Microsoft’s [email protected] program is essential to the future success of the Xbox One. Basically, it allows indie game developers to publish their games directly to the Xbox One without the need for a separate publisher. That’s what everyone in the industry thinks should be the default arrangement anyway, but Xbox-branded games for the Xbox 360, Windows Phone, and Windows 8 still require a separate publisher.
Much about the [email protected] program remains secret to the public at this point. But a recent tweet from Microsoft’s Phil Spenser has revealed two early games set to be released under the program: Worms Battlegrounds from UK developer Team 17 and Nutjitsu from Utah-based developer NinjaBee Studios. More details after the break!
From the makers of Fusion: Sentient and A World of Keflings comes this classic arcade-style maze game. Players take on the role of a ninja squirrel who must rescue his clan’s acorns from the evil kitsune samurai.
Each level contains a main filled with samurai guards that the ninja must avoid. Objectives vary but usually involve picking up as many acorns as possible. As you play through a level, more and tougher enemies start to appear, making it tougher for the ninja to go undetected. Even if he does get caught, he’ll still earn XP that contributes to his overall rank.
Nutjitsu is already available on Windows 8, where it can be played with keyboard, mouse, or touch-screen. Keyboard is much more accurate than mouse, so I expect it will play great with a controller on the Xbox One. The graphics aren’t anything to write home about, but the gameplay captures some of the magic of classic maze games like Pac-Man.
- Nutjitsu – Windows 8 and RT – 249 MB – Free – Store Link
Team 17 previously released several Worms games for the Xbox 360, but they always had to do it through a publisher. Signing on with a publisher cuts into the profits a developer receives from their games, so in most cases studios like Team 17 will opt for self-publishing if given the opportunity.
We don’t know much about Worms Battlegrounds other than it will be coming to both Xbox One and Playstation 4 this year. The new game will likely continue the advances to graphics and physics found in the last entry, Worms Revolution. All of the Worms games share a cheeky sense of humor and are a blast in multiplayer, so we’re looking forward to Battlegrounds.