DS and Wii to guide Ivy through her daunting journey. Ivy moves back and forth freely and independently of the player through timed 2-D side-view landscapes, and is guided by the use of vines created and controlled by either the stylus or Wii Remote™ as players aim to collect more orange feathers through the stages to boost their overall score. These stretchy vines herd Ivy forward, upstairs, over walls and dangerous spikes and other menacing obstacles. Multiple vines may be created and used in conjunction, and an existing vine can be pulled in a slingshot motion to propel flightless Ivy skyward or forward as a projectile to drill through barriers and enemies. Vines bend and flex with the motion of the stylus or Wii Remote, but pulled too far and they snap!
Ivy the Kiwi? features over 100 hundred stages for both the DS and Wii versions. In addition to the single-player storyline, up to four players can compete using a single-card via local wireless connection on DS or in split-screen mode on Wii.
Currently in production, Ivy the Kiwi? will be released in North America by XSEED Games on DS and Wii during Summer 2010.
Yes, that question mark isn’t a typo. That is part of the title. It’s about as quirky as the game is. Look for it later this summer.