Last week, I published an article giving vague details on an upcoming platformer for WiiWare. It was interesting to see the type of responses people had and the types of speculation that had ensued. Today, I'm thrilled to bring you more news on this intriguing WiiWare development!
There were many clues in my original write-up that could have led you in the right direction in terms of what this game is all about. At the same time, many of the clues I did give were intentionally worded so that the average reader wouldn't really see this game coming. Surely, when you read that the main character in the game is a "hunter" who goes on an "expedition", you'd likely conclude that the game is a side-scrolling, dungeon-esque platformer. But thoughts of this being something in the vein of Cave Story or La Mulana can be put to rest. At this point in time, it is my privilege to reveal to our readers the final name for the game: Dive: The Medes Island Secret!
That's right - it's not your typical platformer! Exploration, discoveries, and mazes in this game are of an underwater nature. The entire game's roots are based on the real-life locations of the Medes Islands in the center of Costa Brava in Spain. In the game, you take control of John Sanders, an explorer who takes it upon himself to uncover the mysteries of this foreign location. Legend has it that an ancient treasure lies at the depths of the Medes Islands, and this sets the stage for the events that unfold in the game.
There are ten levels in the game and each of them are quite big in size, leaving a lot of room for the player to explore mazes and branching pathways. In each stage, players will have a designated treasure from the ancients that they'll need to look for as they traverse the game's big areas. Don't expect just mazes with an aquatic background, though. You'll even be exploring temples and ancient civilizations, and each level will even have its own visual ambience. Although levels are big, checkpoints are used sparingly to track your progress in case you run out of oxygen. The team has chosen to represent these by (what looks like) underwater mines which is a nice touch!
Players are also able to can purchase equipment enhancements from an in-game Shop, using the money they've collected in the game. With the equipment upgrades you can manage: oxygen capacity, depth, velocity, weapons and lights. You can make improvements to your body suit, your oxygen capacity, and more. These upgrades will actually be crucial in later levels; without certain equipment, you won't be able to proceed in some areas because of the danger they pose to the player.
Players will encounter a good variety of enemies in the game that you need to watch out for. There are jellyfish of different sizes, manta rays, eels, living organisms and more! Similar to what Abylight did in Stop Stress, the edges of the screen will turn red when you're in danger of getting hurt by an enemy. Some enemies even lurk in dark areas so you'll definitely need the use of your flashlight if you hope to survive in later levels. With each passing level, the difficulty increases in terms of the darkness of the water, as well as the number and ferociousness of the enemies.
The game overall looks like it has a lot of promise and it's clear that the minds behind this project have a very ambitious attitude towards it. Surely by now you're wondering just who is responsible for handling this project? The team responsible for this project is Cosmonaut Games, the same team responsible for 5 Spots Party! When you consider the nature of their first WiiWare project, this new project is that much more impressive! Unfortunately, because of time constraints, some ideas they originally had envisioned had to be cut. However, they are looking into re-working and adding a couple of things into the final release, such as multiple controller support. They're hoping to get the game completed and submitted to Nintendo by next month. In the meantime, stay tuned for more news on this exciting development!
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