The high-speed interstellar wingsuit adventure Planet Diver, from indie studio Fabraz, is in development for Wii U with a planned release for summer 2016.
At first glance, it might be easy for people to write off Planet Diver as a clone of developer Moppin’s October 2015 hit Downwell; both games feature a similar mechanic where the player controls a character who falls through a plethora of cavern-like levels in search of a goal. But according to Fabian Rastorfer, founder and lead designer at Fabraz, Planet Diver offers players a different experience.
“You’re not the first to compare Planet Diver to Downwell,” Rastorfer told us on Friday. “I can certainly see the similarities — falling down endless chasms and shafts to reach whatever slumbers below. However, the similarities stop there as Planet Diver is not a platformer and does not allow you to ever be still. Planet Diver takes the concept of incredible speed a step further, requiring very quick reflexes from the player.”
Planet Diver released internationally on Steam, PC, Mac, Linux, and mobile devices in December 2015. Inspired by games like Metroid and Knightmare Tower, Planet Diver features a story mode with 75 levels, three planets, and nine biomes.
But if it was up to Fabraz, a Wii U version would have launched alongside the other platforms last year. “We always had planned for a Wii U port from the get go,” Rastorfer said. “We simply didn’t have the time to finish it for our international launch on December 1, but [we] have been working on it ever since. We grew up with Nintendo, and getting a game on their platform is like a dream come true. We also truly believe that the game is a great fit for Wii U due to its upbeat ambiance, colorful humor, and addictive arcade nature.”
Rastorfer also expressed interest in bringing the game to Nintendo’s portable in the future. “We’d love to get the game on 3DS as well — I actually carry mine around all the time.”
Off-TV gameplay will be included and Rastorfer said Planet Diver will support “essentially every Wii U controller out there.” Even left-handed players will be able to adjust their own options. For players using the Wii U GamePad, a zoomed-out view of the diving action will be displayed on the TV while a zoomed in version will illuminate the Wii U GamePad “for that extra level of precision.”
As for sales, Planet Diver is holding its own. “The game has been doing phenomenally well on Steam,” Rastorfer said. “People have been enjoying the exhilarating speed and witty dialogue in particular. Thanks to the continuous activity of players, we even updated the game with content patches that introduced a speed-running mode, a customizable black hole mode, and more!”
Seem like something you may enjoy? Check out the trailer below to see the game’s tireless hero in action. Wait, is that Ms. Pac-Man I see munching up pac-dots? Why yes … yes it is.